Four years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and by doing so I have earned the right to be one of the many women who receives an annual holiday in honor of her motherly duties. It's a holiday that celebrates the blessing that is family and our contribution to the upbringing of our kidlets. My husband falls into the category of men who want to make this day, "all about the Mom," which is incredibly sweet and thoughtful, and yet another reason (among many) that I consider myself oh-so lucky to be his wife.
So, why is it that on Mother's Day the only thing I want to do is to get as far away from my family as possible?
It started last night, really. My husband is quite in tune with his body and can pinpoint the very moment a little sniffle becomes a full-blown cold. As so it was, last night, just after we got the kid to go to sleep that he sneezed and all bets were off. The Cold had made itself known.
This morning when our daughter woke up at 6:30, I somehow convinced her to lay back down and sleep a bit more (a parenting triumph), and when I found her, 45 minutes later, at my bedside saying, "It's good morning time!" I decided to get up with her and let my husband and his cold sleep in.
The morning came and went with little fanfare. After lunch, the kid and I spent a couple of hours outside in the gorgeous sunshine while my husband wallowed indoors. Once back inside, I attempted a nap. I will confess I got in a good hour before my husband came into the bedroom to tag out.
It took me the next two hours to watch a single episode of House Hunters International for the number of times my child, who was supposed to be napping, interrupted me.
She wanted a snack. The she wanted a drink. Then she wanted me to cover her with the blanket. The she needed to pee. Then she heard some thunder. Then she needed to poop. Then she wanted a magazine to read on the potty (I'm not kidding). Then she didn't want the kind of crackers I gave her, but a different kind. Then she was cold and needed help putting on a sweatshirt. The she didn't want to wear pants. Then she wanted to play with the iPad.
Then I put on shoes, told my husband I was, "going away," and I left, computer in tow.
Fortunately for both of us, the kid did something insanely cute and endearing each time I was about to go over the edge. Like when we finished putting her (hooded) sweatshirt on, she promptly pulled up her hood, took off her pants, and waddled back down the hall to her room in her underwear. She looked ready for a snowball fight from the waist up and a seaside beach from the waist down.
The thing is: being a parent is hard. It's just so. much. effort. I remember telling my husband when we began talking about such things as family and the future that I wasn't sure I wanted to have children. As the years went by, I felt a primal urge to procreate that I cannot explain, but perhaps my friend, Abby, put it best when she stated, "Motherhood is falsely advertised."
When I think about it, parenthood really isn't all that heavy on the payback. You have moments of heart-swelling love for sure, but the daily grind of parenthood can be vicious and soul-sucking. And no matter how much love and care and organic food you put into it, at the end of the day there is no guarantee that your children are going to turn out to be happy, successful, well-adjusted people.
The fact is that I can't focus on that stuff. The future is going to be what it's going to be. In the meantime, I'll do my best to recognize the moments of wonder amidst the tediousness that is Motherhood. And occasionally I'll escape to a coffee shop. That'll be good, too.
Happy Mother's Day.