Posts Tagged ‘Mother’s Day’

Grinching Out On Mother’s Day

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

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Sometimes I feel like such a Mother’s Day grinch. But the truth is, for most moms Mother’s day is no different than every other day of the year. And even if you are Jedi-level good at keeping expectations low, they can creep up on Mother’s day despite your best intentions.

Last year, Mother’s day was kind of a wreck. It was just a hard day, which happens pretty frequently when your kids are 6, 3 and 2, superfluous holidays notwithstanding. It’s a day when I tend to stay off social media, as obnoxious humble brags abound about worlds’ best children and husbands, who are, in reality, probably selfish and thankless and piggish every other day of the year, but on this day are photoshopped to be the standard bearers for selflessness and generosity.

So, to flee the suppressive air of social media and all things mother’s day, I went on a hike. Alone. A hike broken only by the ringing of my phone high on the top of a hill to confirm the reception of one (1) orphaned squirrel baby that we found in our backyard and to be placed with the finest of (free) wild squirrel rehab facilities. A call which I was happy to take. Because I am no squirrel mom, and I figured if she abandoned her pup as we had to surmise she did, she’s probably having a worse day than I am.

The year before, just months after having my third child, Mother’s Day had been punctuated with silence from my own mother. I had sent her an email gift certificate which became lost in her inbox; she assumed I had gotten her nothing for Mother’s day and didn’t call until Monday, when she found it.

IMG_9759So I cried a little bit on this hike, and felt sorry for myself, and then got over it. I did a little trail running her and there, and when I got to the top, it was worth it. I sat on a bald spot of rock and watched boats trail lazily in the water below, their motors audible even this far up. I watched birds soar past a little farther down over the lake, hunting prey. I took in the shadowy silhouettes of the mountains across the way, disappearing back as far as I could see. I ate some flavored almonds and an apple and I didn’t share with anyone.

It took me an hour and a half to hike up, an hour to hike down, and an hour of driving round-trip. And when I got home, I felt refreshed, restored, and ready to deal with a baby squirrel rehoming emergency.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer, marathoner and mother of three girls. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City. 

The Vulnerability of Motherhood

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

The vulnerability of motherhoodI had written a funny post earlier today about the trials and tribulations of motherhood that I planned to submit for this article. It was mostly complaining about the everyday things you routinely see us moms complain about; lack of sleep, the regular cacophony of whining, lost shoes and arguing about hairstyles. Then we heard some devastating news that a family we knew was experiencing their child’s relapse with cancer. It really broke me down. This awful thing, this could happen to any family and it happens to so many families. Mothering, at the core, is just a permanent state of vulnerability. And with vulnerability there is worry. There is so much worry.

No one can properly articulate the level of pure unconditional love or amount of worry you will feel when you give birth; you have to experience it. There are no comparisons. It is not like the love of a pet. It is not like the love of a spouse. Motherhood is so much more of all your feelings. You worry about providing them with guidance, their health, where and how to raise them, if they ate enough veggies today. You worry about how they treat others, if they’re reading fast enough, if they get enough sleep. You worry about them riding in cars with other people, if you’re doing enough, or maybe doing too much. In motherhood, there is so much concern.

As a Mom, you give all of yourself unselfishly for a lifetime; your heart, your wisdom, your time. You pour it all into these tiny bodies. Then, you pray.  You pray, and you pray, and you pray. Please keep them safe. Please keep them healthy. Please let them grow into compassionate, intelligent adults. We pray that we may never have to exist on this earth without them. The selflessness you feel becomes an everyday love letter to your children; there is nothing you wouldn’t do for them.

And in between all of that fretting, life goes on and you cherish this tiny human you agonize so much about. You snuggle them tight, you soak in the smell of them after a bath, you experiencing your childhood again through their eyes. You watch them grow. You laugh. You laugh so hard and you realize that it is all worth it. Motherhood is worth all of the vulnerability and all of the worry.

Tessa Wesnitzer is a health and wellness coach who lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves her husband, two boys, green tea, long runs, and snowy winters.

The Mother’s Day Announcement that Changed My Life

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The Mother's Day Announcement that Changed My LifeFive years ago, on Mother’s Day, we informed our parents that we were expecting our first child by year’s end. I knew life would change just as we all can predict how we work, socialize, and shower daily can change once children arrive. The most life-changing way I changed has more to do with my heart. Joy and sorrow have never been so clear as hearing the first giggle with a twinkle in my child’s eyes or watching my son try to make a friend on the playground only to be rejected.

To be clear, experiencing emotions more deeply or utilizing empathy skills are not qualities that come only to people who have children. For me though, my children have offered inspiration to live my emotions more fully, less fearfully. They’ve challenged me to take a deep breath and see things from another person’s point of view in moments that I haven’t the time or interest in something outside of me. This could be a temper tantrum, or my child wanting so badly to play a game while I’m trying to finish my work and more. It’s in their pain that I better understand others’ pain (and my own) more fully.

