Friday, May 7, 2010

Reflecting on Mother's Day

12 years ago I experienced my first Mother's Day as a mom myself.

Strangely enough, I don't remember specifics about it. I just remember feeling like I had arrived. That I had somehow earned, through the process of carrying a baby and giving birth, a day of recognition, a day of breakfast in bed and a lovely homemade card.

And I was right.

If you've been pregnant you know already that there is nothing simple about the whole process. The morning sickness, weird food cravings and aversions as well as the random bawling your eyes out throw you for a loop.

Your body feels like it belongs to someone else. And really, it does.

You have completely given it over to the child you are growing. They take most everything from you during that 9 months and amazingly, you gratefully give it to them.

Then, just when you think you've sacrificed everything humanly possible for this little person, they are born, and then you know, you've never, ever, given anyone what you are giving this child.

Sleep deprivation, sore-ness from nursing, ache from pushing that child out. Your body has continued to be the main source of nutrition, warmth and nurturing for this baby. And while you fall asleep at 9 o'clock on the couch from exhaustion, and while you wear your maternity clothes for another 6 weeks as your stomach begins to resemble something human again, you realize, that you would do it all over again.

And some, continue to do it over and over and over and over and over and over again. (Is that six overs?)

Are we crazy? Are we missing some key element of our brains that houses self preservation and selfishness? No.

We are mothers. And we continue to give everything we have inside of us to our children on a daily basis. Not just as toddlers, not just when it's their physical needs that are the most demanding, but as their emotional and social needs develop.

One day they come home and they have a crush on someone and they want to tell you about it. Or someone was mean to them for the first time and you are the only one capable of soothing their hurt feelings. Or they have a difficult teacher at school and you have to guide them through dealing with all sorts of different personalities in the world.

It's more than just changing diapers and bandaging scraped knees. It is an all consuming, almost crazy love for your offspring that would truly cause you to jump in front of a train if it meant it would save them. It's going without new clothes or your hair done or vacations or nice cars because your child wants to play an instrument or play little league.

It's occasionally forgetting what your own bed feels like with just you and your husband in it.
It's finding your lipstick smeared all over the wall next to a stick drawing in permanent marker.

But it is also hearing them say mommy for the first time, or their first "I wub you" or the way they will smack daddy in the face because they just want their mommy.

It is all of these things, and it is the most worthwhile, important work you will ever do in your lifetime. Nothing else compares. And nothing else is as important. Nothing.

So yes, we deserve this one day a year to put our feet up, to be pampered and loved, to sleep in and have breakfast in bed. And I for one am going to enjoy it. Cuz the day after? It's back to work, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you.


  1. I like reading your blogs each day and it keeps me on my toes. Mother's day is so special to me and I cherish it each year. My 8 year old son just came home with a card that they made in school and I cried and cried. He was getting a little teary eyed too and so I had to walk away. I don't want him to start crying, too. Just the small things are worth so much!!

  2. I agree with you. Besides if you are mom you have a chance to be a grandma - and that is the very best of all.

  3. This will be my 24th Mothers Day and I love being a mom more and more each year!

    Happy Mothers Day!


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