Mothers Day is so much better when you’re the mother. I know that sounds shallow and selfish, but it’s not just for the obvious reasons. As a mother, you can finally understand what all your own mother went through. More accurately, what you put her through. You can finally appreciate what it was like for her to have to cook your dinner every single night and to read all of those books to you over and over again and to pretend like your singing was the most wonderful sound she had ever heard. Celebrating my own mother took on a whole new meaning after I became a mother myself. I have an appreciation for her that I could not have had before I lived it. I hope I can do this most important job half as well as she was able to.
Having said that, Mother’s Day is also bittersweet. My first Mother’s Day as a mother was wonderful and exciting and I really felt special. It was nice knowing the day could be all about me and I was allowed to be a little selfish. My second Mother’s Day, however, was not so wonderful. We made the weekend all about me and Elena ended up having her first and worst allergic reaction to this day. (Get the full story here… https://allergenmenumom.com/2011/09/19/happy-mothers-day-this-is-your-wake-up-call/)
I’m not exactly sure what happened that day. We let our guard down a little, trusted the server without digging deeper, tried to pretend like we were a normal family who could just go and eat out anywhere, and we had very little experience to rely on to get us through. We failed to use appropriate restaurant precautions, which we really didn’t even understand at that point. We failed to recognize the signs of anaphylaxis. We hesitated to use the Epipen when we should have since there was an ER only 3 minutes away, which still nauseates me every time I think about what could have happened. We basically did everything wrong.
On my second Mother’s Day, Elena could have been taken from me by a simple dinner in a cafe. I was still fairly new to motherhood and very new to food allergies. I know how lucky we were to walk away with only one night in the ER and a few days on a steroid.
Of course, I still want to be selfish on Mother’s Day. I still want to be pampered and get a break from the cooking and cleaning. I want my kids to be good all day just because they want to. Better yet, I want them to be having loads of fun somewhere with their Daddy where I am not. I want to have a day off from the stress and chaos of being a stay at home mom. I want a day that resembles what Dad’s get on Father’s Day, or as I like to call it…”every day of the week”. (Sorry, Justin. I couldn’t resist.)
Will I get it? Probably not. That’s ok, though, because I know I am so incredibly lucky to be celebrating Mother’s Day with my three beautiful babies. They are the absolute loves of my life and they are worth every ounce of chaos that we live in. I will take the jumping and screaming and having lunch out with kids who melt down on Mother’s Day just like any other day. I will smile and pretend to enjoy the girls screaming made up “Happy Mother’s Day” songs from the back of car, as if the random screeches are not starting to give me a headache and make my face twitch. I’ll try, against all reason, to get a good photo of myself with the kids to commemorate the holiday. Someday I will be wishing they were all right here with me for every second of this day, rather than wanting to spend a day by myself, enjoying the peace and quiet. It won’t be today. Probably not next year either. Someday though.