Mothers' Day (and I don't like Mother's Day, even if it's correct, because it's never about or for just one mom and that's probably where the problem with this holiday begins--the ideal of one perfect mother who should be honored)...
So, Mothers' Day.. It's one of those times -- birthdays, holidays, snow days. sunny days, summer vacations -- when there's this pressure that there's a perfect way to do it. I hate that.
I have a grand idea that just needs a catchy phrase and a Facebook page to go viral. Working titles: Moms Day Off, Moms General Strike, Mom's Day Alone, Mom Can Do Whatever She Wants Day... It will be celebrated the Saturday before the Sunday holiday and involves disappearing so you're missed and you miss your family and all of the love and adoration of the Hallmark holiday actually feels real or has a better shot-- you're more appreciated and more patient when you return. I'm spreading the gospel slowly, one mom and dad at a time. Maybe next year it will break through.
Even though I love the idea of running away the Saturday of this May weekend, it didn't happen today--last day of soccer, brunch (less crowded but just as delicious!), an unplanned 3 hour nap (mothering is exhausting!), pizza, no one yelled at bedtime and then a romantic comedy I chose that was unexpectedly good (Walk of Shame in case you, like me, think there aren't enough romantic comedies made these days, but also don't have the time to figure our what to watch when you actually find an hour to watch something). And now I'm up late writing because I know I'll get to sleep in, at least a little. Not a bad day.
I don't know what we're doing tomorrow. Normally that would make me crazy--an unplanned weekend day that's a holiday has so much potential to feel unfulfilling, disappointing. I hope it doesn't, because right now, I feel like anything that happens would be perfect.
All I keep thinking is: Gratitude & Forgiveness.
Gratitude for the babies that made me a mommy. Gratitude for the man that helps me raise them, who is some part of who they are. Gratitude to my mom and how lucky I was to get a mother so beautiful and smart and good-hearted and strong and to be born into a family where I would be cherished and safe.
Gratitude to my grandmothers for offering such different examples of what motherhood could look like--the respected tough as nails politician and the kind, loving mother of seven who would run upstairs just before my grandfather got home to put on lipstick and take off her apron to be beautiful for him, no matter what kind of day she must have had with 4 boys and 3 girls. I found that out at her funeral, where she was surrounded by her whole big family and the love radiated. My other grandmother's funeral had more than 500 attendees, people paying their respects, because she was well-respected.
And so incredibly very grateful to all the moms who surround me now and make up my mama village and support me and drive my kids and pick up pacifiers or drink wine with me and tell the truth and whatever else is needed and be my kids' other mothers when I am not enough.
And there's the forgiveness part. Sometimes I am not enough. I'm not being humble. Sometimes I fail myself, my kids, my expectations of motherhood, my own mother more than once, I'm sure.
But I never fail completely because I never give up--not for long anyway. And I deserve forgiveness--from myself. And wish for if from my children because I really am sorry when I screw up. And forgiveness for my mother for the bad days I remember and the bad days she must have had that were hidden from me. And hoped for forgiveness from my children for the bad days they will remember and infinite gratitude that those will stand out only because they were not the norm and that the norm was at its worst boring and stable and loving.
Motherhood is hard. More gratitude. More forgiveness. And love to my Mama Village.
Have a day with a lot of gratitude and a lot of forgiveness. You are so very loved. I can feel it.