My Facebook Status: “Here’s to all the good parents out there. Continue being the oddly-shaped-soft-in-some-spots-worn-out rock of the family. Those kids need you.”
I have been a single mom for eight years, which naturally means that my Mother’s Days are always horrendous. I’m not sure that the story is much different for a lot of non-single moms either. For instance, when my dad doesn’t get my mom anything for Mother’s Day (every year), he proclaims “You’re not my mother!”, and goes golfing. That’s nice dad.
I usually spend my Mother’s Day trying to relax and expecting the kids to understand that they should be worshiping me on this particular day. Of course the day always ends in crushing disappointment, whining children, and me locking myself in the bathroom in order to gain some composure. This year I decided to do something kid-oriented and take the kids to the aquarium. I figured at the very least there would be a little less whining and bickering to deal with than normal. My preteen daughter threw a bit of a fit in the middle of the day, the kids didn’t say Happy Mother’s Day (until the pizza delivery guy reminded them to, thanks pizza guy), no one made me a card, and I didn’t get breakfast in bed, but it wasn’t a bad day overall.
Yesterday, I was thinking about the day while looking at the picture below of me and my nephew outside of the aquarium. Maybe it has to be enough to know that I give all my (imperfect) love and (definitely imperfect) energy to my kids, their friends, my nephew, and all the children I’m close to. Maybe it has to be enough to know I’m the one they come to when they are tired, sick, or scared. Even if they don’t appreciate me now, or ever, I’ll know that I did everything I could to shape them into the adults they will soon become. Being a parent is a messy, exhausting, thankless job, but everyone needs someone to love them unconditionally (unless you want to raise a serial killer, which could be handy too, e.g. Dexter).
Happy belated Mother’s Day to me and all the other moms who are caring for and loving the children around them with everything they have. Happy early Father’s Day to all the dads who are doing the same; I’m sorry about that tie the kids are going to get you. Take it off when you get in the car before you get fired.
Raising kids is like running a marathon. You have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and invest in an abundance of energy drinks. Oh, and most importantly, WATCH OUT FOR LEGOS while you’re putting one foot in front of the other.