Mother’s Day has evolved into a strange and mysterious thing for me over the years.
When my kids were small, I got things like breakfast in bed (made by my thoughtful husband) and handmade gifts from the little ones. Some years we’d go out to lunch, others we’d eat at home. –The plans changing due to the ever fluctuating financial state of our household. But those days were more about my husband appreciating me for giving him a houseful of children than my children really understanding appreciating me as their mother.
As the kids got older and hit the pre-teen/teen years, Mother’s Day became a day of eating out for lunch (the finances had started to turn around in earnest then) and the kids taking the initiative to do a “group gift”. That was always interesting. When you have half a dozen children and a (then) stepdaughter with extremely different personalities and available funds, it gets very interesting.
My husband would still gift me something lovely –a necklace or some such thing and a book. Always a book. He knows my heart so well.
Now my children are all almost grown and my stepdaughter and I have reached a point in our relationship where we are mother and daughter sans the “step” part of the title. And honestly, every day has a little bit of Mother’s Day in it.
My kids and I text frequently throughout any given day. About their kids (Gigi to two unique grandchildren!), about their day, about my day, about work, about school, and the next family get together. Sometimes the older ones will fit my life into their schedule by house sitting or pet sitting so their dad and I can get away for a day or a weekend. Other days I’m surprised at work by my daughter leaving me a treat on my desk while I’m in a meeting
or my son leaving a note taped to my bike.
And when any (or some) of them visit for lunch…bliss.
Being a mother isn’t easy. There are periods of heartache, stress, and frustration. And sometimes those difficult moments can overshadow the good ones. Like the year I miscarried at ten weeks gestation. Or when we had to enroll one of our sons in boarding school. I cried as we drove away that day. My heart still hurts several years later at his estrangement from our family.
Watching my daughters become mothers is a challenge too. I think the only thing more painful than childbirth, is watching your little girl experience that same physical pain. Oh how I wanted to relieve her of the pain during that forty hour labor. Or seeing your daughter go through the trials of parenting a child with special needs –from medical appointments to surgeries to watching her wistfully wait for yet another milestone to be met. But oh the joy I experience when she celebrates each victory.
I became a mother at the young age of nineteen. Since then I’ve watched my life unfold while raising the children God has blessed me with. I’m grateful for all He has taught me through this adventure and for all He continues to teach me. I no longer have breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day (mostly because I find it weird and uncomfortable). We don’t go out to eat to celebrate (most restaurants are closed here on Sundays). And I don’t see all of my children on that day (a couple live far away and someone always has to work). But that’s okay. Because every day has a little bit of Mother’s Day in it these days.
Whether you're a young mother or a veteran mother, a foster mother, adoptive mother, a stepmother, a mother to the motherless, or a mother-to-be, may this Mother's Day be filled with love. And if you're a grieving mother who no longer has her little one(s) with you, may God give you an extra dose of love not only this day, but every day. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.