Post. Edit. Revert to draft. Post. Edit. Climb out of bed at 4am and pull it down. Read the Facebook comments. Repost. Wince. Get a text. Sigh in relief. Get a message. Wince.
This was the 12 hours after posting my thoughts on Mother’s Day. I’m still not completely convinced that what was written was either beautiful or useful (my new qualifiers for what I keep in the public sphere. I need to put the rest of it in a diary where it belongs). However, the comments prompted me to put it back up.
Other conversations happened, too. Thoughts that while they agreed, also challenged. (I love these, by the way. They’re my favorite. That’s why I love all you people.) So, in no particular order, here are my lessons learned from the day.
1. It’s okay to want a day off. Like, really off. I heard, mostly on the side, how much gals simply just wanted to be abdicated from all the responsibility. Lots of moms were posting pictures of the day spent with kids and family, and these whispers came that “I feel so guilty that I just want time alone.” Guess what, friends. It’s okay. Especially you mamas who spend the primary part of your days with the little ones. You don’t have to want to spend every moment of every hour, every day for all of the days, forever and ever, amen, with your children. Or even your family.
It’s okay to be a person who loves to read in the quiet or run in the sunshine. It’s okay to seek friendships with the girls and see a movie and have a glass of wine. I know we’re told this, but often it still heaps on some mom guilt. So I can’t reiterate enough that seeking fellowship (<- hate that word) outside your kinfolk is absolutely reasonable. In fact, it makes you a better mother.
2. Holidays, inclusive of Mother’s Day, require us mamas to dig deep into what is at the heart of mothering – giving more and taking less. We do it because we love our families, we do it because we’re raising our children to be considerate and thoughtful little beings. So while many of us feel very pity-partyish at the end of the second Sunday in May (and that’s a bit okay), it’s also very much okay to continue to spend the holiday with our matriarchs and extended fam, even when that means a hot dog at the cookout (right, B?).
By and large, no one who read and commented felt as if we need to revolutionize Mother’s Day. They simply want to feel validated. Heard. Not alone. So all we did was bring out into the open what everyone was feeling – this isn’t about me, even though the title of the day says it is. Now that we realize it, we can be about the business of honoring those who have done such an outstanding job of raising us into thoughtful and considerate humans. Because – and this is important here – they might not need the nap as much as they need the connection with family. What speaks to their heart at this point might be different than what little ol’ me yearns for and that is okay, too.
3. I think this M2 day can really catch on. Not necessarily just the week after Mothers’s day, but a special day your family decides will work. Get your spouse on your side. Have that long, hard conversation about how you feel (NOT when you’re angry) and ask for a day. Find out GLENNON’S schedule and book a ticket. Or find a movie, a concert, a play, or a museum and buy the ticket.
My husband, who typically wins prizes for Best Husband Award, barely bats an eye at these types of requests. Many of them don’t. The problem is that we don’t
declare ask for it to happen. We wait to be told, and my friends, that’s the problem. Look back at the roots of Mother’s Day and find that a) it actually had very little to do with honoring motherhood and b) it was a bunch of strong women taking a stand on what is important in the world. If refreshment is what will bring your world a bit of light, then please, order those tickets. Book that date. IN PEN. Do me a favor and think more of your husband. He loves you and wants this for you. He’s simply clueless.
Now excuse me, my A+ of a husband suggested I get in a run this evening and now I need to shower. How did I ever find such a guy to make time on my behalf? #winning