The Pressure of Mother’s Day

mothers-day

It may seem strange but Mother’s Day has been one of my least favorite holidays since my kids were born. Don’t get me wrong. I love being a Mom and I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything.

Before I had kids of my own it was great to bring my Mom flowers and have lunch with her. However, when I listen to her talk about Mother’s day as I was growing up I think she had the same opinion of Mother’s Day as I do.  She recounts tales of endless Mother’s Day outings to McDonald’s, her least favorite restaurant.  She ate the burgers that she detested for her children. Really? It was MOTHER’S Day! Right?

Fast forward 25 years and there’s a older version of me. Exhausted after having 3 children in 2 years and wanting some peace on Mother’s Day.  My husband tried to get everyone to cooperate but it ended with him trying too hard and everything exploding in chaos.

I decided to go shopping for the day. And every Mother’s Day after that for the next 10 years. From that day forward I decided that Mother’s Day was for me as I desperately needed that day to recharge.

Alone.

As I shopped I noticed families seeming to enjoy themselves, but meltdown after meltdown seemed to land square on Mom’s shoulders and I could tell that she needed a break too.

It seems that Mother’s Day puts so much pressure on one day. Shouldn’t mothers be appreciated every day.

This is what I want my kids to learn about appreciating mom’s everywhere.

  • Appreciate those around you every day.

  • Make mom feel celebrated each day by your actions and your generosity.

  • Stopping to open the door for a woman juggling two kids and a bag of groceries may just make their day.

  • Giving a smile of reassurance and a kind word to the mom whose child is having a meltdown.

  • Talking to the child in the cart in line at the store may just help that mom get five more minutes peace.

  • Respect when mom says she needs time to herself.

  • Hold Mom’s hand when she’s on the phone to let her know you need her attention instead of saying “Mom, Mom, Mom”

The Missed Opportunity

carnationMothers Day came and went this year. It started like a usual day. I woke everyone and made sure everyone had what they needed to get their day going.

I left early with a sleepy teen to coach her morning soccer game. At the end of the game I reminded each of the girls on the team to take good care of their mom’s that day and everyday.

That’s when the first of my children realized they forgot Mother’s Day.

We moved from the first game to watch the oldest teen play another soccer game (this is a tournament weekend, of course). It should have been ideal. Sitting with my younger two teens and watching the oldest. Husband with all of us. A friend leaned over and asked if we had big plans for Mother’s day. She said her family had taken good care of her that morning with breakfast and a lovely gift.

That’s when the next child realized he forgot Mother’s Day.

After an exciting game we were on our way home when the first child told the oldest that it was Mother’s Day.

And that’s when the last child realized he forgot Mother’s Day.

I’d like to think I am a good Mom. I make sure that they are well taken care of. I am strict much of the time but that doesn’t stop us from having great, honest, loving conversations. They know they have a Mom that loves them because they see and feel it everyday.

I’d like to think that in their middle teenage years they can take the initiative to plan Mother’s Day. In the past I have given them money for Father’s Day and told them to buy a gift or plan something themselves. It’s been nice to see what they came up with. Last year they ordered Dad’s favorite pizza and had it delivered. It was nice to see them want to do for someone else.

A card, a coupon book (like they gave me when they were little), a cup of coffee, something to show they care. I am not a materialistic person at all and find my kids are very similar in that regard.

I’d like to think that I’ve taught them that sometimes an action means more than any gift they can give and is often the gift itself.

So I’ll wallow in self pity. And see that this was an opportunity lost and hope my kids see it as the same.

Next year maybe I’ll rent a hotel room for myself and get away.