Mother’s Day

13 May

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My third Mother’s Day as a qualified, “mom” found me with a head cold and bad attitude. With a throbbing sinus headache, I just wanted to brush my teeth, take a shower, and get myself to the nearest bottle of ibuprofen. There are no breaks from being a mom, however. My stealth tiptoes down the hallway were intercepted by keen toddler ears that quickly appeared behind the locked bathroom door, desperately begging me to let her invade.

After some caffeine and a little time to reflect, I made myself appreciate the lack of privacy in my life. I never asked to be a mom but for some reason, here I am. With so many people desperate to be parents, Mother’s Days and Father’s Days are unbearable reminders of a club from which they are excluded. Yet they see headlines in the paper about “mothers” who leave their toddlers home alone so they can go out drinking or “mothers” who leave their babies in trash cans. But you don’t as often hear about the fathers because they were gone long ago.

With one less Mother’s Day card to mail this year, I am reminded of the importance of appreciating the good ones. Moms sacrifice more than they ever planned to and more than their kids will ever know. But the rewards are indescribable. With a couple hours of free time, some iced coffee, and a numbed sinus headache; I am now more able to appreciate the sound of those tiny knuckles on the bathroom door. It is a reminder to be the best mom that I can be, even if I am bombarded by blogs and Facebook posts that tell me I’m not doing it right: “don’t let your child watch TV; buy only organic food, certain brands of sunscreen and bath soap; despite the expense of all these things, save all your money for their college fund; make homemade dish soap you found on Pinterest, make gluten and peanut-free birthday cupcakes.” The list is endless.

As a perfectionist, it will always be a struggle to be the best. But after three years, I am realizing that it might be better to try not to be the best – just do what works for me. For all moms, all future moms, and all the people who have moms (here or eternal), I raise my watered-down iced caramel latte to you and say (with a stuffy nose and sore throat), “Cheers.” You are incredible in ways you have never been told. And for the mom in the Sunday paper that disappeared in the middle of the night while your two-year-old fell out of a second story window – on behalf of the women who are dying to take your place – I raise my middle finger.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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