What do moms really need for Mother’s Day?
The internet seems to be dripping with answers to this question. Some lists include items such as “pee alone” and “drink a cup of coffee while it’s still hot.” Others indicate that flowers and jewelry are a must. Now don’t get me wrong, I do like peeing without an audience asking me to get them a snack as much as the next gal, but I think we have been looking at things through a cloudy window (or more likely, a fingerprint-streaked window).
Coming from someone who struggled to get pregnant (I’ll celebrate my thirteenth anniversary next week, and my firstborn just turned five), Mother’s Day to me is about more than just families giving us gifts or sending us for some alone time at a spa. This day should be less about flowers, jewelry, and “time off,” and more about caring for and nurturing the souls of mothers, the heartbeat of our families.
What if this year on Mother’s Day, our families focused the day on giving us things of intrinsic value, not material. Instead of using Mother’s Day to “take a break” from what some describe as the grueling chores of motherhood, what if we instead choose to:
- Snuggle more: I just enrolled my son into kindergarten for this coming Fall, and I swear he was born yesterday. Time is not on our side, and before you know it, our children will be in junior high and conversation with them will consist of grunts and eye rolls. Make the most out of whatever attention they willingly give you now.
- Clean up less: Dirty dishes in the sink? Don’t touch them. Piles of laundry taking up residency in your home? Eh, leave them be. Although writing this makes me twitch a bit (I like things to be in order), I am working toward taking joy in a somewhat unkempt home. Do you know how many women out there long to be mothers and can only wish that their homes had legos and dinosaurs scattered all over the floor?
- Have some family fun: Go to the zoo, take a hike (Sarah’s post and Rachel’s post can give you some good ideas for local hikes!), use Deanna’s guide to geocache for a bit, or walk to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory if you are fortunate enough to live a few minutes from it like we are!
- Slow life down: Give in to your child’s plea for “one more book” before bed time, spend a little extra time at your neighborhood park, let your child set the pace (no matter how ridiculously slow) for the day. We might not be able to stop time, but we don’t have to be completely governed by it either.
When our kids are grown, we won’t reminisce about the moments we spent alone. We won’t remember what we physically unwrapped every Mother’s Day. What we will remember, though, (and what our kids will remember) are the memories we made and the time we spent together.
I get that mothering our kiddos is exhausting and feels never ending at times. I CRAVE alone time so badly sometimes that I wake up at 5:00 A.M. just to sit by myself in the kitchen, coffee cup in hand, in absolute silence.
But what we need to remember is this: we are so incredibly lucky to have the families that we have, to share love and life with our little ones, to trample through the daily trenches of motherhood, and to be able to wake up and do it all over again because not everyone can. One day soon, our present struggles and frustrations will be gone and the house will be quiet. And from what I understand from those mamas who have gone ahead of us, that silence will be deafening.