Today is Mother's Day. Before I had children, I always knew Mother's Day as the day I tried to spend some money on my mom to tell her how much I love her. It also usually involved lunch at my grandmother's house with some faaaaaantastic home-cooked food. My first Mother's Day as an actual mother myself was very quaint and even picture-perfect. I was so in-love with my then 2-month-old baby girl and I spent the whole day staring at her, holding her, nursing her, and enjoying the new laptop that my husband had bought me.
Four years later, Mother's Day has become one of the most meaningful days of the year. I have two beautiful daughters and becoming a mother has transformed my life in more ways than I can count. However, it also looks nothing like the Mother's Day I knew before children, or what I expected it to look like.
I woke up this morning and realized that my husband had let me sleep in! Yes, I slept in until 7:30am - quite late in this household - and it was a great start to my day. But then I left my bedroom. My husband had taken care of the kids and cleaned up the kitchen, but then he started getting sick. Some sort of head-cold or something. Then, around lunchtime, I started getting sick. While my husband took Thing 1 to the store to get me a chocolate cake (the present she insisted on getting me), I wrangled with Thing 2 to get her to take a nap. She fought it HARD and I realized that she seemed to be feeling a little off too. The rest of the afternoon, my girls fought with each other, cried, screamed, yelled, went all noodley when we tried to get them to do something, refused to eat any of the Chinese food we got (because we felt too crappy to fix dinner), got upset when we wouldn't give them cake because they refused to eat dinner, and were basically miserable until we put them to bed early at 6:45pm.
Over the last couple of months, I've been really proud of myself for remaining calm, not spanking, not yelling, and being more compassionate when my children are having a rough day. But when I'm not feeling well, it's REALLY tough to keep that up. And today on Mother's Day, I lost it. I yelled. I talked in my super-angry voice. I threatened to throw away toys. I told my daughter I was going to poke a hole in her beach ball if she didn't quit throwing it at our dog. I threatened to spank Thing 2 if she didn't quit screaming at everyone. (Then, she threatened to spank me back.) What I wanted more than anything on my Mother's Day was to get my kids in the bed so I could have some peace and quiet.
Welcome to Mother's Day with two small children! This is why there should be a Mother's Day in the first place. Some days are fantastic, and some days, you count the minutes until bedtime. I wouldn't change a thing, however, because no matter when you have children, how financially prepared you are for them, whether you stay-at-home or have a career... motherhood is a challenging, yet transformative and immensely meaningful experience. No matter how rough the day has been, my children still want me to sing to them at night and they can't go to sleep without a big hug and kiss from their mom and dad. In-between the bickering and crying today, my girls still told me "Happy Mother's Day!" and proudly showed me the chocolate cake that they had baked for me.
It wasn't a Hallmark-card-worthy Mother's Day... maybe a kindergarten home-made card with scribbles and glitter-glue, held together with tape. But, this is the season of life that I'm in. And now, I'm going to eat my chocolate cake, watch Celebrity Apprentice and prepare for yet another day in the trenches.
Maybe one day when they're old enough, my kids will buy me a massage.