Some of us are fatigued and foggy brained with a newborn. Some of us are finding joy in watching our little ones try something new or taking pride in special accomplishments. Some of us are wondering how our children have already become adults!
I remember my very first Mother’s Day – it came and went and I was still pregnant! My son was eight days late and still really didn’t want to come out. (birth story for another day). Now that he just turned 18, he really can’t wait to get out…but that’s another conversation altogether too.
For eight years, my husband took our kids out to the park for a photo shoot, printed the whole roll for me and also chose one to frame as an 8×10, so we have a wall and a few drawers of gorgeous brother pics. The first year was a total surprise to me – they decided to go out for some “boys time” in the park and it was before Mother’s Day, so I thought nothing of it. They had matching shirts in a back pack and spent the time outdoors taking photos!
The next year, (ages 6 & 4 I think), they thought they were still surprising me and it was absolutely adorable to watch them “sneak” out with matching shirts sticking out of their bag…I treasure those photos and those memories. Much of the time, though, Mother’s Day just feels like another day. But it’s an excuse to say, “Come on, it’s Mother’s Day!”
Truly every day should be considered Mother’s Day – or Parent’s Day. There’s not a day that has gone by in the last 18 years that I’ve NOT been a mother, that I’ve not put someone else’s needs ahead of my own, that I’ve forgotten to put on my own oxygen mask first. It used to be that I’d eat the crusts of my kids’ sandwiches at the park (if it was a day they left the crusts behind) because I hadn’t packed anything for myself…more recently it’s that I wake up extra early so I can have a shower before work and let them sleep a little longer, they’re teenagers after all!
But that’s okay – I’m a mom. We make sacrifices large and small for our children – childbirth itself is no piece of cake! But it’s how we look at those sacrifices, in my opinion, that makes a difference in our appreciation of parenting. And it’s how our children look at those sacrifices that makes a difference in their opinion of our parenting. Boy do kids have opinions! And high expectations…and lack of appreciation at times!
But why do we become parents in the first place? And what do we expect on Mother’s (or Father’s) Day in order to celebrate? Is it the opportunity to sleep in, to be alone, to spend it mothering/parenting, to have time with our own parents if we’re lucky enough to have them around? Or with in-laws and grandparents and best friends who are parents? In families with two mothers, or single parents, does anyone get a break? In families without mothers, where fathers fulfill both roles, do we wait until Father’s Day to recognize how special they are? Truly every day should be Parent’s Day – but then is it less meaningful? Was the day just invented for Hallmark anyway?
However it is that you celebrate Mother’s Day – Father’s Day – Every Day as a parent, I hope you find at least one special moment to appreciate the little things, to take pride in your parenting, to give and get an extra hug.
Wishing you joy and love and maybe a little extra sleep!