This year will mark my 14th Mother’s Day with kids. I enjoy getting spoiled by my husband and kiddos but Mother’s Day has taken on a different kind of role since holding that little infant in my arms 14 years ago. There was a time when I wanted to be surrounded by those little people who made me a mother on Mother’s Day. However, now I just want a break.
I have fantasized of having a Mother’s Day where I got to go away for the day, or even the weekend, to spend all to myself. I could sleep in, order food without having to share, and take a luxurious bubble bath for hours. I then feel absolutely horrible that I would ever want to be away from my kids on Mother’s Day. I know that my time without a child in the house is quickly approaching.
These conflicting thoughts come every year when my husband and kids ask what I want for Mother’s Day, and I have to hold back, “To be left alone!” Is that horrible? Please tell me there are other mothers out there who feel the same way.
There was also a time when I felt jealous of other mothers in my life on Mother’s Day. I felt like I should get extra bonus points because I was still in the trenches of mothering, unlike the grandmas. Like it was some sort of contest to see whose mothering deserved more praise. I have come to realize that those grandmas are just in a different season of mothering, very different than my current experience.
Since I can’t get away from my kids on Mother’s Day, the second-best thing is not to have to do any kind of work around the house. Meals are made, chores are done, and I don’t feel guilty taking some time for myself. I am the main dinner maker in our home so watching my husband and kids make dinner on Mother’s Day always turns out to be quite the show. Because hot dogs and macaroni and cheese are not allowed on Mother’s Day in our house.
I would venture to bet that other moms just want a break on Mother’s Day as well. We want to be noticed. We want our efforts to be acknowledged and appreciated. We want those little things that we do every day to be highlighted. We want to be served for one day. We want to feel like the queen of the castle. We don’t want to have to discipline, hear siblings fighting for the zillionth time in the past 10 minutes, or wipe any bums.
If you have a mom in your life, I recommend that you find out her love language. This could be quality time, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, or receiving gifts. Focus on one or two of these ways to show love to the mom in your life this coming Mother’s Day. And, if your mom is in the trenches of mothering, maybe send her away for some alone time as well. It definitely can’t hurt.
Kristina Phelan is a former Spokane-area resident now living in Illinois. Visit her website at www.mamabearmoxie.com.
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