To start with, this post is probably going to make me look horrible. I swear I’m not. I love my kids. I love my husband. I love love love my family with all of my life and every fiber of my being. But…sometimes it’s a bit much. I mean, the whole family and life and commitment to taking care of other human beings 24/7 thing. It’s a lot. And you’d think Mother’s Day would be validating, and wonderful, and give me every bit of the bump I need to keep on mothering, but instead, I inevitably end up in tears sitting in my closet with a pint of ice cream and a head full of ‘what if’s’. Seriously, am I the only mom who always seems to end up in tears on Mother’s Day?
Am I The Only Mom Who Always Seems To End Up In Tears On Mother’s Day?
It usually starts out like this: the kids come into the room, ushered by my husband, and they’ve made some sort of breakfast for me. My husband, because he’s a man and doesn’t think everything through, has decided to let them make it themselves.
So then I end up choking down scrambled eggs that are more shell than egg, and toast that has some sort of grit on it…plus cat hair. I’m guessing it fell on the floor. I’m guessing they picked it up and put it back on the plate.
And I’m grateful. I’m so grateful that they thought of me. Their smiling happy faces are shining down at me, expectantly waiting for the, “It’s wonderful! Thank you so much!” And I give it to them.
Then I get out of bed and it’s time to tackle the disaster that is the kitchen. Again, my hubster could have intervened, but he’s off mowing the lawn now and probably didn’t even notice the scrambled egg that dripped from the counter into the silverware drawer, managing to somehow hit every single piece in the process.
That’s what dishwashers are for though, right? So I clean. It’s my special day, after all!
And again, so grateful. So so grateful. The kids are happy, and healthy, and thoughtful and – wait – where’s the dog?
Part of surprising me for breakfast meant they decided to lock the dog in the utility room so I could eat my egg-shell omelet in peace. The utility room that also houses the cat litter box. I open the door and the dog streaks out of there like someone lit his tail on fire.
A quick glimpse inside confirms my fears: used cat litter now covers every bare surface of the floor in the utility room.
I grab the broom and mop so I can take care of this mess now, too.
“Mom, can I go to Posey’s house?” the oldest hollers. “Her family’s going to the water park for Mother’s Day.”
Sure, why the hell not? Posey’s mom just had twins and is already back into a bikini-ready size 2.
I’ve been carrying around baby weight for the better part of a decade.
I’m not bitter, mind. I love my life. I love my family. My daughter made a ceramic something-or-other in class and gave it to me after school. I’m not sure what it is, but it has “mom” written on the side, so I’ll cherish it forever. It kind of looks like a boob. I don’t think it’s a boob, but that’s what it kind of looks like.
Kitchen’s clean. Utility room is clean. And now the husband has stopped mowing, so that means it’s time to vacuum the grass clippings up off the carpet from when he wandered back inside.
It’s not noon yet and I’m exhausted already. I just wanted to sleep in. Is that too much to ask? I’d love a Mother’s Day where everyone goes away for the day and I’m left to the peace and quiet of my house and maybe a bath and maybe a cocktail.
But I’d hate that, too. Mommy guilt would kick in and I’d hate myself for wishing my family away on my ‘special day’.
Which is how I always end up in tears on the closet floor: it’s my day and I find myself in this ever-present tug-of-war between loving my family and wishing they’d just leave me the hell alone.
What kind of mommy am I?
My son comes up to me after the daughter has left. “Mommy, since we made you breakfast can we have McDonald’s for dinner?”
The food is awful for him, but at least I won’t have to clean. “Absolutely.”
In a few hours I’ll be regretting that decision. And the decision to let my daughter spend my special day with another family. And I’ll feel bad for being mad at my husband for not helping out more that morning even though he went out to mow the lawn without me having to say a single word about the knee-high grass in the backyard.
There’s so much pressure put on this one day that it’s no wonder I always break. But for right now my son’s looking up at me with those big brown eyes that came from his dad and he says, “Thanks, Mommy. You’re the best.”
And even though I’ll hate myself later, in that moment I really do feel like I’m the most fortunate mom in the world.