I do want cards and flowers for Mother’s Day.
Let me just put that out there. I recently read a blog that began with “Yeah — if you’re being gut honest here — you don’t really want the cards or the flowers [on Mother’s Day].” My gut response was actually, “Yes, yes I do!”
While she went on to say many wonderful and insightful things about motherhood, the bottom line being that we as moms really want grace, I have to admit I’m struggling with her assumption about Mother’s Day.
Maybe I’m being shallow here, because when push comes to shove, I’ll be okay if I don’t get these things on Mother’s Day. But I won’t back down on my gut response. I would absolutely love some tokens of my family’s love and appreciation for me on Mother’s day.
But I don’t want to completely throw this fellow mom under the bus. I actually love what she wrote about being a mom and what we need as moms, and couldn’t agree more with so much of what she said.
She hit the nail on the head about mothering. We want to be good mothers. We wanted to be the best. We want to be more than we are. To have more patience, to be more calm. We want to not lose it and to have more wisdom in those little moments that catch us by surprise. We want more time…to be with our children, play with them, plan more fun surprises with them. Many of us want a do-over.
With all the failures we see in ourselves as mothers, we want our kids to remember the good. We want them to know how hard we’ve tried. We want them to feel safe and to feel loved.
And so this author writes that what we all really want for Mother’s Day is a truckload of grace. Graces that buries our fears and tells us we don’t have to measure up. Grace that embraces us and holds us and loves us…amidst our insecurities and feelings of failure. Grace that loves us when we feel like we’re at our worst.
And so here is where I beg to differ. I want that stuff ALL YEAR LONG! Not just on Mother’s Day. And not from my kids. As she wrote, I need to be reminded of that from the One who loves me most. The One who created me. The One who chose me to be the imperfectly perfect mother of my kids. This is an ongoing gift that I need. Not one to be wrapped up on Mother’s Day.
On Mother’s Day, I would love for my kids to make me a card. A bouquet of flowers would be wonderful. I’d even take a box of chocolates. I want to feel loved and appreciated as a mom on that day.
We need these little encouragements as a mom. Our “mommy paychecks” come in the form of little-people hugs and sloppy kisses. They come in the form of “I wuv you’s” and “You’re the best mommy I’ve ever had.” As my children get older, they sometimes come in more subtle ways: my teenage daughter greeting me on the porch steps after I had been gone all day and saying, “I missed you, Mom.” Or my ten-year old telling me he sometimes thinks about me while he’s at school. Or my thirteen-year-old son smiling and waving at me when he sees me when he’s with his friends – like he’s not embarrassed to acknowledge me!
But these moments are often fleeting and lost in the midst of tantrums and frustration and sighs of exasperation when they are told “no” to something they would like to do.
And so that’s why I like to get something on Mother’s Day. That’s why I have absolutely no problem that there has been a day set aside just to recognize us moms. Because we need that. And I, maybe selfishly, want something tangible to remind me that I am loved and appreciated. I want to be able to say to a friend who asks me what I got for Mother’s Day, “I got flowers and some cards.” I don’t want to say, “I got Grace.”
But here’s the funny thing. Even if I don’t get those things. Even if my day is forgotten. Even if I just get a verbal “Happy Mother’s Day” from my children and a hug and a kiss, it will be okay.
Us moms have learned what it means to soldier on. Us moms will keep on loving our kids, even when we wonder if they even realize how much we love them. Us moms will keep attempting to do those special things for our children to make their lives special, even when we don’t expect the same in return. We will love them, even if our hearts break with how we have failed so miserably in showing them how much we love them. We will love them, even if our hearts break because we wonder if they even love us in return.
And maybe that’s why we need Grace. Because we may have to accept that Mother’s Day won’t be all that I hope it to be. Because maybe I won’t get the cards or the flowers.
Ultimately, our biggest gifts from them come at the most surprising times in the most surprising ways. Sometimes our biggest gifts are just little glimpses of their love. But a little something on Mother’s Day sure wouldn’t hurt. In fact, a little something on Mother’s Day would be wonderful!