This weekend is Mother’s Day. I vividly remember my first Mother’s Day as a mom. My husband and I got dressed up and met my in-laws for a fancy dinner at a country club. It was a total disaster. My baby screamed bloody murder throughout the whole dinner, so I spent most of the evening in a side room trying to calm him down. My breast milk leaked through my dress, so I spent the rest of the evening trying to hide the wet stains around my chest. Not exactly the glamorous Mother’s Day that I had hoped for.
Yet that Mother’s Day was probably a great lesson for me. Life, motherhood, and children are all unpredictable, imperfect, and often times messy. A good Mother’s Day for me now is when all three of my adult children are home and willing to spend some time with me. Throw in my future daughter in law and I’m really winning! Mother’s Day often falls on my birthday, so it’s usually a festive weekend at my house and one I look forward to every year.
I was never much for breakfast in bed or fancy meals out. A walk in the woods with the dog, my husband, and my kids makes for my ideal day. As my oldest son is soon to be a husband, we’ll most likely have to share him and his fiancé on Mother’s Day and that’s how it should be. My two younger children are on their way to adulthood and I know that there may come a Mother’s Day when I won’t get to see all three of them at the same time.
If You’re a Mom, Mother’s Day is Every Day
I’m grateful for a day that honors mothers, but all mothers should know that that one day doesn’t reflect much of what we do every other day of the year. Motherhood is a gigantic physical and emotional journey that is comparable to none other. When my oldest son was born and I held him for the first time, I knew I would never spend another day of life without thinking about him and ultimately his two siblings.
As my nest is soon to be empty, the title of mother isn’t less important to me. However, my role in my children’s life is likely to diminish in many ways – and that’s how it is meant to be. So this Mother’s Day, I vow to avoid the melancholy that takes over as I see my childrens’ orbits moving away from mine. Instead, I will feel the gratitude that washes over me as I see their adult faces and the outline of their adult lives. This motherhood gig has not been for the faint of heart. And yet knowing all that I know, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. You make the world a better place.
Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D., CPC is a professional certified life and executive coach, psychologist, and professional speaker. She helps people tackle that “One day I’ll do this and then I’ll be happy” goal, today. You can reach Lisa at Lisa@lisakaplin.com or lisakaplin.com
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