Here I am, just days away from another Mother’s day; it’s pretty much pressing right up against me and I feel...grrrrr.
Can I just be honest??? I really don't love mother’s day! I feel like the worst mom in the world for admitting (out loud) that my day, Mother’s Day, is one of my least favorite days of the year.
I loved honoring my mom as a kid. I felt so proud of all of my handmade (school-made) cards and crafts. But something changed inside of me after becoming a mom. I got CRAZY! I’m a total nut job...only when it comes to this “holiday”. I don’t think I’m quite as wacko about other occasions (at least I hope I'm not). Most of my reasons for detesting Mother’s Day are completely illogical. I can maybe pin a bit of my negativity to commercialism, and all the pressure to be adequately...no, SUPREMELY honored. It’s stressful! It sort of builds an irritating expectation of grandiosity. But my other reasons are 100% emotional and VERY shifty.
I’m up and I’m down. I can easily settle (Monday) on “alone time” for my Mother’s day plan only to find myself (Tuesday) in a complete kink over that plan, mourning my impending distance from my kids and husband. I get to judging myself for wanting to cut my family out of my one day, the day that they’re hoping to honor me on.
Of course the opposite is just as equally possible. Many a year, I’ve planned and agreed on a “family day” of actively bonding, (take note that I’ve solidly agreed to the whole deal), then found myself feeling strangled by regret and resentment...because EVERY SINGLE ONE of my days includes my kids. So I begin wondering why I didn’t just give myself the break I could have taken.
Each year I struggle with feeling like Mother’s day is that ONE day that should be capable of holding a year’s worth of personal time and fulfillment in it...OK, maybe not a full year’s worth, but close. So, I arrive at mother’s day with a whole heap of expectations. Many of which I haven’t a clue of until my day has come and gone. Then I feel a sort of sad longing for more. I don’t mean “more” in a purely materialistic sort of way, but “more” in an “I’m not sure that the day was all I hoped it would be”, sort of way. But either way, geez, it sounds so spoiled out loud. Ick!
Mother’s day was so much easier when all I needed to do was honor my mom...and that was it! I never got the sense that she felt crazy inside the way I do. Although, I have to say, I’m just crazier over all than she is. But I think this Mother’s day, what I’m coming to understand is this: my expectations drive my unhappiness.
I wish it weren’t so and I wish I could place all the blame for my ‘Mother’s day blues’ squarely in the lap of someone else, but I can’t. I’ve always believed that possessing some level of expectation is a healthy thing. I always thought that living with zero expectation places faith in nothing and equals trust in no one. It’s a confidence in the flaws of others as opposed to allowing oneself to believe that a person might be capable of fulfilling a desire. A person whose divorced themselves of expectations has always seemed to me to be a person who's too afraid to feel the pain of being let down by a loved one. Padding one’s heart with no expectations minimizes pain and loss but doesn't allow anyone close either.
Maybe there are healthy places for lowered expectations. Because here’s the deal: at the end of the day, on any ordinary day, I know my family appreciates me. Most of all, I know my husband appreciates me. I know they all love me. I know that my husband knows that he couldn’t do this wild ride without me, so screw you mother’s day, for messing with my mind! Come Sunday, my expectations will be officially lowered...hopefully.
Happy uncorrupted Mother's Day to all you fellow mamas!
Writer and fellow traveler on the road of life.