Ah the month of May. When snow is a distant memory and the showers of April give way to fragrant flowers and fields of green. It is truly the month of renewal and rebirth. How fitting that it is the month we celebrate the ultimate symbol of birth, motherhood.
Motherhood is certainly a post that deserves honor. To be a mother is, or at least is supposed to be, about the complete giving of oneself for the betterment of her child, the next generation, the future of the world. It all goes back to mom who has has wiped many a hiny, kissed many a boo boo, and dried many a tear. Whether we have a relationship with her or not, we all owe something to the woman who brought us into this world, and/or the woman who raised us…not always the same person.
And so, we do this in the beginning of May time and time again. We have saluted our mothers with macaroni necklaces and burnt toast in bed and then later on massage gift certificates and brunches at overbooked restaurants. We have put aside a day devoted to our mother…and then it changes…
Growing up I looked forward to someday having my own Mother’s Day. I remember asking “We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, when is it Kid’s Day” to which I always got “Kid’s day is everyday.” NOW I understand that statement, as I drag my arse up the stairs to calm a fearful toddler and explain for the 80th time that there’s no monster at 10pm, when I, after a demanding commute and job can hardly keep my eyes open. NOW I know why this day is so important. I’m busy, I’m tired, I’m stressed, but I do what I have to because these children depend on me. HONOR ME DAMMIT!
There was no time I yearned for Mother’s Day more than when I was infertile. Thoughts of “Will I ever have my own Mother’s Day” would contaminate my ability to celebrate my own mother. Mother’s Day became like this brass ring I would never reach. Then it happened…with the help of technology I was a mother to be with two babies conceived the week of Mother’s Day. The next year I would finally get it, my induction into that special Mother’s Day club, the one I feared I’d never have entry to. The following year I celebrated Mother’s Day with two babies in my lap…for about 4 minutes. The rest of the day was spent cleaning, cooking, setting out appetizers, utensils, and the perfect pot of coffee for my own mother who needs it like the rest of us need oxygen. THIS is my special day?
My first Mother’s Day was more work for me than any previous one I could remember. In my attempts to please my mother and grandmother I lost sight of a new reality, the reality that in fact this was MY day too. My day to be pleased as much as everybody else.
The road since this epiphany has been anything but smooth. The days leading up to Mother’s Day are plagued with guilt for wanting some peace. My mother, still blissfully remembering the years it was solely her day, still wants that attention. My grandmother, now a great grandmother, may be alone if I don’t step up to the plate and hold some kind of party or luncheon. However, forgive me for being selfish, but I NEED my day. While mom and grandma may feel a little lonely if all they get is a card and flowers, I may go off the deep end if I don’t use this one Hallmark approved free pass to get my husband to take the kids to the park so I can just take a nap.
You see, sometime after mom’s admission that you never got that toast right and she hated wearing tacky noodle necklaces, Mother’s Day takes on a new meaning. It’s not just about them, it’s about YOU. The grown ass woman who is now the exhausted and over committed adult. YOU deserve a break. Mom, grandma and mother in law need to step away from the plate. This is your ball and you have a right to knock it out of the park in any fashion you fancy.
So this Mother’s Day I am taking a stand and finally saying this is MY day and I will spend it however I want in whatever way makes ME happy. To the older generation YOU had your days of glory, move on and read your cards in quiet like the commercials say you are supposed to. But, if it really bothers you that much, you know all that peace and quiet that your daughters don’t usually get, you can always offer to take those grandchildren to the overcrowded restaurant so we can read our cards in silence and loneliness. Yes the grass is always greener on the other side, even in the month of May.