One need only walk into a local drug store this week to see the proliferation of Mother’s Day cards and assorted accoutrements (Chocolate! Roses! Chocolate Roses!).
Mother’s Day has always been a group experience shared by myself, my mom, assorted aunts and other family members. In fact, since becoming a mom nearly five years ago, I can’t recall one Mother’s Day actually being about just me as a mom. I find myself waking up on this day every year not wanting do much more than roll over, pull a blanket over my head, and get some extra sleep. But I don’t; instead, I dutifully prepare for a group brunch celebration somewhere with the other women and men in my life.
This year, Mother’s Day seems to be more about my son and the “strawberry social” his school is planning for 10:30 am this week. A perfect time for any working mom, right? So for more than a week I have been stressing about how I will leave work, drive 30 minutes down the Parkway, and show up with a beautiful, red pint of strawberries to share with the other moms during circle time. I will then turn around and head back to work. Should Mother’s Day bring me so much stress? Probably not. Isn’t this supposed to be my day?
I do these things because I would walk to the end of the earth for my son, and I get to see his face light up when the mom who never gets to drop him off or pick him up, makes her rare appearance in his classroom door.
Somewhere along the line, I’ve realized my life has become about taking care of everyone around me and ensuring their happiness, while I’ve completely forgotten about taking of myself. I guess this is just one of the many side effects of motherhood. You can see it in the gray hair I haven’t had a moment to address, the nails that haven’t been painted longer than I can remember, and the last ten pounds I’ve been trying to lose for years now. Every time I do find an activity I enjoy like my running classes and kickboxing, I pull away after several weeks feeling guilty that I am spending the precious few hours I do get to spend with my kids after work, without them.
It seems that after all these years, I am still trying to achieve the perfect balance of work, mom and life, which may never come to fruition. I’ve realized that as moms, whether working or stay at home, it’s always about just doing the best we can.
This year, I think I’m going to take Mother’s Day back and make it my own. I might sneak away for a quiet cup of coffee on a beach or a morning solo run. I might use the day to use the bathroom by myself for the first time in nearly five years or take a bubble bath without two tiny heads circling my tub like a pair of sharks. Or, I might just roll over, pull a blanket over my head, and get some extra Z’s.
I love being a mother more than life itself, but this year I will use this one day to be me again. Not a wife, not a mommy, not a daughter—just me.
How will you be spending Mother’s Day? And if you have any tips on achieving balance in your life please share them in the comments below!