I always feel too busy for celebrations like Mother’s Day. It seems like we shouldn’t do much of anything to celebrate because there are too many other things that need to be done. My birthday is the same way. It is about two weeks before Mother’s Day and the same is usually true: there just doesn’t seem to be time to step back and look away from the list that is looming at me in order to relish in celebration of myself.
Perhaps, I am a little too type A?
Don’t get me wrong though, I delight in the handmade gifts or those gifts planted by tiny hands.
I cherish the placemats and artwork that center around me as a mom.
Maybe it is just because, these days, we are just especially busy during the month of May. Or, perhaps it is because everything that is motherhood makes you pause and think you just don’t have time to step away and relish in the celebration. It takes concentration to distract you from the humdrum lists so you can relish in the joy of the crudely prepared, tepid breakfast in bed.
Then, there are the exhausting battles to dress your children for Mother’s Day Tea or brunch. Especially if your child is insistent upon wearing his two-sizes too small Thomas the Train shirt. You succumb to the small but strong force because it is his favorite and that is what he wants to wear to celebrate you. But the battle still hurts. You still want the perfect picture with the pressed button-down shirt.
Ultimately, you convince yourself it is cute. And, you are right.
The children wanted to go to the Melting Pot for my birthday. I love that place – everything is so tasty and delicious, but we literally couldn’t make the time. We don’t make time for a lot, including the celebration of important things. But I realize in hindsight that it isn’t about time. It is about being purpose-driven. If you are determined you will make the time. Otherwise, you succumb to being distracted by the minutia.
You shouldn’t let that happen.
On Mother’s Day morning, we called into a stellar Mother’s Day brunch to see if there were any reservations left. Of course there weren’t. All they could offer was to add us to the hefty waiting list. It didn’t make sense anyway. We had so much to do. That is why we didn’t plan ahead anyway. Or, perhaps it is because we weren’t purpose-driven.
We just moved, or should I say we have been moving for the last six days including the last several loads of miscellaneous things we toted over on Mothers Day. And, as I mentioned here, moving is one of the worst things ever, except that it really isn’t.
The Friday before Mother’s Day we put our beloved German Shepherd, Bella, to sleep. Oh my goodness. She was the best of the best. We are heartbroken.
She was our first ‘child.’ We knew for a while that we were going to have to say goodbye to her. She was almost thirteen. We were preparing for the inevitable, as I wrote here, but when I wrote that I didn’t realize we could never actually be prepared. She was the first living thing we loved together. We cut our teeth on nurturing and providing for her with all of our hearts. All of our souls.
She loved us unconditionally and deeply and more than we could ever imagine.
My heart hurt on Mother’s Day morning wishing we had waited just a few more days, so I could thank her one more time for making me a dog mom. So I could have a picture with her and my three children – one more of all of us together on Mother’s Day.
In the wee hours of Mother’s Day morning I was awakened from my slumber by the crying of my daughter. It was a good reminder for why there is a day to celebrate moms. I gathered her from her bed and took her to ours so she could retreat safely from whatever it was that frightened her. It was a not-so-nice reminder of what it is all about (look, I cherish my sleep!). A reminder of why there is a day for all of us mothers.
After our mother’s day tea at preschool, a sweet friend shared the answer her children gave her when she asked them all individually, “Who loves you more than anything?” All three of them answered, “Daddy.” She stays home with her brood – living in the trenches, nurturing bodies and souls, kissing booboos, feeding tummies, wiping bottoms and breaking up fights. To them it is the mediocrity of every day- even though in reality it is much of what will make them who they are.
And, let’s be real – she keeps them alive every day!
I don’t think that all the blood, sweat and tears will never be appreciated by the child while they are a child. Instead, it is reflected upon by the adult child who suddenly realizes the sacrifices of motherhood. Even if it takes bearing or beginning to raise their own children. Adult children look back with amazement, grace and appreciation. Young children don’t and really, they aren’t supposed to demonstrate understanding of sacrifice yet. They hold it in their subconscious and instead delight in snuggles and chewing gum.
They are a gift to us. We celebrate because of them.
That is how it is supposed to be, but knowing that doesn’t make it easier for moms. That is why there is Mother’s Day.
Not many of us really focus on moms the other days of the year. The world is generally a self-serving or be served by mothers world. That’s why you must be purpose-driven on days created purposefully to celebrate you. And, why you must be purpose-driven a few of the other 364 days of the year to keep your soul nourished and fed with fellowship and rest. One day is not enough.
Next Mother’s Day I will try. That is – unless our house has just been finished and we are moving. Again. Woe is me in advance! Will someone please fix me a breakfast casserole or lasagna if that is the case? 😉
Anyway, I really hope you all enjoyed your day and that you were not distracted by the minutia long enough to enjoy whatever spoils were bestowed upon you by your little ones. Hugs to you all!
The History of Mother’s Day
The celebration of mothers dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, but the most-modern example for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival, “Mothering Sunday.” It was seen as a time when the faithful would return to their main church in the vicinity of their home, or their “mother church” for a special service.
As time passed, the tradition of “Mothering Sunday” transformed into a more secular holiday. Children would give their mothers flowers and other gifts.
Mother’s Day as we know it today was established as the result of efforts of Anna Jarvis. After her own mother passed away, she came up with Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices moms make for their offspring. The first celebration was in Grafton, West Virginia.
She started a letter campaign to newspapers and politicians advocating for Mother’s Day to be added to the national calendar. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially making the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day.
Interestingly, later Jarvis went on to spend a substantial amount of effort and money to have the holiday removed from the calendar. She envisioned a day as a simple, yet official, celebration of mothers. But once it was a national holiday, it became highly commercialized, which led to her disgust. She urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. Her efforts obviously failed and now Mother’s Day is one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending.
Mother’s Day celebrations are found worldwide, yet traditions vary by country. Regardless of the differences, they all have one thing in common – the celebration of mothers.
Journey on and be purpose-driven, so you can relish in the celebrations!
xo, Melissa (a.k.a. the mamabrain at mamabrains)