Mother’s Day. That blessed day when moms across the world get a break and have a celebration just for them.
Maybe your idea Mother’s Day is breakfast in bed. Perhaps it is a massage, a bubble bath or dinner out. Whatever it is, dreams of Mother’s Day are certain to involve relaxation as you revel in the love of your family.
Of course, this is all fantasy.
The nature of being a mother indeed renders all of these options virtually impossible. Breakfast in bed? Not a chance. And even if some well-meaning children decide that this is indeed the way that they will step beyond their normal routines to express their devotion, the breakfast in bed attempt will doubtlessly end in some sort of disaster that requires none other than mom to fix it up. Perhaps hot coffee or oily bacon get spilled on the floor on the way to the bedroom. This is probably a better option than ending up spilled in bed. Hopefully, there are no injuries involving the stove before breakfast being served. But there will probably be dirty dishes and pans with crusted eggs in the sink to scrub once the initial tragedies have been patched up.
Were you hoping for a massage?
While seeking professional help truly seems to be the reasonable approach, there is something unfortunate about needing to leave your family the one day that celebrates the fact that you have created a family. So if you were had your heart set on a massage, your best options would potentially be your own children. This can go one of several ways. The most likely is that the massage will last 45.7 seconds until the child in question loses interest and is distracted by some other more rewarding activity. Another option is similar to the breakfast in bed disaster. Perhaps the bottle of Aveeno is over-squirted and ends up flowing onto the couch or the dear child – bless his/her heart – decides to take the cap off entirely and succeeds in pouring the entire bottle on you and the floor.
Was it a bubble bath that caught your attention when imagining a soothing afternoon?
Good luck. Attempting something that requires isolation is nearly impossible to sustain for an extended length of time. With children, it is often hard to be uninterrupted for the length of time it takes to go to the bathroom. An extended stay in the bathtub may have moments of calm and serenity, but they will be punctuated with whining, complaining, fighting, begging, and pleading, as well as the metronomic chant of “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom.”
Eating dinner out is probably your best bet.
Again, would it really be Mother’s Day if you found a babysitter? It almost seems cruel to leave them at home since they are the reason there’s a Mother’s Day at all. It seems only fair to bring them along. While the cooking and cleaning up is taken care of, there is still plenty to manage. First, the insistence that dinner must consist of pizza and absolutely has to be followed by dessert. Then, of course, there is the water that is accidentally spilled into your lap, the forks-turned-catapults and the persistent peek-a-boo with the nonconsenting neighbors in the next booth.
The glamorous images of Mother’s Day are inherently impossible.
The nature of being a mother at all requires that children be present. And children are not interested in celebrating their mothers. Children, however, are very interested in farts, boogers, jokes, tickles, games, dirt, farts, and snuggles. Luckily, the snuggles alone are quite enough to make a flopped Mother’s Day completely worth it. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll get a fingerpainted flower out of it.
Sara Kennedy is a special education teacher in the Anchorage School District. She likes to swim, bike and run around Alaska, and camp and fish with her family. To reach Sara, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.