Mother’s Day is this Sunday so there’s time to send cards and flowers to whomever. I don’t believe in cards and flowers really. Cards generally use heavy, non-recycled card stock and say things that are too harsh, too mushy, too silly, or just too. Sometimes they’re pretty funny, but on the whole I prefer a heartfelt note. Even a very, very short one with bad grammar and misspellings. A few times I’ve gotten the heartfelt note in the card. That’s a good combo for me. Mike loves cards. His family is card-y. They send cards for a lot of things, and more than one card for one occasion. Which is cute. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a card. Probably at least a couple, since Mike will get a store bought card for me from Ax too, who is prime make-a-card age, as am I.
So suddenly there’s a breakfast burrito’s worth of money spent on cards that I’ll keep, maybe store for a few years, and then throw out, or throw out in a week or so if I’m honoring Marie Kondo’s “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
I was feeling pretty judgmental towards a couple of my friends and a couple bloggers I’ve read who are all already talking about what they want and don’t want for mother’s day and how they’re pre-resenting their families for not doing enough or not doing it right. And then I’m realizing I’m kind of doing it too. Wishing somehow the day would be different, that it would be notes and not cards, and hand-drawn, not store-bought. Not just accepting the love in the form that it’s given and feeling good about that.
And then I’m wondering if somehow the loaded-ness of Mother’s Day comes from this notion that this is the day, the one day, where all the appreciation I want, all the partnership and acknowledgement I need, is provided. And that if it’s not good, like really, really good, then everything sucks, I’m not loved and supported, and just waaah.
But how could any spouse/partner/baby daddy/kid ever do enough on one day to meet that goal? I mean, what would it take to feel fully acknowledged or compensated or whatever it is Mother’s Day is supposed to be doing in one day if that kind of thing weren’t happening on a regular basis throughout the year? A Lamborghini? A paid weekly cleaning person for a year or a decade? A spa weekend with a girlfriend? A quarterly spa weekend? Stuff and services, even really nice stuff and services, and lots of them, just seem inherently to not cut it.
So I do appreciate the cards, and I’m going to try to appreciate them more. Maybe it’ll be easier if I think they’re coming from love and pleasure at being given and not obligation. Yes, it’s the obligation part that feels weird. And I’m going to think of Mother’s Day as more like a family re-assessment day and see if I’m feeling “in the hole” in some way, or if Mike or Ax are feeling in the hole, and try to maybe adjust things, adjust myself, so that all year round everyone (including me) can feel more appreciated and acknowledged and fulfilled. And then this one little day wouldn’t be so loaded and insufficient no matter what.
That would be cool for me. That’s what I want for Mother’s Day: a reassessment of how we are doing as a family and perhaps generate some PDSA cycles to make what’s already quite good even better. And I’ll also take the cards, and a foot massage too, if it’s on offer, and I’ll appreciate them. I’ll say thank you a lot and look at the faces of my dudes who love me and feel how very lucky I am to have so much love in my life, whatever form it takes. I can take it.