Sunday, May 9, 2010

I did a post cop-out...

And I'm mad at myself.

And now I'm going through my morning annoyed at me because I wasn't true to what I wanted to say.

So I'm gonna say it now.

You know what?

Mothers Day is hard, YessireeBob. We have all these ideas of what makes a perfect Mothers Day!

Oh, it is going to be magical. Our children are all going to gather around us and put aside all the bickering and somehow they are going to keep the house clean and buy us a wonderful present and serve us a perfect breakfast in bed...

...because isn't that really what everyone elses family is doing?

I mean, are our expectations even vaguely in the realm of possible?

I remember when my kids were small and they would bring me home those tender sweet gifts and make me burnt toast in bed and then the rest of the day seemed like it was my husband-of-the-time fussing and yelling at them to "be nice, it's Mother's Day!" and at the end of the day I was stressed out, my house was pretty much trashed and I was exhausted.

And then when my kids were older they would kinda/sorta sullenly remember the day for five minutes and then much of the rest of the day would be spent with them sniping at one another about "being nice to Mom, it's Mothers Day" and at the end of the day I was stressed out, my house was pretty much trashed and I was exhausted.

But, oh, I believed it could be perfect. All my friends said their Mothers Days were. Their children turned into angels and little musical notes and sweet little bluebirds filled the air around them like a Disney movie.

And then as I got older still I would listen to friends say that every year their children gather in harmony and joy and bring lovely gifts...

...and seriously, maybe it's just me...

...because my Mother's Day was never, ever really what everyone else told me theirs was.

So I decided a few years ago to re-invent the way I thought of Mother's Day. I decided that I would think of it more as Mother's Year. And I would try and save up all the sweet things my kids did when I wasn't expecting it...or little things they said that warmed my heart...or when they called to say "I was thinking about such and such the other day and I think I was wrong!"

And then when Mother's Day actually rolls around and I don't hear angels voices and dancing musical bluebirds I don't feel cheated!

I don't feel like the only girl in the office whose husband forget to send flowers on Valentines Day!

I feel like I love being a Mom and I don't always need one day to make me feel it.

I'm expecting it to be truly a Mother's Day.

Which is what it is every day when we are blessed to have a family.

With all the turmoil and drama and arguments and messes.

And I truly do hope you are one of those Moms that gets the singing bluebirds.

But if you aren't...

...I didn't want you feel like you were alone!

I went to garage sales and to Costco on Friday with our oldest daughter for Mother's Day and I loved it. It was fun and we laughed.

My son called this morning and sang a lovely baritone version of Happy Mothers Day using the melody from Happy Birthday.

My youngest daughter will remember sometime around 5 o'clock that it is Mothers Day and will call, all apologetic and sweet.

And that is enough.

It will be a good Mother's Day.

And I won't have to clean up bluebird poop from my floor.

Sigh...

post signature

73 comments:

VKT said...

Ah my favorite blogger, I knew you wouldn't let me down. I came seeking a laugh or words of wisdom and I got both!!

I mentioned you in my Mother's Day post. When your daughter calls, mention that to her!

BONNIE K said...

I've always thought of Mother's Day as a day invented by the card-chocolate-flowers sellers, so I have never really had expectations for the day. And last year I told my husband to stop buying me mother's day presents because I'm not his mother! This year my sister-in-law, who has no kids and is a great cook, is having us over, and she said we can't bring anything cause we're mothers. And that's fine by me.

Cheryl said...

From a daughter's perspective, I kinda have a real problem with Mother's Day the older I get. It used to be a day I cherished. The commercialization of the whole thing has driven me nuts. It's not what it was. It's more like Christmas with high expectations fraught with peril.

I think of my mom's birthday as her day because it is the one day of the year that's just for her. My husband and I asked her to go out to lunch with us today, forgetting this is "the biggest eating out day of the year." Gah!

I feel like dog poop so I may call and reschedule for tomorrow when peace reigns in the land of the restaurants and hopefully I won't feel like puking.

You aren't alone, dear Jenny. It ain't what it used to be. I do remember when...

Jeanie said...

Nothing about being a mom is all hearts and flowers, not even a day dedicated to the celebration of motherhood. You are spot on about the "moments" that make it all good.

Beth said...

Thank you, Miss Jenny!
I'm having a hard day and you made me smile.

