My third Mother's Day is approaching. Unlike most other mom-specific things that I've only been able to partake in over these past three years, I don't feel like I've grown much older and wiser by the third time around. I mean, last year I discussed the importance of deferring to the elder mothers in our lives, and I definitely still think that way. And this year, I proved it. More on that later. But that seems to be as wise as I've gotten, and beyond that I haven't quite figured out how I should be celebrating this holiday--at least when it comes to myself. Is the day about me, or should it be about the people who helped make me a mother?
The first time I blogged about Mother's Day was when I was pregnant, and I wasn't sure how I should be celebrating it then either. I didn't feel like I'd earned the right to celebrate with the moms, having never changed a diaper or been up all night with a sick child. Pregnancy is an amazing experience, a special rite of passage, but it was definitely the easy part of this whole gig. Looking back I know it was still a big deal and put me among very special company, which is probably why so many people felt compelled to wish me "Happy Mother's Day" back then. I still know that I hadn't even begun to earn the title of "Mother" at that point, hence my hesitance to accept the Mother's Day wishes.
Three years later I've survived the infant stage, seen many milestones, and been insanely tired for at least 34 months straight...so even though I will gladly accept the wishes these days, I know I still have a long way to go in this mothering thing. And it's why I will still defer to our moms and their moms on this very special day. No matter how much I may wish for a quiet day at home, some time to relax and do things that I might be jonesing to do, for now I'll enjoy celebrating other moms who have come before me and salvage my "me time" somewhere else. For example, this morning I left Jacob with Craig for a while to go outside and do some trimming and weeding in our yard. While it's not my perfect idea of fun, it does make me feel better and I do love my powerful trimmer I got last year. The time to get stuff like that done is huge, though, because it's one less thing I need to obsess over every time I come home or look out the window. After the trimming I requested another half hour or so away so I could go for a run. I felt like I needed it, for a lot of reasons.
It's been a rough week all around. I've been dealing with moodiness that I think has to be associated with the prednisone. I don't like being so cranky all the time, but it's been a tough battle to fight. I've been in a bit of a fog, not feeling great, tired, distracted...and when you add in work and motherhood to it all, it's hard. Last night we decided to grab some dinner out and do a little shopping, and Jacob was rather difficult. It wasn't until about halfway through that I realized I'd been wiping his nose all night and his cheeks were really red. He wasn't hot, but it became apparent pretty quickly that he had come down with a cold. He got increasingly miserable, and with how I was feeling, I started pondering just staying home this weekend. Craig had to work in Hamilton later today, so he was coming in today regardless and I wasn't making a separate trip if we didn't make it with him. Our only set plans were brunch with his family on Sunday, since my parents had said it wasn't necessary to come in since we'd just seen them the past couple weekends. But after two weekends of travel and one more coming next weekend, I started to get a little overwhelmed by it all. There's a lot I want to do every weekend, but with all of these other plans, those things hadn't been happening. Jacob's cold (combined with my iffy state all week) seemed like a hint that maybe it was time to just stay home and give myself a break.
We had a rough night with Jacob being up and miserable, though Craig did an awesome job with him and I was able to salvage a decent night of sleep and a minor sleep-in this morning. After breakfast and the yardwork, I felt like a run might be the one thing that could salvage the weekend. I felt like a good workout Thursday brightened my mood (and similarly, that a lack of a workout on Tuesday made me feel worse), so I thought the run might give me enough energy to power through packing, another night away, and one more weekend of not accomplishing my long to do list. I'm not sure if it exactly energized me, but it cleared my mind enough to convince me that it was important to put my own stuff aside and just celebrate Mother's Day the way it's supposed to be celebrated.
I haven't earned the right to have Mother's Day revolve around me, though I do appreciate the little perks I may be able to glean from it in the meantime. I have many years down the road to mold Mother's Day into something closer to what I might want, but for now I'll enjoy the time with family and graciously accept the good wishes I get. Being a mother is a very special thing, about so much more than one day, so I try not to get caught up in the hoopla regardless. It's a day I'm hesitant to call my own anyway, particularly in the presence of those more seasoned than I. Someday Jacob will understand it a little more, and maybe there will even be another child to boost my status in the mothering ranks. No doubt I'll be that much more exhausted, wishing that much more for a day off to indulge in myself. Yet I can't help but think that the lessons I'm learning now--that family reigns supreme and that it's about so much more than me--will leave their mark and the day of solitude will never come to pass because I won't want it to. Or if by some miracle it does, it will feel like something is missing. Once a day for family, always a day for family. I wouldn't be here without them, so why would I spend my day any other way?
We'll see, I guess...I've got a lot of years to figure it all out, one philosophical blog post at a time. But in the meantime, Happy Mother's Day :)