Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

I'm going to get a little personal here. I love being a mother to my kids, but I don't necessarily like the way I feel on Mother's Day. It hasn't felt like my day. That sounds selfish. I ought to think more about what Heavenly Father has given me, all that my mom has done for me, and how I can be a better daughter to her, but I'm writing about what my feelings were. This year I had to do things for the kids from the moment I woke up until maybe an hour later. (I realize that I didn't ask my husband for help, and I don't always let him know what I want). I don't need it to be a whole day off from mothering, but on Mother's Day I wanted to feel a little more honored by my own family. I wanted to receive a letter of appreciation or something. Two of my friends sent me text messages wishing me a happy Mother's Day; thank you! My 5-year-old drew a picture for me . . . because her teacher at church had the kids draw for their moms. I hinted once about a gift, but my husband is not working full-time yet. It's okay. We had spent money on just me already this year. He has a lot on his mind, and I also know now that he was in the middle of a few emotionally hard days. 
What really matters is that I got to spend time with my little family, my mom and my mother-in-law. There were plenty of good things about this Mother's Day. I felt guilty that I wasn't in a more cheerful mood. I was sad because not only was I not receiving the acknowledgement I wanted, I wasn't giving it. The day seemed to sneak up on me. I would have been happier if I had actually done the project I'd thought about -- a craft with our older girls, which we did make and give to their Nana after Mother's Day. Although I'm still figuring out how to balance life with three kids, I/we should have prepared something, at least a card, to give our moms that weekend. I felt guilty when my dad and step-mom brought flowers to me the day before Mother's Day (and WHY can't I keep any plant alive, ever??). 
On Mother's Day I did have some time to myself. Around 10 a.m., while C napped, it was nice to be able to sit down with my scriptures and some herbal tea. I hadn't drunk herbal tea in a long time, and had even forgotten we had some.
For part of our lunch, I steamed carrots. I let the baby watch me chop them. I'm sharing the photo even though my experiment with putting coconut oil on my hair was embarrassing (it took a few days for my hair to not look greasy anymore).

D's mom came to church (1-4 p.m.) with us, but we didn't get a picture of her. She, Shboogoo and I almost missed the Primary kids' songs about mothers, because Shboogoo had left to use the potty. They had started singing the first song, and we had her quickly go up to join them. It's fun having my daughter up there, smiling down at me every few seconds.

My mother-in-law gave me a really sweet card that means much more to me than the restaurant gift card she put inside it. She went to beauty school when she was about 18 years old, so I asked her about the coconut oil problem. She is definitely a people person. She is really good at listening, saying things in a nice way, and making people feel good about themselves. Both of our moms are excellent moms.

We went to my mom's house soon after church to eat dinner with her. On the way (my husband usually drives, which I like), I read a post that was written May 7th. It is not specifically about Mother's Day, but this part of it made me cry:

I feel a little weird about birthdays… I mean, mine, in particular. Not yours, go party it up, my friend. To me, this day feels like it ought to be more of a celebration of my own rockstar mother who, you know, grew me in her womb, and puked every morning, and put up with my insane labor and refusal to be born. I mean if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be here, but more than that, she kept me alive during the early years, when I couldn’t feed myself or wipe my own bum. And taught me how to be a nice person, and wrote “you are wonderful” sticky notes and left them in my room and in my lunches while I suffered through elementary school, and waited up for me in her silky nightgown so I could tell her about my dates all through high school, and cried at my wedding, and held all my own new babies, and taught me how to breastfeed and how it was okay to occasionally shut one’s self inside the bathroom to sit on the potty and cry. 
And here we are throwing presents and balloons in my direction like, “Congratulations! You stayed alive for another year!” When everything I know that is good and true and solid and real is all because I had an incredible mother… and father… he did play a small part in everything. Ha ha, a huge part, really. I’m just so thankful for them both. Love you mom, dad. Thanks for having me.

So, we had dinner together. My sister had made our main dish: cheesy broccoli chicken casserole. I brought a salad and banana-oat bars (recipe in The Eat Right America Nutritarian Handbook). My mom made a yummy carrot cake. It was a nice evening. I love these people so much!

I have learned things from each of our children's grandmas. I'm glad my dad had the idea for this photo (taken in early May; left to right is my step-mom, mother-in-law, mom ("Nana"), and step-mom-in-law).

I think it was a day or so after Mother's Day that I read and loved this post on Mama Birth, titled "I Want Something on Mothers Day." (I'm sure there are other great ones in my Reader that I haven't had time for yet.) Go read the whole thing, but here's part of it. Do you agree with her?
Sometimes my children can and should care about me and think about me and spoil me. 
This isn't even really about stuff though- I think we all know that.  It is about the kind of people I want my children to BE. 
A good mother devotes years of her life to her children.  She may have other interests, hobbies, work, and time commitments.  But for almost 20 years, much of that revolves around her children and their needs.  Why does she do it?  For a bracelet once a year? 
No.  She does it because she wants to raise good people.  Good people who think of others first sometimes.  Good people who are grateful for the things other people do for them.  Good people who are thoughtful and kind and loving.  Good people who recognize that sometimes duty to those around us and those we love can make the world a better place.  I try to do all the things FOR my children that I someday want to see them do for OTHERS. 
This motherhood thing isn't just for kicks or fun or entertainment or even online feelings of superiority- there is an end goal.  That end goal is a deeply good person.  A human being who brings love and joy and honor to the world. 


  1. Being a mom is hard work! Maybe it shouldn't be on a Sunday- a day when you have to get yourself and several little ones ready and out the door for church! It would be nice to sleep-in, relax, and cuddle with those little treasures for a few hours instead. :)
    Love the quote at the end.
    You are a great mom!

  2. I'm sorry you didn't feel as appreciated or honored this year. You are such a great mom and example to me! Love you!


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