So yesterday was Mother’s Day. For some reason, this day is notoriously difficult for men and children to master. My guess – women are impossible. Some of us want gifts, some want attention, some want to be left completely alone. To breakfast in bed or not to breakfast in bed? That is the question. So hopefully something went right for you. Hopefully, somewhere, someone got something just the way you wanted it and you had a least a moment of a “perfect Mother’s Day.”
But that is rare. So here is what I decided a long time ago.
My first “real” Mother’s Day, I had just gone through my first pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage. It sucked. I cried the whole day. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fun and I didn’t like feeling like that. I realized it was largely due to the fact that I was only focused on myself, not my own mother, my grandmother, the other awesome mothers around me…just me. Yes, I had a valid reason to be sad. Yes I had a valid reason to focus on “poor me,” but it didn’t make me feel better. It actually made it so much worse. So I changed.
Here is my new thought process on Mother’s Day:
Who better to give mothers what they want on Mother’s Day than a mom? We get it. We get it in a way that dads don’t. We understand what we want WAY more than our children ever will, unless (until) they become mothers themselves. My mom finally had a daughter that was now a mom. I knew a little better what would be nice to hear, what would be nice to do. I wrote her some cheesy poems and sent them snail mail. I also wrote some really heartfelt letters of gratitude. I had her grandkids make her videos or call and sing songs to her. I spent some time just talking with her. I didn’t live around her for those years to actually see her or do things together. This year, since I do live close, we did dinner together. And it was nice. It was nice to not wait for my husband to whip something up. It was nice to take charge of what I wanted before the disappointment set in. This got everyone “off the hook” so to speak. We were able to enjoy a day together instead of sitting around waiting to be pampered and taken care of. It was the best Mother’s Day I have ever had. I realized that all the dish towel and toaster gifts we had given our mom throughout our childhood were exactly what she didn’t want.
Moms want love. Moms want praise. Moms want compassion. Mom’s want service. Moms want approval. Moms want forgiveness.
Moms know that that is what moms want. Dads don’t. Kids don’t. So if yesterday, you focused on you and what you wanted for Mother’s Day and what you got instead maybe try today, and next year, and the one after that, to focus more on your mom. Or your sister. Or your friends or your neighbors. Find the moms you know and care about and give them the gifts they really want. Maybe some of them will follow your example and give you what you are craving also. Maybe just looking outside yourself will give you what you really want. It did for me.
P.S. Mom is not a word that means woman with child(ren) in my vocabulary. Often the women most needing these things are the ones who don’t have children for whatever reason. I know because my first Mother’s Day, I was the woman without a child.