I had the joy of watching “Moms’ Night Out” with two mama-girlfriends last weekend. We managed to catch one of the final showings in a local theater. From the very first minutes of the movie to the rolling credits at the end, I was in tears – either from laughing or crying. Somehow the writers had managed to cram so many real, honest-to-goodness “mommy issues” into 1.5 hours. We’re talking about the issues of mommy guilt (“I’m a horrible mom!”), mommy comparisons (“I never look as put together as she does”), mommy judgment (“I’m a better mom than she is”), and mommy moments (ie. hiding in a closet with a laptop and a bag of chocolates). They even had one scene with the mom telling the hubby, “I don’t want to celebrate Mother’s Day.” My eyes watered during that one because I had a similar “meltdown” just a few weeks ago.
We were sitting down for lunch at the restaurant of my choice and while I was looking over the menu, hubby asked me, “Are you okay?” He was likely wondering why I was wiping tears away from the corner of my eyes, though still trying to put on a happy face – it was Mother’s Day after all! In that moment I really didn’t want to celebrate “my” day. Why? Because honestly I was tired and frustrated and disappointed. Frustrated that the kids had been extra whiny on the way to church. Disappointed when the nice man who had greeted us at church asked if I had been served breakfast in bed and I laughed (somewhat bitterly). Frustrated that the kids had also been extra complain-y (yes, that’s a word I made up) on the way to the restaurant. Frustrated that Mother’s Day wasn’t turning out the way I wanted it to be: translation = perfect! So I decided at lunch that it was better to not celebrate Mother’s Day at all. Because truth be told, it is just like any other day for moms. Unless you are able to hide out in a cave on every second Sunday of May, you don’t get a day off.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten all that off my chest, let me say that this is just one side of motherhood, namely, the hard side. The other side, the bright side, is good and worth remembering. It’s what keeps me sane and positive and thankful, even when I want to hide out in a closet with some comfort food.
It was the sweet smile on E’s face when he presented me with the gift he had made for me in class.
It was the excitement in C’s eyes when she handed me her gift, which she had made at preschool and couldn’t wait for me to open.
When I see these tokens of their love for me, I remember that I am appreciated. I also realize that Mother’s Day is not meant to be perfect. I will likely not have a day free from whining, complaining or work (at least not for the next 10 years). But what I can celebrate on Mother’s Day, and every day, is the journey of how far I have come as a mom and to know that all my effort is worth it.
It can be summed up in this conversation from the “Moms’ Night Out” movie (my favorite lines from the film):
Husband (to the wife): “Your job is -”
Wife: “I know, it’s hard.”
Husband: “No, I was going to say important. Your job is important.”
Here’s a song from the movie’s soundtrack, Natalie Grant’s “Hurricane” that reminds us of our hope in the midst of the storms (aka. mommy meltdowns).
How do you celebrate your journey as a mom?