I woke up Mother’s day morning to my usually alarm clock: a grumpy baby wanting to escape a crib. I picked her up, squeezed her tight, and went along with our usually morning routine. First, I lay her down for a quick diaper change and she, almost simultaneously, demands to be picked up again. We make our way to the kitchen and I, one handedly, prepare a quick breakfast and a sippy cup. I sit her on the floor, and I prepare our outfits and bags for the day. But on mother’s day, our outfits and bags included swimsuits, many more snacks, and one extra, of everything. My family (mostly my dad, he’s the spontaneous not-so- planner) planned a day of fun in the keys. We packed up two cars and made the couple hour drive south. Before making it to our resort, we made a pit stop at Robert Is Here for milkshakes and smoothies. Marlowe’s second visit (as off as it seems to link back to this event, you can see the first one HERE). At the resort, we rented jet skies and catamarans (is that what they’re called? Those sailboat type things?). I spent much of my time following Marlowe in an out of the water. She splashed and played, my family rode around on jet-skies, and I stood there, in a saddened daze. I wanted so badly to be happy to enjoy my (more than beautiful) surroundings, my family, the sunshine, and everything, but I found it difficult. My mood had been off. My week had been tiring and difficult. And the day before, had been one of my most trying days as a mother. I just wanted a break and I wanted to relief, but even in the most perfect of days, it wasn’t completely happening. I felt guilty that I wasn’t loving every second. I felt guilty because part of me still wanted to cry at how awful the day before had been. I felt guilty because I wanted to feel more appreciated. Marlowe wouldn’t know it’s mothers day, but her father would, and I was angry and hurt that he couldn’t take one second to tell me he appreciated the work I do for our child, for his child. Is that a wrong feeling? Or a stupid feeling? I’m not sure, but I felt it. I didn’t need a gift or a card. I didn’t need him to tell me I was doing a great job and I didn’t need to be reassured of what a wonderful mother I am, because I already know. I just wanted a “thank you” for the work and sacrifices I make, to raise our daughter alone, each day. Feeling upset, because I’m upset over something that I shouldn’t be upset about: dumb. It’s the feeling I have with most ‘hallmark holidays’. Just as most single people are ‘supposed’ to hate and dread Valentines day, I don’t look forward to Mother’s day. It’s a reminder of something I’d rather not waste my time thinking about. I don’t want to expect a thank you because it’s a holiday. But I did and I do, and I become angry with myself, because I do. What a foolish idea.
I don’t ever expect Marlowe to thank me. She doesn’t have to. I do what I do for her, because I love her, just the same as all mother’s do for their children. I’d give up everything and more if it means: I can spend my time with her, watching her grow, love, and smile. Sure, I love my time off, my nights out, I even love work, and the few moments of me-time I get when she sleeps, but my priority is her. Always her.
In conversation with a guy I met last night, I mentioned I was a mother. (Admittedly, I usually mention this to men who approach me, in an attempt to scare away any future conversations). He told me “Happy belated mother’s day. It’s definitely something special, to be a mother”. And I smiled. I smiled at the simple idea of wishing a stranger a ‘happy belated mothers day’ and I smiled at the thought. It truly is something special to be a mother. I am a lucky individual to be able to not only call myself a woman, but also “a mother”. And while I doubt I will ever love mother’s day, I will always love the idea of being a mother… and not just a mother, but a mother to my daughter. It really is something special.
A mother first. A spontaneous dancer, second.
Happy belated mother’s day, mamas.
Marlowe’s suit c/o snapping turtle kids.