Look, we've been friends a while. I love you all dearly. And I'm here to tell you tonight, late on the eve of Mother's Day, to just let it go. Whatever your personal "it" is - just let it...go. Yoga teachers talk a lot about the "acknowledge the thought and release it" business. If you want to get metaphysical, go with that. But otherwise, just let it go.
Because, here's the thing. There's this cultural norm, cultural expectation, that Mother's Day is - what? A bed of white linens (snort. Be serious. Who has the time for white linens after children?) Uninterrupted sleep (double snort - what did you HONESTLY think was going to happen after the stick turned pink? Come on. You can sleep when you're dead. In the interim, these small people SAY and DO the most INTERESTING things! Put them off with a bit of Scooby Doo for an hour or two, but then wake up. By the way, 99% of the last four sentences was directed at me.)
If not the white linens and uninterrupted sleep, at the very least we expect a day without the drudgery, right? I see you all nodding your heads.
But be honest, ladies! First, if you really do leave everyone else to do the laundry, you must accept a certain pink or beige hue to your white linens. Are you able to accept that? If not, maybe you should just save the laundry for Monday, no? Dishes? Well, that can be delegated, I agree, but if you're doing the majority of the cooking in the house, you should damn well train the sprites to do the dishes *every* day, not just on Mother's Day. Kids love responsibility. And as I tell my kids all the time, "I don't *like* folding clothes. It's just one of the things we have to do because we are a FAMILY."
I am using a LOT OF CAPITALS in this post. A LOT! And exclamations! And *asterisks* - loads and loads of *asterisks.*
But here's the thing - if you could design a day to celebrate your becoming a mother, what would it really entail? Maybe a little extra sleep? A little less drudgery? A cake and/or pie? (I vote for "and")
This is *TOTALLY* within the realm of possibility for you. But the tv-commercial vision with the white sheets, sweet song playing in the background, and the sunshine just so? It's time to give up on that one.
Kids are messy. Families are needy. Everyone else had the same idea and is waiting in line at YOUR favorite restaurant. Send the husband and the whiniest child(ren) to the grocery for a few favorite ingredients, make a mess making dinner and ask him/them to clean up. And don't stress about being a martyr. Becoming a mother *is* a form of self-sacrifice. An extreme form, true. But I honestly think we make ourselves sick and upset over not getting the perfect day, when we forget that there just AREN'T perfect days in motherhood. There are perfect moments, and many of them. Perfect pictures drawn by chubby three-year-old hands. Perfectly burned toast, lovingly delivered in bed. Perfect smiles and perfect hugs, perfect dog kisses. Perfect dirt waiting for seeds and plants. Perfectly dirty pants as a result of gardening expeditions. Perfect baby teeth, lost and waiting for tooth fairies. Perfect notes written in imperfect handwriting. Perfect love.
So join me in letting go of the imperfect expectations for a perfect day. Because, in the final analysis, there is no tally over who got the fresh-squeezed orange juice and a rose at her bedside in the morning (truth be told there's probably a mountain of orange pulp and an inch of sticky residue on her countertop!) or who got to sleep the latest (though I am trying out for that honor this year. I hope to make it til at least 10 AM...) and did the least work on Mother's Day. And on your deathbed, you won't be cursing your youngest for tracking in dirt and seeds and making a fuss over her newly potted herbs. You'll remember the moments, the big smiles when you wake up (at long last), the memories of gardening with the kids, the family dinners you made such a regular part of the fabric of your family that they all blend together into one big mush at the dinner table.
And you can rest easy. Because you've let it go. Just not the cake/pie. I think that's a requirement.