I don't like it much.
Every year I have hopes and expectations. They get crushed within moments of getting out of bed.
As usual I was the first one up this past Sunday morning. I showered early so there was plenty of time to get everyone up and ready for church. As I came downstairs I noticed the breakfast table wasn't set. At our house this is a regular chore. It is to be done at bedtime each night by one of the children. Mother's Day. It was forgotten. Not done.
My mind started its fuming. I have to admit I had a temper tantrum. I decided right then and there I would get myself ready, and we would see how everyone else managed on their own.
7:15 rolled around. One child showed up. I asked, "You up to make some breakfast?" My hopes were squashed as she headed to the shower.
7:45. Children rolled out of bed. They wanted to know when breakfast was. I told them I didn't know and continued getting ready. My husband began setting the table and getting breakfast. I felt a tad guilty now. I didn't intend for him to fill in for my stubborn absence.
8:10. A child asked if he could go ahead and eat because he needed to be at church early. I grouchily told him to do whatever he wanted.
8:15 Children began sitting down at the breakfast table and waiting for breakfast to be served. My blood was boiling now. They were sitting there and waiting as their dad finished up breakfast preparations!
8:20 Breakfast was served. My husband asked the children if they had told their mother "Happy Mother's Day." Children parroted back, "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!" The words seemed empty. Something said out of obligation.
9:00 We were off to church. I smiled and said "thank you" to everyone who wished me "Happy Mother's Day," but I was not feeling it. I wanted my own children to make the day special.
During the afternoon I took Kaishawn and Avarie upstairs for nap time. After reading them books and getting them settled in for a nap, I buried myself in my comforter and slept for awhile. I tried to hide from my negative thoughts in a blanket of sleep. However, I still was hoping that maybe I would be surprised when I awoke and would find the house cleaned up or a gift or something.
3:00. I came downstairs. My daughter, Amber, pulled me aside and showed me a power point presentation that she had made for me for Mother's Day. It was sweet and was a drop of healing balm on my raw emotions.
3:15 I made the mistake of walking into the living room. Kids were sprawled out around the room playing on game devices. Newspapers and books were scattered across the floor. Toys lay everywhere. I decided to go on a walk. As I left I suggested rather loudly, "Perhaps for Mother's Day someone could clean this place up."
4:15 I came in the house and found the living room has been vacuumed but otherwise things were still in disarray. I snapped back into mother mode. It was Mother's Day. I should not have to live in this mess. If my children couldn't see what needed done, I would help them. Everyone was assigned several chores and within the hour the house was whipped back into shape.
Towards bedtime one of my boys asked me if I had a Happy Mother's Day. I told him it was "ok," but I had been disappointed. He said, "But I vacuumed the living room for you and cheerfully asked if there was anything else that needed done when you gave out chores." I told him I appreciated that, but I guess I had hoped my children would have taken more initiative. He walked off. I could tell he felt bad. I didn't mean to hurt him with my expectations.
Truly that is what it was. My expectations and my focus was on "me" rather then on the blessings God has given me. I saw pictures on social media of sweet things children had done for their mothers. I expected my children to be like them. Honestly though, those posts of sweet hand made cards and breakfast in bed and elaborate gifts were few and far between. It could be that many mothers had days similar to mine.
I think I learned some important lessons this Mother's Day. I hope I did. I didn't enjoy my temper tantrum any more this year than in past years. I want next year to be different.
Mother's Day is not about ME. I focused on "me" rather than on the blessings God has given me. Next year I want to focus on my children and the gift each one of them is in my life. I have known loss this year, and I know things can change quickly. I should have been soaking up the moments with my children who are home rather then resenting their lack of appreciation for me.
Mother's Day is a day set aside to honor our mothers. It is a Biblical ideal to honor our parents. It is not Biblical to honor oneself. I should have been focusing on my mother rather then on myself.
Mother's Day is just a day out of 365 days. My children bless me many times over throughout the year with notes, special gifts, surprises, hugs, words of praise, and by volunteering for extra chores. How much more meaningful should those times be to me then the day of the year when they may feel obligated to say and do things because the calendar says it is Mother's Day?
I went back to my hurt son. I saw tears in his eyes. It tore at my heart. Reaching up I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and said, "You know what means more to me then anything you could have done for me on Mother's Day? It is those times every single day that you come in and you say, "How are you, fantastic? You are wonderful. You are the best. Mom, you are awesome. You don't know how much those words build me up and make me feel good. Thank you!"
From the heart of a mother about Mother's Day.
|Photo from freedigitalphotos.net|