May 12, 2013

What This Day Means to Me

Mother's Day. Wowza. It means so much more to me now than it ever has before, and I'm sure as the years go on this will become even more true. I'm in love with this day for many reasons...and not just because I get to do what I want and get presents.

I love this day first and foremost because it celebrates my own mother. Now that I am a mother I understand so much better how my own mom loves me. I understand that painfully, everlasting, unwavering, devoted love a mom has for her child. As my mom's first child and only daughter, I know how much she loves me and for that I am so thankful. She was, and is always there for me when I need her. She supports all my decisions, even if she doesn't agree or understand them, she gives me advice but never stands in the way of me making my own choices, and she always listens. She is wonderful in so many ways. Without my mom's love, support, and care I wouldn't be the person I am today. You dressed me, fed me, nurtured me, taught me, loved me. Thank you mom. I love you, so much more than I ever express and ever could show.

Secondly, this day celebrates my love for Noelle. I'm a mother! Yes, I was last year too...but for some reason it means more to me this year. Maybe it's because I've been a mom longer now, and the longer it is, sometimes the harder. It hasn't always been easy and some days I need to step outside to breathe and catch myself before I lose it. But at the end of the night when I'm laying there and reflecting I see how much being a mother means to me, and how much me being the mother that I am means to Noelle. Sometimes it feels ridiculous when I am crawling around after her in the crowded store begging her to come out from under the racks of clothes, and somedays I'm not sure if I should stop her from covering her face and hair in yogurt (mess or sensory play?). The days are long. Sometimes the nights are longer.  But I know that everything I do is going to shape Noelle for the rest of her life, and it's so huge I get overwhelmed. Am I a good mother? Am I too lenient? Am I too mean? Am I teaching her enough? Am I feeding her well? After asking myself all those questions, I decide that I'm doing my best and that's no where near perfect, but hopefully it's imperfectly perfect for her. Hopefully she turns out wonderful. (I think she already is.) I love her so much it actually hurts.

And lastly, this day is to celebrate all mothers, everywhere. We are always putting our children first. Always. We are constantly making sacrifices for our children, whether it's money (yes I'll buy her another stuffed animal and wear the same pants from 6 years ago), sanity (sure, I'll watch The Wiggles one more time...), dignity (okay, let's hop like frogs at Target), sleep, time for interests and relationships, time for ourselves (my last hair cut was over 6 months ago). Sacrifices are one thing, and the added talents and emotions are another. Becoming a mother has made us in ways freaks of nature that can multitask like crazy, and cry at the drop of a needle. My heart practically breaks when I think of anything happening to any child, not just my own. I ache for all mothers and now I feel like I have a deeper connection to other humans. I look at one mother at the playground trying to round up her crying child, and I just get it. I see a mom at the store getting backhanded by her toddler, and I get it. I see a mother embracing her newborn, and I get it  cry. Seriously. Becoming a mother has given me the gift of empathy like never before. Mothers, we are all awesome, even if somedays you just feel like you suck at parenting. I know I suck on a daily basis. (Okay with it.) Somedays when you feel like you've failed your child and possibly society, you're okay. You're doing what you can - you are a mom! Enough said. So yes, I do think we deserve a day of recognition for all that, even if it's a generic holiday made for consumption purposes.

So here's to all of the mothers, soon to be mothers, women who want to become mothers (may you get your wish), all the mommies with angel babies, my mother...and to Noelle, for blessing me with the greatest gift of all...being a mother.

Happy Mother's Day!

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