As a mother, I experience the rawest of emotions.
I struggle and ache and worry and hurt.
I am frustrated and exasperated and exhausted and harrowed.
I have a tattered body and frazzled mind and tired spirit.
But because I am a mother, I also experience moments deep, deep love that make it all worth it.
I gathered up the boys a week before Mother’s Day to attempt a shot of all four of them to send to the grandmas. I was grateful for one decent shot since most of them looked like this:
Could they be any less enthused?
The boys sure make me work for those smiles.
Mother’s Day weekend started out like many weekends do; taking a trip to the beach.
It was cool and overcast and I forgot the sand toys, but the boys had no problem finding entertainment with logs and sticks.
Mother’s Day was filled with handmade cards and meals from my boys and church messages expressing appreciation for mothers. We topped off the evening with a walk around the neighborhood and stopped at our favorite lemon grove where the lemons are free for the taking.
I only got one (blurry) shot with only one of my little ones.
If I’m being honest, Mother’s Day is a bittersweet holiday for me. I always expect to have only joy as I appreciate the great gift it is to be a mother and recognize all of the mothers who influence my life and the lives of my children. It should be a relief to have a break from cleaning up messes I didn’t make and cooking for little people who don’t appreciate the effort. And who doesn’t love sweet hugs and phone calls and presentations of homemade gifts? Especially when my seven year old proclaims, “She is the best mom I had in my whole life!”
I feel guilty that all of those things aren’t enough to make this day a welcomed celebration. Although Mother’s Day is always filled with feelings of love and recognition and gratitude, it comes as a surprise to me each year that feelings of mourning also creep up. I can’t help but look around at other mothers and children and feel the unwelcome intrusion of jealousy that comes with comparison. It seems as if all of my inadequacies as a mother are brought to the surface as I am reminded of all of the areas where I am falling short.
My mom happened to be in town over the weekend and we ran out to a few stores late on Friday night after getting the boys to bed. We were laughing deliriously about the scavenger hunt we were on to find a few items. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard while trying to keep my composure in the checkout lane. The guy in line behind us overheard our conversations throughout the store and asked us if we located everything on our scavenger hunt. That made us laugh even harder. The evening was hilarious and memorable, but it was also a stark reminder of the mother/daughter relationship that I will never pass on.
And so, Mother’s Day for me means joy, but it also means tears. Just keeping it real.