I don't like Mother's Day very much. There is some strange expectation out there that Mom gets to take this one day off, and that everything will be taken care of. For me, that all depends on what kind of mood I'm in. There have been some years where I have had no expectations from my husband and kids.
It occurred to me that I have been doing it again - trying to get away from my family. When the kids don't get into bed at a decent hour, I menacingly see them as cutting into "my" time. Whenever I begin to feel like this, I know that it's time to plan a weekend getaway with a friend, and that it should happen fairly soon. There have been other years where I have simply wanted to have a day off from being a Mother. This could never really happen though - Mother's Day or not. I inevitably think about my family and how they might be coping without me.
No, what I realized a few years ago is that in all honesty, it's not your husband or your children who can truly give you what you seek on Mother's Day. It's the other women in your life who truly understand how deep the veins of Motherhood run in the waters of your psyche. It is only another Mother who can truly know what it is that you do everyday that makes you so irreplaceable. When I think of the many moms who I know from week to week, I feel a true kinship to these sisters, because I know them on an extremely deep level. I understand how emotionally invested I am in my children, and I recognize the signs of struggle in a mother. I understand the sighs. I understand the half-smiles given under different circumstances. I understand the need to sometimes avoid eye contact of other parents, because it's been a rough day. I understand the cajoling, convincing, talking and manipulating that is necessary almost every day. I understand the yelling. I understand the guilt. And I understand the need to lie on the couch at night without anybody wanting anything from you.
This Mother's Day, allow your family to honour you in their way. But also, honour the sisters in your life who will honour you back. Support the women in your life - mothers or not - and shine on them the love that you so easily dish onto your children. Smile at the other mothers, always encourage them with that look that says "I understand".
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