Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Tip: Debunking the Mother's Day myth

Sometimes the best gifts come in hand-painted pots

I had a great day on Mother's Day.  In fact, in my seven years of motherhood, it was hands-down the best Mother's Day I've ever had.  Maybe it's because the sun was shining, it was unseasonably warm and we went to the beach -- one of my all-time favorite places.  Maybe it's because I went for a run with a good friend that morning and returned feeling energized and optimistic.  Or maybe, just maybe, it's because after several years of succumbing to the myth of Mother's Day, I've finally gotten wise to the commercial hype and colossal disappointments.  I've finally recognized that every day is Mother's Day and Moms really don't get a day off.  And, after seven years, I am finally ok with that.

Most moms don't get to sleep late, skip the laundry, overlook the dishes, or have three meals served up on a platter.  But, we do get incredible homemade cards and homegrown plants -- small seedlings in hand-painted pots designed by the same little hands that like to hold ours. These cards, plants and other pieces of handiwork are precious gifts, just like motherhood itself.  Sure it's messy, noisy, crazy, expensive, exhausting and at times, completely overwhelming.  That's why a one-day celebration could never do it justice.  After all, motherhood is a lifelong pursuit, an evolving practice, an enduring responsibility.  With that in mind, here are some tips to dispel the myth and embrace Mother's Day -- each and every day of the year. 
  • Accept that every day is Mother’s Day. You can’t turn off your kids or roll over and make them go away. Trust me, I’ve tried. It doesn’t work. So, on Mother’s Day (and other days as well!), I think it’s best to recall what the point really is… which is not to escape from your children and responsibilities but to embrace them. To give thanks for the small things we take for granted -- like ten fingers and ten toes or sloppy wet kisses or someone small who wants nothing more than an “Uppie”. And, if someone else offers to bring you breakfast in bed, well, that’s ok too – just don’t count on it... and remember, that any given Sunday is a good excuse for someone else to brew the coffee! 
  • Recognize that you deserve more than one day a year to relax. And, it’s up to you to make it happen. While I dream of long bubble baths with candlelight and a cup of tea (or better yet, a glass of wine!), it’s just not happening. If I were ever so lucky to find myself in a warm, sudsy tub, I’m sure I’d be joined by at least one small tot… or worse, one very large dog. So, I’ve found other ways to get in a bit of R&R on a regular basis -- a book club and occasional girls night out do the trick for me; they give me something to look forward to once or twice a month, rather than some mythical day off that only comes once a year.

This year, I didn't get to see my Mom -- you know why?  She was away with my Dad, enjoying one of their favorite places... a sunny beach.  As it turns out, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree and, with my new, improved "myth-free Mother's Day" attitude, I'm looking forward to a "Girls Day" with my Mom in the next few weeks.  It will be our way to celebrate mothers, daughters, friendship and life -- and we have every intention of doing it several times before Mother's Day returns again.  Might I suggest that you do too?


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