I’m kind of shocked that it’s Mother’s Day today. I could swear it was Mother’s Day just a few weeks ago. This year has gone by so quickly I can still feel my head spinning and the breeze blowing through my hair.
Last year I was a little crazy about celebrating Mother’s Day because it was my first one. I wanted the royal treatment. I was looking at my husband and thinking, “You owe me big time, Buddy.” Tiny-Small’s birthday is just a few days after Mother’s Day and so by this day last year I had practically been a mom for an entire year and I was exhausted! I was ready to take a sleeping vacation. My idea of the perfect Mother’s Day gift was a 24 hour nap, the ability to read an entire page of a book without being interrupted, or to actually eat something…like an entire meal. I was feeling a little frustrated that my husband could take a shower, go outside, or be running late without having to ask another human being for permission. I couldn’t really do any of those things without securing at least a verbal promise of child care. He was able to sleep through the night, in another room, with ear plugs (and a sound machine) because he had to, I mean GOT to, go to work. I was so jealous that he got to go to work. Some days I was practically seething with jealousy. He got to get dressed. He got to eat lunch. He spoke to other adults. He had coffee breaks. He even got to drive in the car by himself. From the way I acted you’d think his job was to sit on a beach all day and sip drinks with umbrellas in them. I couldn’t help it though. I was a new mom and it was much harder than I had expected. I was much more tired than I ever dreamed I would be and I was mourning my old life (pre-baby) just a little.
Fast forward another year to the present day and I have to say I am a much more relaxed mother and a lot more appreciative of my husband. He’s been great with Tiny-Small. It’s easier now that she is older, wiser, and not so dependent on mommy for survival. She can tell her Dad, “I kick you!” while he changes her diaper and she says adorable stuff like, “I cute like me Da-da.” Plus, I also get to leave the room without announcing it now and can also recognize that going to work isn’t all the fun and games it sounded like when I was buried under baby bottles, diapers, unwashed laundry, and a screaming at the top of her lungs tiny, small infant. So, Mother’s Day doesn’t feel like such a big deal this year. I don’t feel an urgent need to be recognized for all of my sacrifices. It felt like that last year when my body was still stretched out, I didn’t get much sleep, and hadn’t been out of the house in weeks.
This year is different because Tiny-Small blows me kisses and says, “I hug you.” She also pats me on the back every single time I pick her up. I like to think that is her way of saying, “Job well done!” She wants to cuddle on the couch and hold my hand when we go for a walk. She smiles and claps when she sees me walk into her bedroom every morning. Nobody else is ever that excited to see me, except maybe the dog. I know she loves me and I know I love her. It’s nice.
I don’t need flowers, diamonds, or a parade this year. I don’t need fireworks and a banner that says, “Best mother in the world” or “You are amazing for surviving childbirth and all of the after effects.” Nope, this year I am content to go to the park and watch Tiny-Small play, eat some ice-cream, and spill half the contents of her sippy cup down the side of my leg even though we are an hour from home and I don’t have a change of clothes in the car. We might go out for lunch, but we might not. Whatever happens will be fine. I’m just happy we get to spend time together as a family even if it means I’ll stick to everything and be haunted by bees for most of the afternoon. Just knowing Tiny-Small is a happy little kid is reward enough for me.
I’m especially looking forward to spending time with my mother and my sister. We’ll have three generations of women in our family being celebrated (My sister is a cat mom after all) and there is something special about being a part of that. I think Tiny-Small is pretty lucky to be surrounded by so much love and I think I am pretty lucky too. I am sure Jim is mostly feeling relieved this year. At least he doesn’t feel as much pressure to design the perfect Mother’s Day schedule or to produce the kind of gift that says, “Sorry I get to go to the bathroom and you don’t” or “Thank you for not sleeping for 300 consecutive days in a row last year.” Nope, this year he can get by with a coffee mug, a long ride to the park, and maybe a relaxed, easy lunch. I am sure he is grateful for that. I know I am. It’s nice to reach some level of competence in the area of motherhood. It makes the ride much more enjoyable.
I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day filled with fun, love and the stuff that happy memories are made of! If you’re a new mom, don’t worry it gets better. If your a Grandma, thank you for nurturing all of us “kids” into adulthood and if you are a mom with a teenager may God bless you and I hope your husband (or significant other) shows up with a few bottles of wine!