Every year, I hear at least one person whine about Mother’s Day.
Ugh. I have to get a card.
I have to go buy something.
Stupid, commercialized holiday.
I have to go visit Mom.
I know many kids and spouses who couldn’t muster up a crap about Mother’s Day. But, I think most mothers really care about Mother’s Day. They may say they don’t. They may say don’t bother to visit, they know you’re busy. They may ask you to please not spend any money on them. They may say it’s not a big deal, but I’m willing to bet they’re lying.
The truth is, we need some praise and this is the one day of the year we expect it.
From the moment the stick turns blue, we give up their beloved lattes, research proper prenatal care, spend countless hours worrying, cry at the sight of their babies on ultrasound screens, have cankles, spend months without sleeping comfortably, pee constantly and our bellies are touched by strangers, which is a whole new level of weird, I assure you. We have loved and cared for our babies since they were the size of soybeans.
When it’s go time, we labor for hours, (sometimes days), we conquer our greatest fears, we realize that we’re stronger and
braver than we could have imagined, we experience greater pain than we knew existed, we make choices different than our plans, we push our bodies far further than we knew they could go and we do it all for that moment when we hold our babies in our arms. It doesn’t matter if we did through adoption, natural birth, medicated birth, c-section, whatever method we used to get our baby here, it was a struggle.
When we have newborns, we sleep in two-hour stretches (if we’re lucky), we recover from birth while we help our babies adjust to life, we’re scared, we feed our babies constantly, we let them sleep in our arms even if it means we don’t get to move, we do anything to protect them, we spend hours just staring at them, wondering how we made something so perfect, wondering how we can love someone so instantly, so much.
When we have toddlers, we stay calm through the tantrums, sometimes the only TV we watch is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, we teach them new concepts and celebrate them when they catch on, we read the same book over and over because it’s their favorite, we tuck them in at night and find excuses to peek at their sweet little sleeping faces and our hearts melt when they finally hug, kiss us back and tell us they love us too for the first time.
When we have kids, we hang their macaroni art on the walls like they were Monet, we attend their recitals and applaud them like stars, we comfort them when the bully at the playground called them a poophead, we pay to see Sesame Street Live even though we’d rather go to a concert, (or anything other than Sesame Street Live), we go to ball games even if they sit on the bench, we clean play-dough out of upholstery, we play dress up, we have tea parties, we do all these things to give our kids a happy childhood.
When we have teenagers, we stay up until curfew to make sure they got in safe, we teach them to drive even those the experience might rival the terror of childbirth, we comfort them when their hearts break for the first time, we watch them make horrible fashion choices, we stay up late helping with homework we no longer understand and we love them unconditionally, even when they’re at their most awkward, even when we’re at our least cool.
When we have adults, we offer advice and support them when they make bad decisions anyway, we celebrate their successes, we comfort them through their failures, we keep their secrets, we love the ones they choose to love and we take enormous pride in the people they’ve become.
From the moment we became mothers, we’ve celebrated our babies every day. When they are born, when they take their first step, when they poop, when they graduate, every single day is cause for some celebration. Being mothers is more than what we do, it’s truly who we are. It’s completely changed nearly every aspect of our lives and most of the time, we’re just so grateful for the opportunity to be our sweet babies’ mom.
So, yes, you better at least grab a card.
Happy Mother’s Day, to all you glorious mamas. Thanks for all that you do <3