|Creative Mother’s Day breakfast|
I’ve seen a lot of links on Facebook lately to blogs that are poking fun at what mother’s do and what us moms really want for Mother’s Day this year. Things like getting the kids out of our hair, wanting time alone with our girlfriends, “good jewelry,” etc. And while these blogs, I hope, were written to be comical and are somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I thought I would write something about what being a mom really means to me.
Almost 17 years ago, my life was changed on a really hot day in June when I gave birth to my first baby, a girl. One day my life was just as I expected it, and the next day it was nothing I even recognized, as a 7 pound 2 ounce little peanut was suddenly in control of all I did, said, and thought. She also inexplicably had control of my heart. She was the one person in the world who could call me that special word that we wait with baited breath for our kids to say. Mama. Suddenly I lived and breathed for Allie.
Three days postpartum and I experienced the traditional depression that many moms go through from the dramatic drop in hormone levels after giving birth. My brother will tell you how he walked into my kitchen, finding me in tears, thinking someone had died. When he asked me what was wrong, I replied, “What made me think I could do this???” Tears streamed down my face. The weight of my responsibility to this tiny, helpless life had suddenly hit me. I had to do it all – with the help of her father, of course. But there would be no going in late, no leaving early, or calling in sick. It was on me. 24/7. The thought of that was overwhelming. Yet I persevered. I developed a rhythm as a mother that was unique to me and my daughter. And then a subsequent daughter, Sam. And then ten years later, another little girl, Lily.
The weight of my responsibility has never left me. It just doesn’t feel quite as overwhelming any more. Maybe it’s because I’m looking at preschools for my baby and colleges for my oldest all at the same time, but this year feels different. I look at Allie and see such a beautiful, mature young woman. She has it way more together than I ever did in high school. She is a volunteer tutor with the NY Public Library, a peer tutor in her school, a private tutor in math and science of various grade levels, a stellar student (how does one acquire an average above 100?), a caring friend to many, and a loving girlfriend to one very lucky young man. I look at Sam and see another beautiful, mature young woman. An excellent student, an amazing athlete – playing on two different soccer teams and a softball team, and a caring friend. And then Lily, my baby, who is so full of potential, who already has a well-developed sense of humor, and an incredibly quirky personality. These lives were entrusted to me to help make our world a better place. That’s a job a take very seriously.
|Lily & I enjoying a special moment|
So while many moms complain about how tiresome and overwhelming their children are, I’m going to say something different. I relish the time I have spent wiping asses and noses, nursing all hours of the day and night, reading books (over and over and over again), playing with trains, staying up all night with a crying baby, holding hands extra tightly on the first day of school, providing comfort when their hearts were broken. These moments are the foundation of my motherhood. They have built love, trust, and respect among us. Now stop rolling your eyes. I am no Carol Brady or June Cleaver. I have my moments, when I don’t think I can take another moment of whining or crying, when I just want to go out with the girls and drink and let my hair down, or even just go to the bathroom, by myself, with the door closed. I’m human. I’m imperfect by definition. But the truth is, I find time to hang out with my friends. I manage to get a manicure and pedicure by myself when I can. I order in meals when I don’t feel like cooking. I make time, when it’s feasible, to do all of those things. So on Mother’s Day I don’t want to forget all that made me the mother that I am. I want to remember it. I want to look at pictures of my big girls as babies and cry a happy cry about how much I miss that time. I want sappy cards with notes written in them about how loved and appreciated I am and how inspiring I’ve been. I want them all around me, even if they do sit on the bed only half looking and listening to me because they are also checking twitter and texting on their smart phones, or watching Umi Zoomi play on the television in the background. They are the reason I am a mother, my reason for going on in times of great heartache and despair. They make my future worth living for.
|A past Mother’s Day
gift from Sam
|This year from Lily|
I hope to unwrap several macaroni necklaces, handprint poems, potted plants that I will try desperately but fail miserably in keeping alive, and homemade cards. I hope to eat a mediocre breakfast in bed, that will surely be served lukewarm at best. These will be the greatest gifts I ever receive and the most filling meal I will ever consume. So keep your Tiffany jewelry, and girls brunch mimosas, and “stay away from me” coupons. I’m a mom. I have three amazing kids who have made me the mom that I am today. Why would I want to celebrate that without them???