Brenda said...

Ahh Jenny. Sigh. I have had quite a few of the same feelings over the years. My youngest came on Friday night with her daughters and we ordered pizza and just sat and enjoyed their company. Middle daughter called to wish me happy Mothers day this morning and said she tried calling yesterday to come out with her boys but I was not home. Her hubs had her day planned today and she wanted to get my gift to me. I told her she could come out one evening after work this week because I had a gift for her too, and I said I thought everyday was Mothers day. She agreed and that made my day for sure. My oldest daughter is coming out for a visit this afternoon. I got up with a cold and I really am up to just what is going on today. Perfect. But I remember those years when I was a single mother and my girls were very young that those years the day just did not stand out at all, but that is ok now, because the every days are what count as you have just written. Perfect.

Jemm said...

Hope you have a Happy Mother's Day anyway!!!!

Jocelyn said...

Oh I adore this post and it is it sooooo true..

Yesterday I spent with my Mom at a Church tea.....silly little tea...nothing spectacular...except time spent with my Mom!!

Mu daughter is working...so she will be sleeping all day and I will get the call later this evening..before she goes back into work...

Joe is off to travel with the Nationals and Mom called to say it was toooo cold to do a cookout..so we will have it later in the month

My day will be spent alone...but I have all those wonderful memories as you do....and that is just PERFECT for me!!!

Happy Mother's Day sweet friend!!

criticalcrass said...

i've never understood why we have mother's day and father's day, except that it, like valentine's day, is an excuse to make money--to get people to buy a card and some chocolate. we don't have brother's day or sister's day or cousin's or niece's or nephew's.

i think mother's day and father's day and valentine's day and all the others that don't have days designated are every day.

just like you said..

you should be nice to your mommy EVERY day because she's your mommy.

i'm glad you wrote this post. i'm glad you left the other up, too, as it's sweet and all, but this one, this one's honest.

and i love that you had a pleasant jaunt to costco with your daughter, that you son began your day with the parody and your daughter will finish it. that is as it should be. :]

Bits-n-Pieces said...

Oh Jenny...you've got me bawling! Thank you for writing this after our conversation this morning. My "Mother's Day" is really no different from any other day, other than I got a gift from my oldest son (he spent $40 of his own hard earned money, which in itself means more to me than the actual gifts), and my daughter brought me a bowl of Lucky Charms and Diet Coke. But then I had to carry the bowl back to the kitchen, wash up the dishes, and am now in the process of doing 6 loads of laundry while listening to them bicker.
No diamonds and roses and lunch out for me. Those commercials lie to us...and we buy into it. Altho I do see some friends posting that they are going to the zoo or on a picnic with their kids today...but yanno, that is hard work on the momma, too! So maybe staying in and doing laundry isnt so bad afterall!
Happy Mother's Day to you, my sweet sweet friend!! Thank you for always understanding me!

Deb said...

you have the right attitude...Mother's Day is every day...the good...the bad...the ugly...the sweetness that makes you teary eyed...just being family...warts and all..just knowing your kids love you no matter what...and you love them no matter what...

Linda said...

Usually it's just another day! My youngest is pretty good about sending me a card and this year she sent me flowers! That was very sweet. I try to call my Mom and do something for her since it means a lot to her. Otherwise it's just another day and no bluebird poop to clean up here! Love your honesty!

Terry said...

No singing bluebirds here! We're definitely a bluebird-free zone! Always have been...always will be! LOL

Rayna M. Iyer said...

You my dear, are a very wise lady. Rather than expect music in the background all day long, it is better to know that Mother's Day is going to be no different from any other day, and to expect nothing else.

That way, you are happy with what you get.

Cheryl D. said...

Great post--so true!

La Bella Vie said...

Oh Jenny, this is so true! I know exactly what you mean, Mother's day is not always a Hallmark moment for most of us. In fact my posts' today are "in honor" of Mother's because we are not together and there are no bluebirds signing.
My post for later today is more in keeping with what being a Mother is to me...because I do not have children to bring me breakfast in bed or anything else for that matter.
I'll say this to you dear friend,

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY,
YOU ARE AMAZING AND I HAVE NEVER EVEN MET YOU!
Now the bluebirds are singing...

Terry

Lorrie said...

