By Cristina Bedwell
Today was a trying day in some ways. There is certainly an expectation that your Mother’s Day is perfect and filled with rainbows and perfectly behaved kids. Isn’t that what we see on Facebook? On Instagram?
Is that what your day was? From the bottom of my heart I hope it was. Your work does not go unnoticed. Getting up in the middle of the night to tend to sick kids. Your magical power to kiss away boo-boos. Your sacrifices, whether it be a frustrating job that nevertheless puts food on the table, not having a few dollars to spend on yourself or the ability to pee in private—I see you. I know what you are doing. What you are giving up out of love.
My day was trying in that it was like any other day. Which is to say, not that bad. My kids are small. They are whiny and needy a lot of the time. Today was no different. Would have been nice if it wasn’t, but it was, and that’s fine. Today I got the gift of sleep and that does not go unnoticed. I will not look a sleep horse in the mouth for damn sure. Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn with a new puppy and a toddler still adjusting to his new bed I was graciously allowed to sleep until almost nine by my family. (MOM TIP: going to bed Mother’s Day Eve with earplugs certainly helps).
We went out to lunch with my husband and two boys and my Mom and Dad. I am so fortunate to live near them and have them in good health. But eating out with little kids is stressful. Spills, bickering, many trips to the bathroom and griping about the menu, refusing to stay in their seat, etc etc. I have to say though, my heart went out to that waitress who looked ten times as frazzled as I felt. She waited on multiple tables that looked like mine: people determined to have a good time, or at least put up the appearance of doing so.
I got a nap after lunch. Again the gift of sleep which is one of my favorite things on god’s green earth so-definitely winning there.
Dinner was a struggle and has been for several weeks, especially with our oldest who has been a historically amazing eater. Now we have to beg for every bite and it’s exhausting. There’s not enough wine sometimes and tonight that bottle ran dry way too soon.
But I find myself contemplating today and being grateful. As annoyed as I was in parts, I am thinking of all the mothers I know, and wondering what their day looked like. I hope you did the same. It’s a crazy quilt of experiences we have on this path of Motherhood and I’m sure if you think about your circle, yours doesn’t look much different from mine.
I know mothers who have lost their own mothers too soon, some terribly recently, who are missing a grandmother to their own kids, mothers whose own mothers are sick, adoptive moms and stepmoms and foster moms striving to provide the best experiences to the children they have chosen out of love, single moms who inexplicably do it ALL, mothers who grew up with abuse and who are forging a new life of love and light for their children, women desperate for children of their own, moms dealing with mental illness trying to provide safe and stable environments for their kids as best they can. The list goes on and on and on and ON.
I think of my mom’s best friend. She was my second mom. My In-Case-of-Emergency on school forms. She was always at the ready to get me if I was sick at school, if my own mom couldn’t get me-for whatever reason. She celebrated my milestones as if I was her own daughter. I want to be that to someone else’s child someday. A constant. A safety net. She’s been gone a while now and I send an email to her daughter today telling her I’m thinking of her. Little notes. Text messages to friends and aunts and moms and grandmothers. Telling them they are enough. They’ve done well. I let them know. I see you. I’m thinking of you. I’ve forgotten people. There are so many. I feel guilty. I feel sad. But I send my love to you all. Thank you for all you do and all you have taught me.