Mother’s Day was last week, and what started as a general ‘meh’ feeling eventually descended into an impressive bout of sadness.
Why? That makes no sense. I’ve never suffered a child loss. I have a wonderful mother who is extremely active in our lives. My mother in law is the sweetest. Why would losing a husband cast a shadow over Mother’s Day?
I’ll tell you why. It is a day to appreciate the moms in your life, and the honest truth is that kids don’t appreciate shit.
For married moms, this holiday is when their spouse shows gratitude for everything they do as a mom. We tell ourselves it’s about the kids thanking their moms. The fact is, however, kids are blissfully and sometimes willfully unaware of everything their parents do for them. They take us for granted, demand our constant attention and care, and complain when something does not go according to their ever-changing plans. Their priorities constantly shift. Their expected timelines for action are unrealistic. They do not recognize the inability to complete multiple projects simultaneously within a limited time frame.
They are the worst bosses.
On Mother’s Day, they will thank you for being their mom. You will get lots of hugs and snuggles and kisses, and this is all wonderful and greatly appreciated. But they still don’t GET IT. As evidenced by their persistence in requesting you bring them juice all day long instead of getting it for themselves. Which they are perfectly capable of doing.
So . . . The week leading up to Mother’s Day bursted with talk of plans for the day. The question, “What are you doing for Mother’s Day?” was tossed around, everyone anxiously awaiting a chance to share their plans.
“My husband is going to fix the faucet.”
“I’ve told my husband that I don’t care what we do. I just don’t want to cook at all that day. He’s going to cook or order the meals.”
“We have brunch reservations.”
“He and the kids do that whole breakfast in bed thing. It’s always such a mess, though!”
At some point, sometimes, a lull in the conversation would cause everyone to realize I hadn’t shared. The question would be shot directly at me.
“So, do you have any big plans for Mother’s Day?”
“Um, oh, well. I’ll just be taking it easy that day, you know? Get some reading and some crocheting done. Maybe paint my nails.” All the women nod wisely at this planned day of deserved self care.
It’s a lie, though.
My mom made sure the kids got me little gifts, which was super nice. One kid woke me up to wish me Happy Mother’s Day. The other let me sleep and gave me a hug and a Happy Mother’s Day when I came downstairs.
Then I made breakfast, washed the dishes, started a load of laundry. The kids played video games. I broke up fights, brought juice and snacks, made lunch, washed the dishes. I picked socks up off the floor while complaining loudly. I pulled some weeds in the flowerbed and made the kids come outside with me where they whined incessantly about their mean mom daring to make them breathe fresh air.
I’ve made it sound like a miserable day. It wasn’t. It was a nice day, with nice weather and no real plans. A typical Lazy Sunday. It was just that, however — typical.
I have nobody in my home to give me a break by making meals and tending to the kids’ needs. I have nobody to rally the kids to perform some ridiculous and messy but heartwarming gesture. Nobody makes me breakfast. Nobody repairs or paints anything. Nobody takes me to brunch. (Bringing two kids to brunch by myself on the busiest brunch day of the year isn’t enticing.) Nobody who really understands the challenges and rewards of parenting our kids is there to tell me that they notice and appreciate me.
His absence on this day crushes me.
Oh, and Moms and Muffins can go eff off.