So again this year I am waiting to hear that inevitable question like I do every single year. The one which sets me to cringe and grit my teeth as I have to sit back and fake a smile “What are you doing for mother’s day?” I usually nod and say “Nothing” and get that look of “Pity” … To those who ask me this… Thanks A LOT, it’s not like I don’t feel shitty enough…SERIOUSLY … I do… I HATE hearing it. Why? Well let’s look back on why a mother with 2 great kids at home and many others grown and on their own would hate to hear a question she should be thrilled to have asked so she can gush over what her plans are.
Well for one, I’m a single mom. WHO is going to help my children celebrate mother’s day? I most certainly can’t as it’s pompous of me to even do so, not to mention self centered. (Though I have tried in my own way) I don’t have someone in my life who cares enough to take that time out to spend time with my kids to teach them that “Hey; You mom is important in your life. It’s nice to show her once in a while that she matters.” (and it’s not even important that I have “someone” validation isn’t something I “NEED” I can do that myself. Nope… My children do not have the luxury of having someone other than myself teach them the importance of their parents. (and how many kids listen to their mom anyway?) Their father walked out showing them that I don’t matter. I wasn’t “Enough for him” This action teaches my children (and countless other children in the same boat I might add) that hey, “Mom’s really not all that important, even if she does EVERYTHING, because well dad didn’t care enough to stick around. ”
Knowing this makes me feel pretty damn small and unimportant, BUT… I know better… Why/ Because I love and respect myself.
Since my first child 20 + years ago I’ve received a grand total of TWO mother’s day gifts and two card. One was from my oldest daughter when she was two years old and only because her “Unkie Graham” (a good family friend) took her out and got her to pick me out something. She chose a purple nighty. I LOVED that gift and had it for YEARS… till it fell apart. The 2nd one I received was only a few years ago, from my youngest daughters father, a man who really didn’t care and who’d already had planned on leaving us in March but hadn’t as of Mother’s day. (He left less than 2 months later). He got my son to pick out Pj’s (it’s what I asked for) and a card; Both were geekily related to “Superheroes” and I was told … “You always say you’re not “Supermom” but I sure the heck can call you wonder woman cause I wonder how you manage to do all you do.” (THIS was from my son… not my spouse) He (my spouse) didn’t even acknowledge a “Thank you” for being his daughters mother. He went to bed. I again felt quite unimportant. I didn’t get to sleep in, I didn’t get breakfast in bed, I still cleaned my place, and made meals and took care of my kids. No break at all to celebrate a day that was supposed to be for me. Nothing.
However, this wasn’t important… neither are the gifts or there lack of… What is important is the TIME spent together.
Last year; I was alone, (BY choice I add) My oldest didn’t do anything card wise, but he helped out (Time spent) and this was awesome and appreciated… I also received a card with my youngest daughters hand print in it. She had no idea what was being done or why, but it was cute and more than likely one of the only cards I have received that will mean the world to me because it has her hand print in it, she was innocent when it was made and her understanding wasn’t important right then, what mattered to me was the excitement of her giving it to me, the tight little hug she gave me after I smiled and gave her a kiss on her forehead and told her I loved it (I sure did to) and her saying “I love you to mamma” that made me feel so damn good… I look back frequently and wish that my older kids had done this for me… at least once. Sadly it’s too late now as they are grown and well… the importance of their mother just isn’t as “important” anymore, but I know they care in other ways. That’s what counts right?
I look back on those memories and realize, without me, my kids wouldn’t have much. I do everything for them and more. I’d have loved receiving a hand made card but schools don’t do this anymore because it’s considered confusing to children as not all kids have mothers. (This goes for Father’s day as well, but more kids are unlikely to have a father in their lives than a mother.) I understand that they couldn’t… and even though it was explained to them I suppose the understanding to “Mother’s day” was lost on them when they have no one to really show them the meaning or why it’s important other than myself. So this time around with my youngest I will teach her that as her mother I’m the pushing force in her life, the one who helps her and supports her and through all of this I will cherish all the “I love you to Mamma” ‘s I hear, I will relish all those tiny armed tight hugs and PRAY that soon, the cards she brings me are ones she makes all on her own because she learned that mommy needs to feel loved and to have a memento is always treasured as well.
I would love it if this year… that no one asked me what I’m doing for Mother’s day. My answer still hasn’t changed.
Nothing… but at least I’m doing it with my kids, and I know they love me and this is what counts the most…