The best Mother’s Day because I let it go
Although my memory is starting to fail me, I think this was the best Mother’s Day I’ve had in my 10 years of parenting. Infection and all. And I think it was the best day because I let it go…
This wee blog is to all the tired mums, the guilty mums, the mums that have cried today, or at any stage this week. The mums who have lost mums, the mums who have missed out on being someone’s mum, the PND mums, the anxious mums, the chilled mums, the disappointed mums, the mums that are still in a bit of shock that they are mums. To the typically happy mums, the mums who signed up for this willingly, and the mums who didn’t (and did it anyway)… I may not have experienced what you’re going through, but I see you.
And I want you to know that if you were a little disappointed this Mother’s day, don’t despair; it gets better… just hang in there.
I’m not sure what I expected…
Honestly, I think I’ve learnt to stop expecting. It’s true. I’m not sure what I expected parenting to be like, but I didn’t know it was going to be quite like this… the highs, the lows, and the constant doubting that you’ve made the right call. Is it the right decision if it varies from the recommended advice of well-meaning friends and family?
Sometimes I’ve wanted to get off the parenting train…. I may even have emailed MY MUM this weekend and told her I was going to move to a Greek island and adopt stray cats… I had a low day. Sometimes even adulting is hard.
In my world at least, parenting isn’t all giggles and happy families..
so if parenting itself is a bit of a journey, what should I expect Mother’s day to be like? Maybe I didn’t want to set myself up to be disappointed.
But I am going to document this year, to remind myself it’s not always bad.
Always on the go
I have “different” kids, they’re a bit needy at times, so let’s just say my two are a little impatient for things to happen (both were born early, and they haven’t stopped since).
And because my children don’t sit still for long, I relish the times I can rest these days. Long gone are my dreams of active holiday destinations. 1. Because my children are expensive, so “real” holidays don’t happen anywhere as often as I’d like; and 2. After becoming a mum I’d love nothing more than sitting by the pool or beach and sipping cocktails for more than 5 minutes…. actually stopping… so the whole “active” part just isn’t on my holiday agenda anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still after a holiday, but a much more sedate one these days.
And now my two are older. Both at school and able to fend for themselves in most aspects around home (apparently). You’d think there’d be the odd 30-minute stint where I could sit in the sun with a book and just chill. [insert Tui Ad here]. Yes, I’ve tried it… and I probably have received 5 minutes of peace… before someone says something, and the squabbles start.
Welcome to my world… so excuse me if I don’t really buy into Mother’s Day (although the sentiment behind it is appreciated).
Three days of REST
However, this year I had a mother’s long weekend. Not just ONE day… but THREE. Well, kind of.
Laid up with an infection I missed Mother’s morning at school on Friday (I was bummed by this, but not sure if I was as disappointed as my heart of hearts tells me I should be)… so after school my daughter just HAD to give me the card she made at school.
And the card she’d made me the night before….
There was no hope of her waiting until Sunday.. She was so excited with her woven card… and I love that she is our writer and that she adds narratives at every opportunity (including labels and speech bubbles)… I don’t even mind that her pictures of me made me look like a bald monk with really long 70s side burns. (But seriously, she’s a great little artist – most of the time).
In a bored Saturday moment my dyslexic ADHD son made me a “card” too. Which he wanted to give me straight away; everything has to be done yesterday around here (unless it’s tidying up that is). I love his effort and that he has expanded on the “I love you” he memorised at age 5. This catch phrase has expanded, slightly. But progress is progress and I always get a giggle out of his quirky writing. I love the effort and I love the way his brain works. This year he “loves me so March”. Bless.
One wish …. for Peace
But my one wish as a mum is that they would be nice to each other (at least since the day they both could talk). Peace would reign in our household (simply because as a general rule I have sleep sorted).
Now, I’m still young enough to remember my childhood (barely) and I know that brothers and sisters are a bit like cats and dogs ( the dog doesn’t chase the cat if I’m in the room and watching, but the moment my back is turned….). I think I started getting on with my brother once we had both left home and we were in our 20’s… so I KNOW that bickering is normal.
But I can still hope..
Hope that the simple fact that it’s Mother’s Day and that my children would want to PLEASE their mother for more than 5 minutes by actually being NICE to each other while in the same room.
It wasn’t too bad really…
In all honesty it wasn’t too bad, largely due to me having to rest to get better, Hubby took on all household duties. Meals, and housework. And he entertained the kids with movies and device time. And it worked to an extent, while they were distracted by screens there was calm. But I don’t like to use screens as my children typically don’t behave well after them.
I agree with the World Health Organization (WHO) latest guidelines. The WHO have recommended that infants under 1 year should not be exposed to electronic screens at all, and that children aged between 2 and 4 years should not have more than one hour of “sedentary screen time” each day (I know, sometimes TV is the baby-sitter and I get that).
My children are older, so some screen time is OK, yet I have seen the withdrawal effects first hand and see why psychologists are calling screen time “digital heroin” or “electronic cocaine”. It’s much easier for me to stop screen usage at home than to recover from the fall out afterwards – but each to their own.
I’ll take it
So while I didn’t get a tropical island holiday – or flowers or chocolates.. I did get waited on with breakfast, a semi clean house and some lovely home-made “cards” while I did try and “rest”. And my daughter and I read books to each other.. and she even wrote me a song (!!) and it probably was one of the best Mother’s Day’s I’ve had in my 10 years of parenting. Infection included. A tad sad, but I’ll take it.
I know I’m NOT going to actually leave my kids and go to a Greek Island any time soon because… well I just don’t have the resources yet… And because I know that no matter how hard it gets, there is always HOPE that I will get it right and they’ll turn out OK.
And hope that next Mother’s Day they will be nice to each other – all day (well, for longer than 10 minutes).
I’ve adjusted to the fact my life is kinda skewed with slightly quirky kids now – and my expectations have changed to allow for that; I need to appreciate what I already have. Children who want to spend time with me, even if it’s just hanging out at home because there is no choice. (Apparently, that changes again when the teen years hit).
And I love these home days, because we get to laze around in our pyjamas, sleep in if we need it and blob for a bit.
How did your Mother’s Day go?? Was it all you dreamed of, or are you hoping for a do-over next year?
Just remember, there is always hope.
And sleep – everything looks better after a good night’s sleep. So, if better sleep is on your wish list, and you’re ready to make a change, book in a free call to discuss how I can help. You don’t need to wait for Mother’s Day to roll around again. But in terms of that one day of rest and appreciation… well, there’s always next year..