Last night, an article laments how "Mother's Day is a bad deal for all Mums" popped up on my Facebook feed. It calls for businesses and companies to stop pitching the idea of the "perfect mother" - you know, the one who works full time, comes home and maintains a sparkly clean house (without the help of a cleaner) while she cooks gourmet food and sauces from scratch without the help of any packaged products and helps the kids with their homework and is also the perfect wife. Quoting the article "the mum who's self-sacrificing and puts everyone else's needs before our own". The one who's a unicorn and everything she touches turns into a rainbow. Yup that mum. She is a unicorn if you ask me. Essentially, Mother's Day can be a bad deal for mums only if we as mums allow it to be.
Mother's Day will always be special for me because 3 years ago, Brodie was discharged from NICU. It's also a day that I truly reflect on what it's really like being a mum and what my mum has done for me. And to be honest, it's only after Brodie was born that I truly understand what my mum had to go through years ago. It also made me realised that I was that teenager that all parents hope not to have! But in all honest truth, I should be grateful for my own mother daily and not just on Mother's Day. This should hold true for all children because she's the one who carried you for 9 months and then the moment of truth where she had to push you out of her body one way or the other.
Being a mum to me is not about being "perfect" (remember that unicorn I was telling you about earlier). It's all about progress and not perfection. If I feel like I'm a better person today than I was yesterday, then I think I've won. If I have spent some quality time with my family today, I've won and yes I'm a better person. If the laundry is done today but not folded; who cares. At least the family will have clean undies tomorrow.
My friend's husband recently commented that "Mother's Day is a day where the mum should be spending time with the kids". As you can imagine, that didn't go down well at all. Don't get me wrong, my friend loves her kids and I'm sure every mum out there do. But I will not believe you for a single moment if you say that you enjoy EVERY SINGLE moment you have with your children. Remember those teething nights where you just want to dig a hole and hide from the world or the days where no matter what you do for your child, they just deem that you are the biggest annoyance (a%$hole) alive? The only consolation is that glass of wine (or gin tonic for me) that sits on the kitchen bench waiting for me to tell me that it's just a phase and I'm doing a great job!
Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for my child, to be able to be his mother and I love Brodie to the moon and back but there are some days and nights where I wished there was an exchange policy with that child.
Back to Mother's Day. Instead of "spending time with the kids", my friend and I have set up a play date for our kids with their dads. On Sunday, we have booked ourselves in for an hour long massage and a nice lunch. No kids. No husbands. Just two girl friends in their 30s enjoying our time out from our everyday roles as wife and mum. For once in who knows how long, we don't have to worry about the kids screaming, pulling things off the table and us not being able to have a decent conversation. I know I will experience guilt and miss my family a bit but I also know that if I don't have this "downtime" on my own, I will be very very unhappy.
Let's claim back Mother's Day and give mum (and yourself) what she/you really want. Do you just want a day of no phone calls from the husband while you enjoy the day with a bunch of girlfriends at a Day Spa or do you just want to have a night of uninterrupted sleep? Or even something as simple as being able to take a nice long shower in peace without having a little voice banging on your door and asking to come in all the time. It's also ok if you truly want to spend the day with your own family instead of escaping from them. If there's a jewellery piece or a nice handbag thrown into the mix, that's a real bonus! :)
Let's be realistic, there will be socks on the floor that I'll need to pick up tomorrow and the dishes in the sink that needs some attention. Or the pile of unfolded laundry that's waging a war with me. But just for today, let me and mums around the world do whatever we want without feeling guilty.
Go ahead and enjoy yourself! You deserve it!
Happy Mother's Day everyone!
PS: Here is the link to the article that prompted this blog post.
PPS: Leave me a comment to let me know what your ideal Mother's Day is like.