A Mother’s Day

For a few years there, I really didn’t care for Mother’s Day. Under my professional exterior, I was consumed by the neverending, desperate cycle of waiting-to-see, getting-bad-news, waiting-to-try-again. Mother’s Day just seemed like one more kick in the shin.

My first Mother’s Day was in 2013. I was a newly-minted mother with a week-old baby. I felt a vague sort of pleasure that I was finally a mom on Mother’s Day, but come on. Anyone who has ever been one week postpartum knows exactly how much I cared about anything at that point, beyond my baby and sleeping and clean dry undergarments.

So in some ways, this was my first real Mother’s Day, and it kind of felt important to me.

In the days leading up to it, I realized how cool it was that Mother’s Day fell so soon after H’s birthday. Him being born was the biggest bestest thing that ever happened to me — it was almost like a second birthday for me, because it changed everything, fundamentally changed who I was. That day gave me hope and strength again. But I didn’t want to be the mom who tried to make her kids’ birthdays about her — so how cool was it that only about a week after my first baby’s birthday, there was a day set out to acknowledge the fact that yeah, something amazing had happened, hey, I was a MOTHER. I was finally in the club. I had finally achieved something I’d dreamed about for so very long. For the first time, Mother’s Day felt less like the commercial “holiday” that it is and more like a sort of spiritually significant occasion.

I know there’s nothing unique about me feeling like having a baby was this momentous thing. I’m not talking about anyone else in the universe here, just myself: The most important thing in my life, the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done or will ever do is having and raising him and hopefully his siblings. I may be a lot of other things, I may have a career, blah blah blah, but the most fundamental, crucial thing about me is that I am H’s mama.

And being a mom has definitely changed my life, sometimes for the harder. Stuff like waking up an hour before anyone else to clean the kitchen, put away the toys, do the dishes/laundry, and pack the diaper bag. Stuff like trading all my daydreams about various projects for day-worries about household tasks that aren’t getting done. But that stuff — the worry and the work — is just part of being a mom, I reckon.

So I celebrated my sorta-first Mother’s Day in true Mom Style, featuring time-honored events like “scrubbing a huge nasty stain off the bathroom floor on my hands and knees,” “eating soggy leftover pizza,” and “spending the entire afternoon getting tires purchased and installed on the family car.” Whee.

Oh well. I guess there’s always Father’s Day.

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