Parenting

Mother's Day letdown

Didn't get what you wanted on Mother's Day? You're not the only one.

Yesterday, being Mother’s Day, started out great. My husband, Todd, set his alarm and got up early (not something he does easily…especially on a Sunday) to make breakfast with my daughter, Rory.

Listening to Rory sing Katy Perry songs, imagining Todd trying to work around her while she did the splits in our tiny kitchen and smelling the sizzling bacon, made my heart swell.

We ate a delicious breakfast together, grocery store flowers stuffed in a travel mug adorned the table and my daughter proudly presented me with a handmade card and a carefully beaded necklace on a plastic string. I sat there, looking at the two of them, and felt my heart grow even larger.

Then (insert sound of deflating balloon here) it was over.

I got out of the shower and my husband suddenly announced he was heading out the door. He returned a couple hours later, in time for me to make everyone lunch, hang a bunch of art (we recently moved), do some cleaning and make the grocery list. Not surprisingly, these tasks went unnoticed and everything turned back to pumpkins and mice.

I wasn’t the only one feeling a little let down. Taking a very unscientific sociological study in the office, one mom’s teenage daughter didn’t do anything, another woman said her kids were fighting by noon and one colleague woke up to clean the kitchen and take her kids to lessons while her husband played on his phone. Online, I found countless blogs about avoiding Mother’s Day disappointment, rants on unmet expectations and the lameness of partners.

This overwhelming mommy disappointment on the second Sunday of May goes back to the origins of the holiday itself. The woman who started Mother’s Day in 1908 actually spent the rest of her life trying to put an end to it. Why? She was angered by the greeting card companies and florists for making the day all about consumerism rather than about moms. She felt they tarnished the purity of the whole thing.

To be honest, I have no idea what I expected yesterday. I’m definitely not a materialistic person. Plus, I was a single mom for years, and my daughter didn’t have anyone to take her shopping for a card or a gift. I’ve been perfectly satisfied with posies of weeds, head squishing hugs, sloppy kisses and hastily drawn cards. Now that I’m married, Mother’s Day shouldn’t be any different.

I’m so thankful for my husband wanting to help Rory make it a special day. But maybe next year, I could get a PB&J for lunch out of the deal, too.

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