It’s almost Mothers Day, and so I felt the need to write you a letter. A letter that you probably won’t read for many years to come, but that’s irrelevant. I just wanted to write it.
Now I’m hoping it has escaped your notice, but I’m not really the biggest fan of Mothers Day. In fact I kind of hate it. If you have been scarred for life, you will probably remember the last few years where part way through the day I have collapsed into tears and said ‘That’s it! Mothers Day is cancelled!’ At which point you all cried too, and then I felt so much worse, and completely undeserving of this day that I was supposed to be blessed with.
The thing is kids, it’s not so much that I don’t like the day itself, as the fact that I despise all the expectation that comes with it. It’s almost assumed that on this day, you will all become perfect people with not a hair out-of-place, who clean up after yourselves without prompt, and serve me by bringing me delicious calorie-free treats all day. Until you leave me alone so I can just enjoy the quiet.
If that’s what actually happened on Mothers Day, I would be all for it.
Instead, it’s the opposite.
I blame the media, and old school clichés that dictate that Mothers Day involves a few little gifts, breakfast in bed and some kind of lunch or something later, so that everyone thinks they have done their bit to show their mum they love them. I’m sorry, that doesn’t wash with me. That’s not how it should be.
Now I’m all for presents; always buy presents. 🙂
I do, however, have no desire for breakfast in bed, because it will bring crumbs. Plus because you all want to watch me eat the food, you like to sit on the bed to do that, and then something always gets knocked over and I just have to wash the sheets again.
The lunch thing later isn’t too bad, but what I really want is a night off from cooking dinner. Other mums might be different, but I want the night off.
In fact, that’s pretty much what I want entirely from Mothers Day; the day off. A day where I can enjoy all the fun things about being a mum, without stressing about all the responsibilities that come with it. Such as reminding you to wash your maple syrup covered hands before you sit on the couch.
But if I’m being really honest, what I want is to can mothers day entirely. I don’t want it. I don’t want a day when everyone is pressured to say thank you and think about all the things I do for you, and buy me a present. I want that every day. (Well not the presents, cause that’s just greedy.)
Honestly, I would gladly give up mothers day entirely if everyday, you would appreciate how hard I work for the family. And you would reciprocate by picking up your towels, or putting your shoes away, or doing dishes that didn’t need rewashing again.
I would love it if instead of making me hand-made cards once a year, you would instead say ‘thanks for cooking dinner mum’ every night of the week. Even if you do think me forcing you to eat vegetables is a form of child abuse.
I would gladly forsake the gifts if you could refrain from rolling your eyes at me, when I remind you again of your responsibilities. If you don’t want to be nagged, do it the first 5784 times I ask you. It’s just that simple.
I don’t need breakfast in bed one day a year; instead I would simply like to eat my toast while it’s still warm every day, rather than breaking up arguments, or helping you find your school socks because you are unable to use your eyes, whilst mine are apparently so much more effective.
I don’t want one day of you doing three things in the name of Mothers Day; I want a lifetime of respect and honour and appreciation for what I do.
When I was little, I asked your Nanna why they had Mothers Day, and fathers day, but not kids day. And she replied ‘because every day is kids day.’
Now that I’m a mum, I get it. There’s not a day when I don’t put aside some of my time, energy or desires for you. There’s not a day that goes past when I don’t value who you are. When I don’t look at you with love, or feel stupidly blessed to be a part of your life. Every single day is kids day, because every single day I do what I can to show you how important you are to me.
And that’s really what I want for Mothers Day this year. You guys to make a decision to notice what I do. To care that I do it. And to value all of it, and me, in the same way that I value you.
Of course, the thing is, that as your mother, it’s my responsibility to teach you all of that. And It’s my job to understand that it takes time to notice the little things.
That it takes practice and awareness to realise that you are not the centre of the world, but in fact a welcome part of it. That the realisation that not only can we give back, but that we should give back, does not occur instantly, regardless of what day it is.
My job, as your mum, is to expect just enough of you to make you great, but not so much that you will never reach my expectations. To remember that you are small and imperfect, and that just like me, you will make mistakes. And just like me, you will forget to notice all the good all the time, and sometimes just see the bad, and the sad, and the bone weariness.
So, dear kids, forgive me if I’m not overly excited come Sunday. I promise, that for you, I will try. But will you please remember that I want so much more for you, than an attitude that needs a specific day to see beauty, or to recognise worth.
My dream for me might be that every day is Mothers Day and you can finally see the depth of my dedication, but my dream for you is that you will grow into the kind of people who show honour and respect every day, regardless of date, time, emotion or agenda. My dream is that you will be become the kind of people I’m always hoping to be. The kind of person I’m striving to model for you.
Because at the end of the day I am your mum and I love you. On the good days, the bad days, the short and the long days, and yes, even the Mothers Days.
All of them.