Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day for Me.


I'm a stay at home mother of three
I don't have a boss, no one says "great job today".
No one gives me a raise... or a paycheck at all for that matter.
I don't get to call in sick on a random day just to relax.
In fact even when I am sick I have to be physically incapable of caring for the children before Tom will stay home.

So Mother's Day to me is all those things rolled into one day.
I know on this day at the very least I get the "good job"...
I probably get to relax a little more than normal...
There is still no paycheck but there will usually be a gift.
(the one time there was not a gift???... a more expensive gift than I would ever have expected showed up a week later... I think he was scared.)

So obviously I really look forward to this day.
 And I feel like what I write today should do it justice.

Should I write something flowery and beautiful about the importance of motherhood?

Should I write about the uniqueness of the calling mothers have?

Should I write about the indescribable heartache's?

The mind numbing joy in just hearing them say "I wuv ooo mama" the first time?

The exhaustion you have after caring for others all day every day?

The fear that you are failing, that you are not enough?

The sensation that your heart will burst from pride when your child accomplishes the littlest things?

I thought I would look up the history of the holiday for some inspiration.

The following is from Wikipedia,
The holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 as a day to honor one's mother. 
Jarvis wanted to accomplish her mother's dream of making a celebration for all mothers. 
She kept promoting the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made it an official national holiday in 1914. 

Nine years after the first official Mother's Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become and spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.

Commercial and other exploitations of the use of Mother's Day infuriated Anna
and she made her criticisms explicitly known throughout her time. 
She criticized the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day,
and she finally said that she  "wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control"

Anna Jarvis, considered it a "Hallmark Holiday", i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose.
She died in 1948, regretting what had become of her holiday.
In the United States, Mother's Day remains one of the biggest days for sales of flowers, greeting cards, and the like; it is also the biggest holiday for long-distance telephone calls.

So that is what I got.
Not what I was expecting at all.
I was not at all inclined to write something beautiful about motherhood now.

My first reaction was that Anna Jarvis was probably just one of those people who needed a cause.
Anything to be passionate and loud about. And once she got her holiday.
She needed something else to do so she protested what her holiday had become.
The phrase "control freak" came to mind.

What kind of a person doesn't like to give gifts? And who would discourage gift giving?
 I spent a few hours changing diapers and feeding kids wondering about this woman and her motivations.

She wanted a holiday for celebrating mother's,
she got it,
then she said we had missed the point.
So what was the point?

After lots of thought, I think its this.
One day of the year we celebrate our mother, with a card, another piece of jewelry, some flowers.
these are nice.. but think of how they look compared to the things that she gave us.
The time she gave us.
 The better part of her life, and the strongest part of her heart.

  The one who fed us and cared for us when we were too little to even lift our head.

 The one who slept on the floor beside our bed when we had a high fever and awful nightmares.

 The one who listened to us cry about all our adolescent drama,

 and acted as though our silly fleeting problems were as important to her as they seemed to us.

 The one who held our had in the emergency room, and yelled at the mean nurse when we were to sick to stand up for ourselves.

 The one who beamed with pride on graduation day.

The ones who sat front and center on our wedding day,
showing amazing grace as they gave away they're babies.

The ones who sat in a waiting room for twelve hours for just a few minutes with they're babies new baby.

Our mom,
this is who we will call in the middle of the night when the baby has been crying for hours.

Our mom is the person in the delivery room behind our husband, praying us through every pain

Our mom is the only person we can give our kids too for the day so we can go relax
and never worry about how they are.... they are probably eating ice cream and very happy.
 
Our moms are our heritage....

they are the ones who pass on the past to the future, they take the pictures, make the scrapbooks, save the art projects.... preserving these things so that when we are all grown up we can look back and remember how much we were loved....

 And so they can look back and remember chubby cheeks, pigtails,
and maple syrup kisses on lazy Saturdays.

Maybe Anna Jarvis was crazy, but I think her heart was in the right place.
She didn't envision a day where we spend money to show mom what she means to us.
Although the gifts are nice, that was never the point... why not just give her a gift on her birthday...
The point is to take this one day and try to do for her a little tiny bit of what she has done for you.
Spend the day taking care of her, doing her job.
On Mother's Day we should be "Mothering" our moms.

Happy Mothering Day :)