Maybe this is simply called growing up or maturing in some ways. I’d say that I’ve always been on the more mature end of my age, so there is more to it than that. I think I’m more invested in life, in humanity at large if that doesn’t sound too dramatic, now that I have children. I can’t turn away so easily to protect myself when it comes to my child or children in general. Maybe I’m underestimating how connected I was before children considering my life’s work includes social work, studying social problems, and advocating for love in all things. But since having children, I’m bound to life in a visceral way that may have been present but I did not notice or live into before having children.

Likewise, I’ve never known simple joy so sweet as when I see my child toddle to me for the first time or conquer the monkey bars. I know the joy of my own work, interests, and accomplishments; I feel content in things that make up my life. But I’m talking about the kind of joy that can bring a smile to my face and warmth in my heart years later as I recall the memory, the photos of life that make up a scrapbook and add vibrant color and depth to life.

These zestful moments encourage me to keep life simple because there I see joy more effortlessly. It’s easy to get bogged down in outward success, whether my child’s or my own—or my parenting success supposedly demonstrated through my child’s behaviors. It’s also easy to get distracted with some of the difficult parts of life like bills, sick loved ones, lost jobs, and more. My children have a way of pulling me out when my perspective gets too narrowed by giving me simple hugs, cute questions, sweet observations, and joyful play. I invest my life in them and it’s partially in their ups and downs that I come to experience my life more fully.

Lynette shares her life with her husband, brand new daughter, and two sons, ages two and four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Celebrating Me on Mother’s Day

Friday, April 29th, 2016

celebrating me on other's dayCelebrating Mother’s Day can look very different for different moms. Some will go out to brunch with their family. Some will spend the day doing a fun outing with the kids. Many moms will be so busy celebrating their mothers, grandmothers, or aunts that they will forget that the day is also about them.

As a stay-at-home mom who spends the majority of my waking hours with my children, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than spend Mother’s Day all by myself. I absolutely love being able to spend so much time with my children daily, but having a pampering day by myself seems like the most rewarding way to celebrate.

Last year, that is exactly what I did. It was a day of no diaper changes, no meal preparation and full of me-time. My day did however include many check-ins and nursing appointments with my 6-month-old daughter. I still managed to squeeze in several activities that were all about me. I started the day by taking myself out for a cup of fancy coffee. The mall was my next stop. My husband met me there with my kids so I could nurse my daughter while our son played in the mall play area. After nursing her, I went off by myself to explore the mall. To be honest, I felt a little lost without my kids in tow. My first instinct was to shop for clothes for my kids, but I stopped myself. I instead found a place in the mall to get a pedicure that took walk-in appointments. I enjoyed getting my feet pampered while watching the other mothers and daughters getting pedicures together. I made my way home to nurse my daughter before her nap and went jogging all by myself. It felt strange not pushing kids in a jogging stroller as I ran. The rest of the day consisted of relaxing in front of the TV and having dinner made for me. Celebrating me on Mother’s Day was the best gift I could give to myself to help me recharge for the year ahead.

This year, I think I will up the game and make an appointment for a massage!

Sarah Cole is a writer and stay-at-home mom of two busy toddlers who looks forward to pampering days.

M is For Mom!

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

M is for MomApril showers bring May flowers and Mother’s Day. Whether you are a new mom, an old pro, prefer to spend the day with your kiddos, or want some peace and quiet, this is the day for you. Sometimes though, figuring out what to do for mom can be hard.

So, for a unique perspective on Mother’s Day suggestions, let’s look at it from dad’s point of view. A popular website gives advice and ideas on how to please moms of all walks. A few ideas include:

  • Flowers. But not just flowers in a vase with a bow. We’re talking flowers to plant, the gloves to wear when planting them, digging tools, mulch, soil, big floppy hats, knee cushions, and a comfy chair to sit in and relax once the work is done.
  • Perfumes and lotions. This can include a pre-built boxed set, or do a mix and match at the local dollar store. You might find a really cool distressed basket at a local thrift shop and then fill it with a variety of lotions and bath gels from the dollar store. Top it off with a candle, put the kids to bed early and run the water!
  • Food. Who doesn’t love a good meal, and for the mom that loves to prepare it, kitchen gadgets are a perfect gift. You don’t have to go for something big here, maybe the ingredients of her favorite dessert complete with the recipe reprinted on parchment paper and signed by the family.
  • Help mom save the planet. Today’s moms are environmentally conscious. If this is your mom’s thing, go for products made from recycled materials, or have the kids pick up the neighborhood trash and take it to the recycling center. Make a family trip out of it, and use the day to pass on your values to your little ones.

Whatever your mom likes, and whatever your budget, there are endless possibilities to make her feel special on this day. You really can’t go wrong, as long as you put thought into what you do, and show mom how much you care. Most importantly, give your time. The one thing they aren’t making more of, or that can’t be reproduced is time. I promise you, your time is the best gift you can give and she wants it more than a new shirt, massage, pair of jeans or piece of chocolate. Well, maybe not the chocolate….

Gretchen Latham is a mom of one who lives and writes in Oklahoma City.