Mother’s Day. If your Mother’s Day was anything like mine, you might have been lucky enough to have been spoiled.
Perhaps you got a bouquet of flowers from your husband-who-normally-does-not-give-flowers-no-matter-how-much-you-hint-that-chicks-dig-that-stuff. Maybe someone made you breakfast, and cleaned up the kitchen afterwards. Or let you take a 3 hour nap in the middle of the afternoon (and, let me tell you, it was heavenly).
Maybe you were showered with handmade cards signed with awkward, undecipherable little signatures. Or a paper plate flower holder with the word “MOM” scrawled upside-down. And you might have oohed and aahed like it was the most brilliant piece of artwork ever created. Because, of course, it was.
Yesterday was pretty much a perfect day. And I’m so grateful for that. I’m still basking in the glow of the warmth and love my family showered upon me yesterday.
But, as I sit here reflecting on my Mother’s Day, I realize what today is.
Today is the day after. Today is Un-Mother’s Day. And, in reality, Un-Mother’s Day is a day not unlike any of the other 364 days of the year:
A day without the Hallmark sentimentality that surrounds a specific holiday. There are no flowers, cards, or public acknowledgment of the job that we do.
A day where we roll up our sleeves, delve elbow-deep into poop and other bodily excrements, and get the job done.
A day where we try to be a wife, mother, cook, chauffeur, domestic goddess, and everything else in between. And we try to do it all well. With mixed results.
A day where we balance the million things we have on our plates. Children. Wifehood. Finances. Household items. Maybe even a career.
A day where we often put other peoples’ wants and needs ahead of our own.
“It’s the job,” we say. “Isn’t this what we signed up for?” And we’re happy to do it. We need to do it, and, most of the time, we want to do it. Because this is the job.
This is Un-Mother’s Day.
But as I sit here, still reveling in the near-perfection of my own Mother’s Day experience, I can’t help but wonder…
What if we redefined Un-Mother’s Day, even a little? What if, somehow, the other days of the year were a little more like Mother’s Day?
What if I accepted more of the offers for help… from my husband, family members and friends? What about if I asked for help more often? Would I have less control over how things are done? Yes. Would this be a bad thing? Not necessarily.
What if I realize that I cannot be everything to everyone? At least, not all of the time.
What if I put aside the minutia of the daily grind, even for just one day? What would happen if I let the housework slide, the laundry accumulate, and the dishes pile up in the sink? Would the world end? Probably not. Would I focus more on what’s truly important? Probably so.
What if I spent less time obsessing about the fact that my children are not bathed every day, consume entirely too many processed and sugary foods, and are probably not disciplined as well, or as often, as they should be? What if I just rejoiced in the fact that they are happy, healthy, and loved?
What if I spent less time worrying, and more time just simply being?
What if I acknowledged that in order to be a better wife, mother and caretaker, I must first be the best person I can be? That, first and foremost, I need to be personally and professionally satisfied, and that everything after that will fall into place?
What if I took more time to be selfish? If I took a little bit of time each day, or as often as I could, to do something purely for myself? Without worry. Or a sense of obligation. Or guilt.
What if I had the same outlook about motherhood the other 364 days of the year, as I do on Mother’s Day? The days that I feel like I’m failing as a parent are the days when I probably need to hear it from myself the most: I am a good mother.
What if I celebrated Un-Mother’s Day just a little more often?
I wouldn’t need greeting cards or commercialism to celebrate Un-Mother’s Day. Just hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s.” You know, the good stuff.
And, occasionally, flowers. Because chicks really do dig that stuff.
Happy Un-Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there. Do something nice for yourself today. You deserve it.