I began this last Wednesday and just finished today (Monday).
The last two days have been your not-so-average bits of insanity in my home. Nothing entirely outside the norm, but as someone who has worked so incredibly hard (and successfully) to manage her anxiety recently, the little things sometimes add up. My son almost drilling his face…like with a real drill. My computer’s hard drive crashing, requiring a transfer of all my data and purchase of a new hard drive. My daily migraines. Organizing my work schedule, figuring out summer plans, etc. All of that, paired with the intensity that has been 2016 thus far, and I’m feeling drained. I’m also feeling down because this blog seems to be at a standstill. I don’t know what sort of boost I need, but something is missing.
I was at Bryce’s school on Tuesday picking him up. There was a new bulletin board in front of his classroom. It was for Mother’s Day, and it had all different flowers up that each child made for his/her mom. On the leaves attached to the stem, it said something like “My mom is special because ____” and each child’s response. The flowers weren’t labeled with the children’s names, so I had no idea who made what. I started reading the responses, and I saw one that said “because she works a lot”. My heart stopped. Did my child give that response? Was that what Bryce said? Is that how he views me? I love being a mom who imagines she does an amazing job balancing work and family (and herself), but maybe all my children see me as is a work-a-holic. Maybe all of the time I spend taking them to fun places, preparing them delicious food, keeping the home in some sort of manageable order, etc. goes unnoticed because my kids just think of me as that mom who works too much. I tried to get Bryce to tell me what he said. I gave him the prompt, but he gave me multiple answers that didn’t necessarily match any of the other responses. He also couldn’t remember what color flower he made.
Well, this morning, the name labels were on the flowers. Mine said “My mom is special because she is nice.” Not the most profound response, but at least I wasn’t the mom who spent more time working and less time with her children. And it’s not there’s something wrong with that mom. That mom is incredible, too! Maybe she’s a single mom supporting her child on her own or a mom who is very passionate about her career. It’s just not the mom I strive to be.
I was the daughter of a stay-at-home mom. She was with me morning, noon, and night. I’m certain this shaped me in many positive ways, but thanks to her encouraging me to go to college, I have real career options. I have been a classroom teacher, I’ve taught graduate classes online, I’m a private tutor, I was co-director of a non-profit, I’m a faculty supervisor, and obviously, I’m a blogger. I want my children to see that I work hard so they are never deprived of anything they want (within reason). I want them to know we eat well and travel and visit all kinds of cool local places because Richard and I value hard work.
I want my children to remember me as the fun mom who found balance.
I want to be their childhood hero.
This Mother’s Day, I don’t need flowers or chocolates or jewelry. I need to know that I can be the mom in all those cards. The one who is a child’s best friend. The one who is there emotionally and physically. I want my kids to know that now and forever — they are the most beautiful beings I could ever imagine creating.
My Mother’s Day was awesome this year! On Friday, I visited Bryce’s classroom. He made me all sorts of presents, his class sang us their favorite song, and we enjoyed brunch together. I love his responses to these questions:
On Saturday, I went out to late lunch/early dinner with Richard, the kids, my parents, my mother-in-law, and my brother-in-law. It was so nice to be with our family, celebrating motherhood. Richard helped the kids fill out a book called What I Love about Mom and bought me plants for the garden in front of the house. It was really a great Mother’s Day!