Mom’s the Word

Did you have a happy Mother’s Day?

I did.

My family pampered and spoiled me:

– Slept in.
– Breakfast of homemade waffles with strawberries and cream on top.
– Jason did all the dishes.
– Opened gifts: new boots, new dress, bag of chocolate covered cinnamon bears (My family knows me so well!)
– Homemade card from the kids and a sweet love letter from Jason.
– Beautiful fresh flower corsage to wear to church (Tradition: each of the kids chooses a flower and then the florist arranges them into a corsage, sometimes a very funky combo, but I love it!)
– Favorite foods dinner: Papa Murphy’s Chicago style pizza, green salad, tall glass of Fresca with crushed ice.
– Took a leisurely walk up the road in the beautiful evening light.
– Watched a movie and ate homemade Oreo shakes.

The Perfect Mother’s Day, right?

Right.

Except for . . . wait for it . . . the GUILT!

You know it just wouldn’t be Mother’s Day if there wasn’t a healthy dose of guilt. But this time it wasn’t even the usual guilt about what kind of mother I am, but about what kind of daughter I am.

Confession: I purposely finagled my way out of having to spend Mother’s Day with any of my mothers or grandmothers so I could have the day all to myself to be pampered and preened by my husband and children. I made sure all the other heirachical mothers on both sides of the family were taken care of by other family members so I didn’t have to cook, or clean, or please anyone on Mother’s Day.

But as I crawled out of bed mid morning, ate waffles, watched Jason do dishes, opened gifts, read my cards, smelled my corsage, ate pizza, drank Fresca, went on a walk, watched a movie, and ate Oreo shakes, a guilty twinge festered.

Mothers are supposed to be selfless and sacrificing – the ultimate persona of martyrdom. After telling our kids a million times to bring a jacket in case it gets cold, and of course they don’t, we give them the jacket off our own backs when they get cold, just like we said they would. And how many NBA players talk about growing up in the ghetto while their moms worked three jobs to support eight kids so they could eventually have a better life as overpaid professional prima donnas?

It’s our job to give up our own comfort, pleasure, and ambition for the well being of others.

But yesterday, shhhh don’t tell, I didn’t.

I basked in a big therapeutic pool of selfish indulgence.

To traditionally and properly celebrate Mother’s Day I should have been slaving over a hot stove preparing a home cooked meal for visiting family, and frantically straightening up the house, and yelling at the kids to hurry and make cards for grandmas, and sorting through old newspapers to find the comics page to wrap gifts, and sneaking around the outskirts of neighbors’ yards to clip flowers for a bouquet.

I just couldn’t do it this time.

I wanted my own day.

But before you judge me too harshly, I did take my mom out to lunch on Friday and gave her a framed embroidered gift I made, which took many hours, and a cheeky card. And I invited my mother-in-law to stop by last night on their way home from the family dinner we ditched so I could give her a framed embroidered gift I made, which took many hours, and a non-cheeky card.

So, I did try and fulfill my daughterly duties on some level.

And just knowing that a child’s joy is always tainted by obligatory guilt is usually gift enough for any mother.

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