Before I was a mom, Mother’s Day just always seemed like that silly holiday that reminded you to buy your mom a nice card, maybe a little gift, and take her out to dinner to thank her for being your mom. Then, once I became a mom, I suddenly felt like all those Mother’s Days I’d shared with my own mom seemed so trite. Like all the well-meaning Hallmark cards in the world couldn’t possibly reflect the amount of gratitude she deserved for raising three kids all those years. And now that I’m a mom of two, I’ve finally figured it out. Mother’s Day isn’t just that holiday that falls on the second Sunday of May every year. The “real” Mother’s Day happens 24/7, 365 days a year. I get that now, and because I’m coming off one particularly challenging week leading up to Mother’s Day – allow me to enlighten you…
The Real Mother’s Day is:
- When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night with a 104 fever, and you realize you’ll be sleeping upright in a glider (which is just barely more comfortable than sleeping on an airplane) nursing her into the wee hours of the night.
- When you take said baby to the doctor the next day because you’re worried she could be getting another UTI (which she hasn’t finished the antibiotics from the first one a week ago), and find out after finger pricking, flu nose swabs, failed urine samples, and a co-pay you couldn’t afford in the first place – that she actually just has a random virus that, little did you know, will pass the next day.
- When you’ve had your son’s long overdue dentist appointment looming over your head, but wonder ironically why it just had to be this week of all weeks. Especially when you go into it knowing he’ll need work done on at least 9 teeth, and leave being told it’s even worse than you thought and the feeling it gives you makes you want to crawl under a rock and never come out.
- When your hubs comes down with the same virus the baby had, followed by your son the next day and you wonder if there really is a God and his plan is to always spare moms from ever getting sick, because honestly it’s the least he can do.
- When you think you’ve got your son’s fever under wraps, and you may just get a full 5 hours of sleep out of the baby, but then he wanders into your room, snuggles up next to you, and you feel the heat of a thousand suns emanating from his body. So long sleep. Again.
- When you start to consider the careful balancing act of administering Motrin, then Tylenol in a 24 hour period as a fine art that may qualify as something worth adding to your resume.
- When you’ve been looking forward to a blogger “Girl’s Night Out” event for the past two weeks, and wallow in the guilt of “going” or “not-going” for a whole day before, until you finally decide that you need this and your mom is perfectly capable and willing to watch the kids for three hours until you get home and start the whole thing over again.
- When your hub’s impending work trip happens to land him in another country over Mother’s Day, and you know it kills him so you try and put on a strong front to not make him feel any worse than he already does, but deep down it bums you out more than you’ll ever lead on.
- And when you finally make it to the end of the week, your family is miraculously all healthy, and your hub’s takes the day off from work to surprise you with a special dinner night out together as a family. Then the next day you realize, as you push back tears saying your “good byes” before he jumps on a plane, that this is what the “real” Mother’s Day looks like. That if you’d looked closely, in between all the hard moments throughout the week, there were slivers of goodness and love sprinkled all throughout. In the sweet way your baby nuzzled you, because she trusts that you will do everything in your power to heal and comfort her. In the proud mom moment, when your son was so brave at his dentist appt and you wonder when he got to be so grown up? In the loving way your husband showed you how you’ll always comes first, putting all his demanding work aside to make sure you knew how much he appreciates the amazing mother you are to your children. In the caring way his family comes to spend the whole day with you and the kids, just so that your heart won’t have to break into a million pieces hearing “I miss daddy” all evening. And then you look up from your computer to realize it’s not even Mother’s Day, and yet you’ve already experienced more love in all these moments combined to last you a lifetime.
So do me one favor – when you pick up the phone to make that obligatory call on Mother’s Day, really thank her. Not just for being a mom, but for being your mom. Your mom, who you probably will never truly know how much she’s sacrificed without ever expecting anything in return. Because that’s what moms do, and because the real Mother’s Day doesn’t just come once a year – and she wouldn’t have it any other way.