A GREAT post, Jenny! It's all about our expectations, isn't it? We expect that things will be different because of this one day, when that's an impossibility. I think these expectations are fed by the advertising and are purely commercial.
Like you, I've learned to appreciate what I have, and lay aside the expectations.

Have a great day!

Paula said...

Ah...I knew this is where I would find the greatest mother's day post of all time!!! Guess what? no bluebirds here neither and that means no poop too!!
Happy Mother's day, week and year Jenny!!:)

Lucy said...

I like the knowledge we have that Anna Jarvis went to her grave regretting that she had ever pushed that day into a National Day.

http://www.examiner.com/x-24777-Holiday-Examiner~y2010m5d4-Anna-Jarvis-The-woman-who-created-Mothers-Day-and-then-campaigned-against-it

I've never liked it for several reasons. I just 'get through it'. Luckilly, some women do like and have great families. They can have it. I sound like a real bah-humbug, huh. :)

Sandy said...

Oh Jenny! You write the truth over and over!!!! I am so glad we have connected, because you described most of my Mother's Day celebrations! LOL
I am feeling much better by the way!!!!! I took your advice and it worked! See you soon! :)

Amy said...

No singing birds here Jenny. But I know I'm loved and appreciated. I think your post could be attributed to a lot of things in life. I remember when Stephen was a baby it seemed as if he was the only one who was ever fussy or didn't sleep at night or puked spontaneously. Everyone else had perfect little angels who performed on cue, never cried and hit every milestone at that exact time they were supposed to! LOL

I agree with you - authenticity is where it's at. Love you! ~ Amy

Jo said...

lmao!!! no bluebird poop here either... in fact i think i will be cleaning my messy house while my daughter goes to work, and my mom and dad are in a lawn bowling tournament so i wont even get a chance to drop off a card till about 8 tonight ... but its still all good!

Sue said...

As you may have read on my blog, I'm one of those bluebird-poop scoopers who loves Mother's Day, but I have many friends and loved ones who share your view.

That's why I love your idea of saving up all the lovely things children do all year long to add meaning and joy to a day that might otherwise be stressful and/or difficult.

Thanks for bypassing your almost blog cop-out to share your thoughts with intelligence and humor.

=)

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Another terrific post with lots of good wisdom and insight!! I really appreciate it!! THANKS!! I do hope you are having an enjoyable day!!! :-)

Golden To Silver Val said...

THANK you....I soooo needed this. For years I have felt sorry for myself, thinking I was the only mother ever to feel so ignored or partially ignored on Mother's Day. No bluebirds EVER here. Humph...I have a friend who not only had bluebirds, the damn things were wearing tiaras! If a wonderful moment happened here, usually a spat between the kids would counter-act it. So, yes, I needed this because I'm a grandma now and nothing much has changed, just more wrinkles. So far, one out of 2 has called to wish me a HMD...making no bets if I will get a call from #2, you never know with him.

Anita said...

Ah Jenny, they have not all be picturesque and filled with singing birds, but like you when I think of the blessings my children have given me, I know each day is precious. Today is a good day, but I may still have poop to clean up somewhere...ha ha!

Anita said...

Ah Jenny, they have not all be picturesque and filled with singing birds, but like you when I think of the blessings my children have given me, I know each day is precious. Today is a good day, but I may still have poop to clean up somewhere...ha ha!

CherylK said...

Spoken well and true, wise lady.

I, too, much prefer the little things now and then to one day of "fussing" because it's expected.

Amanda said...

Hmmmmm. Yep. Sometimes we get so caught up in how Mother's Day (or anything) is not what we wanted it to be, and then forget to step back and see that what we have is pretty good. For years, I was disappointed because I expected to have what my Mom had-- an orchid corsage, a carnation when we got to church, a nice sermon about how wonderful mothers are, while her husband and family sat next to her in the pew. Then lunch at some local restaurant. The classic formula Mother's Day.
But I married a man who didn't share my faith. And didn't know about orchid corsages, and certainly didn't go with me to church so I could get a carnation, and show off my perfect family.
And I resented it.
And forgot to notice how wonderful it was that my not-a-morning-person husband got up and oversaw breakfast! (And, yes, I would sneak in later and clean up the mess, and no one really noticed.)
I was so blessed, but I missed out on so much, because I thought I wasn't getting what I wanted.

