After the Mother’s Day tornado, after all the dishes and trash had been cleared, exhausted, my Mom and I sat down and we said, “That’s not what we wanted at all.”
Our house had been filled with food and family and dishes and preferences and duties, lots of duties.
“Can I get you anything?” “Can I help?” “What do you need?”
There was a brunch being cooked for Mother’s Day – but I’m not sure any of the moms in attendance really wanted it.
As my Mom and I sipped on red wine, she said, “All I really want is to be with my kids, no food – just conversation.” REVOLUTIONARY. Also tired from the day I said (as a mother of a toddler and a 3 month old), “All I want is for the day-to-day duties to be taken off my plate – FOR ONE DAY. I’d like to not worry about diapers or food or nap time drama. And a massage would be really nice.”
Later that night I decided to tell my girlfriend that my day was so-so, and she chimed in saying she wished her husband would have made a bigger deal.
And then I decided to tell some more girlfriends and they responded with, “I was disappointed too.” “I at least wanted a card.” “I didn’t want to share it with my mother-in-law.” “My husband was out of town and the disappointment was tough.”
I know that part of the confusion for me was that I was working hard to honor my mom and she was working hard to honor hers – and I asked, “Do we have to turn 80 before we allow someone to just take care of us for a day?” “No,” she said.
Now, there’s no one size fits all for celebrating and loving on mamas. But there has to be a way to honor our mothers and mother figures and also be honored. #BothAnd. Right?
Maybe we put too much pressure for Mother’s Day TO BE JUST RIGHT? Maybe? Maybe we should take stock of all the ways we are honored and appreciated and taken care of in the day-to-day, all year long? But since, I’m not ready to make nice…
Maybe we should also say WHAT WE WANT, OUT LOUD. Next time our loves ask us what we want, maybe we shouldn’t say, “Oh, nothing.” Maybe we shouldn’t say, “Sure, going out to brunch sounds nice?” When we’re really thinking, “Get a clue! I want to go to a movie with my girlfriends!” Maybe we should give ourselves the space to say what we want out loud and ask for it? Would that be so scary?
So many of us don’t say what we want because we don’t want to be “high maintenance,” or we want to be “cool about it.” But then we end up crying and feeling hurt or overlooked! (I do, at least.)
And then some of us want a movie version of Mother’s Day where the perfect thing happens at the perfect time, but we all know that that scenario is next to impossible.
So – I’m here to cheer us on – to say, let’s not wait until we’re disappointed to say what we WOULD HAVE REALLY LIKED. If you had a good-ish Mother’s Day – I am sending you love, you are not alone! Mothering is hard, and you are doing a damn good job. Know that.
Next year, I am going to say exactly what I want — no Mother’s Day Disappointment. How about you? What’s your version of a great Mother’s Day?