When our first child was born, we received many beautiful and thoughtful baby gifts. One mom sent a gift that stood out: white pajamas adorned with green piping on the edges and cotton fabric decorated with a pattern of green and yellow circles. These beautiful pajamas were not for our sweet little boy, but for this new mama.
In the bliss and blur that accompanies bringing home a new baby, her gift caught my attention. In this space, where I had gone from me to mom, where my identity would never again be separate and would be forever intertwined with our new baby, the nod to me was not expected, but so appreciated. Maybe since she was already a mom, she knew the secret: mamas need hugs and kisses too.
It aligns with the philosophy of one of my favorite quotes: we deceive ourselves when we fancy only weakness needs support, strength needs it far more (yes, I recently used it in this Weekly Top 5. It’s been one of my favorites since my teenage years).
Mother’s Day celebrates that strength. It makes sure mamas are getting the support and thanks and all the hugs and kisses we need. It takes one day out of the 365 to celebrate all the moments that go into the year.
- The moment where your gut tells you to hug instead of discipline
- The moment you watch your child walk fearlessly into a room
- The moment you kiss the boo-boo and the crying miraculously stops
- The moment your child comforts an upset sibling
- The moment you repeat yourself for the 10th time and they suddenly do it
- The moment you choose your battles
- The moment you know, as the parent, you should keep a straight face, but you can’t help laughing at your child’s antics
- The moment your oldest learns to ride a bike
- The moment you learn your middle, who follows along at home, is the leader in his classroom at school
- The moment your last baby takes his first steps
- The moment you wield the double seated race car grocery cart around the grocery aisle corner with a prayer that you don’t take anyone out
- The moment you pull your screaming child out of the coffee shop
- The moment you exit a store with all three of your children in tow without a single tear, scream, whine or runaway and you want to hoist both arms in the air to declare: I am the champion of the world!!!!
- The moment your 4 year old reminds you it’s a full moon and asks to step outside to find it before bed
- The moment your 1 year old starts to hug you back
- And the moment your 3 year old slips his arm around your neck, looks you in the eye and says: I love you, mommy.
Without those moments, Mother’s Day would be just another day.
But even more fundamentally, without these beautiful children, there would be no Mother’s Day.
I willfully brought them into this world. They don’t owe me anything for that. They don’t owe me a thank you for the things I do for them nor the time, love, worry and heartache I dedicate to them.
When I do something out of love, I expect nothing return. When I do get something in return – it’s gravy. That’s what makes their thank you’s and their offerings of appreciation so special. It’s extra credit. That’s the best thank you, right? When it’s given not because it’s expected but because it’s felt.
This Mother’s Day while they’re celebrating me, I’m celebrating my sweet boys. Their contagious smiles, their screams of excitement and the joy they find in the simple pleasures. I thank them for letting me be their mom. I thank them for forgiving me when I make parenting mistakes, for bearing with me as I try to learn each of them to help them grow, for reminding me to gaze at the moon, for their laughter and all their hugs and kisses.
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