Mother’s Day is one of those days when social media feeds are filled with beautiful pictures of families with their kids all dressed up, big smiles. Although I love seeing the endless stream of these cutie pies and well wishes, these photos represent just one teeny tiny snippet of motherhood. Most of us, including myself, don't post pictures of what motherhood is really like. Or what is actually going on in our households on Mother’s Day, or any other day. This is a disservice, not only to one another but especially to new mothers.
Motherhood is a shock to the system. It is every single emotion wrapped up into one sleep deprived experience, buried under a pile of responsibility, vulnerability, and laundry. Sometimes we can ride the full roller coaster over the course of one day. It's nothing like the way it is sold to us in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. Becoming a parent is not simply life altering. It is the dedication of all ones humanly resources for the betterment of another, with no expectation of reciprocity. It is pure unadulterated love and beauty. It is also an experience that can bring you to your knees, isolate you from those that can no longer relate to your life, and push you to the limits of your emotional and physical capacities. It fills your heart with love while it pours salt in all your childhood wounds. You know, those things you thought you had dealt with eons ago. No one can truly appreciate a mother like another mother. Only other mothers can know the depth of the emotion that encases this experience.
A moment of peace. This is what keeps me going.
Nanny? How did you ever manage life with six kids? "Well, I knew I could always call and ambulance and if the cops didn't knock on my door I knew it was a good day" -Ellen Farfel, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother & Mother-in-Law Extraordinaire
No, I don't do coke...though I probably could use some. That's just 'cooking' misspelled.
While being a mother is certainly my life's most joyous and greatest accomplishment, it is absolutely CRAZY. And saying it’s hard would be a gross understatement. So this year instead of just posting a cute photo of my family looking happy I would like to salute all the moms out there in the trenches. The moms who break down in tears after making the third breakfast of the day that the kids turned their noses up at, (I know, I know. My childless friends…You will NEVER cook three breakfasts when YOU become a parent). Later hearing; “Mommy, you are the bestest mommy in the whole universe.” and then...”You're the worst mom ever because you won't (insert completely insane request here)”. For all the moms who bite their tongues, who hide their chocolate, who consider that three seconds between strapping a kid in the backseat, closing the door, and walking around to the driver side...a full out vacation. For the moms who clean out all the potties and have mastered the art of catching vomit with their hands. You know who you are. This Mothers Day photo montage is for you.
Stepping on a blueberry fresh out of the shower. Classic. No need to inform me that I'm overdue for a pedicure. My son already told me that if he had a job he would have bought me the Ped Egg for my crackly mom feet. And the NoNo.Apparently I could use that, too.
Someday I will be done with the laundry, I swear.
Like many of you, am I doing laundry today? Yes. And instead of the beautiful handmade necklace I saw in the store window at Foolish Ginger, I received two bags of coffee beans that my husband went out to get this morning while I stayed home cooking those three breakfasts. Getting shot in the butt with Nerf pellets as I cleaned up the aftermath. Just like any other ordinary day.
Look! My crows feet Kinda make me look like I have a cat eye smoky thing going on, right?
Lunch went surprisingly well! The woman with the drink in
one hand and a small child in the other, that's me.
Growing up my mother used to always sing "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need." I hated it. But it turned out to be true. I woke up next to my youngest daughter singing happy Mother's Day Mommy! And even though it was 6:00am, it exploded my heart with delirious joy. That kind of gift can't be bought at Starbucks or even Foolish Ginger. Did I want jewelry? Yes. But what I really needed was kisses from my babies, coffee, some hard and true words of wisdom from my mother-in-law, and at clock out time... A nice glass of mom juice. GOT IT. Happy Mothers Day to all the sturdy but flexible, vulnerable yet fierce moms out there juggling all the balls. And especially to those who hold us up. XOXO
Can't wait till Father's Day so I can take a nap, too.