My Facebook feed today has been full of tributes to mothers, pictures of happy mothers with happy children, inspiring and eloquent quotes about motherhood, acknowledgements of those for whom Mother's Day is hard or not ideal, and a few expressions of disillusionment over expectation versus reality on Mother's Day.
Where I'm at right now, I absolutely love Mother's Day. It brings me lots of warm fuzzies. I was fortunate enough to be loved and reared by one of the most amazing women on the planet, and she's still alive so I can call her and thank her today, so that aspect of Mother's Day is and has always been great for me. I'm also blessed with a mother in law who has been wonderful to me above and beyond the call of duty and whom I am fortunate enough to count as a friend. She's still only a phone call away too, so that's a blessing. I am very aware that not all have these blessings, so I appreciate them.
Then there's the other aspect of Mother's Day-- ME as a mother.
My first few years of motherhood, I somehow had this idea that Mother's Day was going to be absolutely awesome. It was the day to celebrate me and all my sacrifices for the family. It would be my day off, my day to be pampered. I would lay in bed and they would bring me delicious food and sweet homemade cards. Then they would all go clean the house and play harmoniously together the rest of the day while I read books and ate chocolates. It would be the pinnacle of my mothering experience.
Well, it wasn't. Anything but, in fact. On Mother's Day, kids tend to behave worse than usual. They are eager to please, but when they're little there's not much they can do, and their needs don't just go away because it's Mother's Day. So they're excited and they want to make you happy, which means they want your attention. Then they get overstimulated and melt down.
For those first few years, Mother's Day was a huge letdown at best, and at worst it was utterly awful. Even when the Badger cooked yummy things for me.
One year Bean elbowed Fish in the nose right before the Primary children got up to sing to their mothers in Sacrament Meeting. There was screaming and blood everywhere. I rushed out with Fish, and missed the singing that I had so been looking forward to. I felt so let down.
After a couple years I dropped all expectations for Mother's Day. If I just planned on it being another day in the trenches, with all the usual screaming and vomit and filthy socks, then I wouldn't be disappointed. I would also appreciate each little thing they tried to do for me.
That helped a lot. Some Mother's Days were good, some were a mess, but I didn't get worked up over it.
And those little things... they were small at first. So small. But they have increased each year. It keeps getting better and better, friends. Here I am now with both older kids and younger kids. The older kids treated me like gold today. The younger kids were their usual challenging selves, with a few cute crayon drawings thrown in. It's just going to keep getting better for me. Someday Mother's Day may end up being exactly like I first imagined it.
This morning the Rabbit made me the most delicious breakfast burritos. Eggs, sausage, hash browns, cheese, and salsa wrapped up in a tortilla and served on a tray with a bowl of fresh strawberries and blueberries. It was amazing.
A couple hours later Fish brought me "second breakfast:" a mountain of scrambled eggs with ham, smothered in melted cheese. And lots of crispy, buttery toast. Scrumptioius. I was still full, so I shared it around and many of us were able to enjoy it.
Let me tell you what, my kids are getting to be amazing cooks. That is one thing the Badger and I are doing right.
There were also several wonderful homemade cards and crafts. Lots of hugs and sticky kisses. And sweet singing from my four Primary-aged kids during Sacrament Meeting. Oh, and chocolate.
There was also fighting, name calling, angry outbursts, disobedience, and a full-on wrestling match with a small squirmy child duing church. These children are a work in progress.
I am a work in progress.
That is okay. That is as it should be. That is part of the plan.
So I would just like to say to all the young mothers out there... you are doing a wonderful job. Don't expect them to appreciate it now. They will eventually though. The parent paychecks will come, and they will be all the sweeter for the challenges you have faced.
Happy Mother's Day, everyone!