I always feel a little bit conflicted about Mother's Day. It's not something that sprang from infertility. It started much earlier than that. I have a distinct memory from my childhood of my mother angrily doing dishes and saying to us, "Well, Happy Mother's Day to me!" I didn't understand why she wasn't happy with the cards that my brother and I made for her and I still don't understand why my father didn't make more of an effort to make her feel special so that her young children didn't have to feel guilty about not doing enough. Of course, I'm not sure anything could have made my mother happy.
These are the memories that come to me when M asks me what I want for Mother's Day. I would be happy with just a card or a nice day together as a family. I'm happy to be a mom every day. M really does make an effort to let me know I'm appreciated and not just once a year. I guess that's my beef with"greeting card holidays". Why can't we make the effort to appreciate each other all of the time?
That being said, maybe Mother's Day should be used as a day of reflection. I read an article online that really made me think. I freely admit that I have fallen victim to the worrying mom syndrome. I look at Luke and instead of seeing a beautiful boy, I see a slow teether who is almost 15 months and still won't pick up and eat anything that isn't a cracker-type thing or a cheerio and still eats a lot of jarred food. Worry, worry, worry. Why can't I focus on the fact that he's perfectly healthy, speaks a hand full of words, loves books and loves to run? Not only are we afraid of how others will judge us, but we are our own worst critics. It's natural to want to protect your kids from everything, but have we gone too far? If you have time, read this commentary. I don't agree 100% with the philosophy, but I do think that she has a point. We judge other moms and dads too much. I'm not talking about the decisions that can cause real harm to a child, but the ones about diet and TV and toys. If, with all of the information that's out there, a parent makes a decision that's different than the one you would have made, then so be it. I am just as bad as anyone when it comes to this kind of thing, but I am going to try to be better.
Motherhood has changed a lot in the last 50 years. We are older, we struggle more to conceive, more of us work outside the home and all of us feel the pressure to be superwoman. I propose that this Mother's Day, whether you are currently a mom, trying to be one, or will soon be one, take this day to appreciate yourself. Take Sunday as a day to forgive yourself and others for decisions that you may have questioned. Look around you and appreciate what you have and hope that it will get even better!