Tracy said...

Deswpite having four amaxing children who have always spoilt me on Mothers day I have until this year hated it. I went for counselling earlier in the year and by the time our Mothers day arrived in March I was so excited despite having no husband around.
I have always hated Mothers day because my Mum died when I was 16 and have not been able to show her how much I love her.
But something has changed and I want to to be loved. My kids never knew I hated it but they know now and fully understand. ok story over hope you checked out the flowers I out on my screen foryou

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Harward said...

You know, in my younger years, many Mothers day's were that way and I would feel disappointed and even angry that IT wasn't all that they said it to be. But as I have gotten older and more mild and mellow about things..It's a joy to take what is given and just to be with my family, especially the grand kids! Love...it's what it's all about...just love...and the bird poop is fine with me! :D

Julie Schuler said...

Matthew colored me a card and taped a quarter in it! He was so happy that he put money in my card. What a good boy! Justin got mad and never finished his card. Then, just like every Sunday, Dad took them grocery shopping- the quietest time of the week! I love it.

Bossy Betty said...

Oh yes. I release my family from all obligations of a pleasant Mother's Day around noon and we are all much happier!

Molly said...

So funny and yet so true. I think you remind us all of be cautious with our expectations. I also love that you make mental notes of all the great and sweet things your kids do all year long, those are the ones you truly cherish, not the forced "because it's Mother's Day" kind they MIGHT come up with one Sunday and year!

Christine said...

Happy Mother's Day Jenny, enjoyed your thoughtful post.

Tgoette said...

Jenny, wonderful post as always! I think bluebirds are totally overrated. LOL! Though it's great when your children (and husband) make the effort one day a year to honor your importance in their lives, you are right that they should have that same awareness the other 364 days of the year as well. Wishing you a warm and loving Happy Mother's Day!

Justine said...

ROFL about the bluebird poop. Heeheeheeeeeeeeeeee!

So far, this has been my favorite Mother's Day. The girls worked really hard to make it special for me, and then I took them out shopping. Weeeeeeeeeee!

Oh, and Jimmy's in Germany!

Justine :o )

Busy Bee Suz said...

I agree with you. Blue birds do poop all over the place.
My Mother's days have never ever been perfect, but I take whatever attention I can get!!!!
Happy MD to you Jenny. You deserve a great day and a wonderful year full of all the good stuff you put out there.

Beedeebabee said...

This was so perfect!!! Happy Mother's Day Jenny! xo Paulette

Bettyann said...

ah Jenny, I like that you tell it like it is...What a great way for you to deal with all the poop that a family dishes out.. Many years I cried as the kids were fighting or people didn't act the way romantic cards say it should be!!..This year my son came over with his fiancee and they cooked breakfast, we laughed and talked then I kicked them out so they could enjoy the day ...I'd rather be treated well all year round...my daughter, getting ready to pop a baby, is waiting for me to come up to calgary canada in 3 days to stay for 4 weeks...so Happy days to you..

CRAZYMOM said...

Oh Jenny, I love it! I was thinking this exact thing when they all started fighting around 11 this morning and I kicked them out to the yard so I could do dishes. No bluebirds, but the truth is, where else would I want to be on this day? I just take it for what it is and that is just fine with me. :)

Diana said...

Oh I love this Jenny! Yes that is a real Mother's Day, at least around here too, you are not alone.
Love Di ♥

paige said...

My mom is the gracious type who absolutely truly loves everything I've ever given her or done for her, so it's always been a joy. I fall all over myself for her on Mom's Day because I'm an only child and if I forget it's that much worse. Plus, she's wonderful. But if I didn't make it all perfect she would still be happy and still love me. I'm lucky. Very lucky.
I hope your day was a really great one!

Chatty Crone said...

Dear Jenny,

I too totally understand what you mean and when you hear all the hype - for any holiday - because every one has different expectations and it's hard - you have to have or make your own.

Not everyone is the same and sometimes you gotta let go. . .

and a Happy Mother's Day to you too. ♥sandie

Lisa said...

Same here. I gave mom her present 3 weeks ago my sister is busy with her kids and my brother didn't bother again. AND Mom was the only one who had to work today!!! But it's ok. Her house isn't a wreak and I cooked her dinner. Not so bad a day!
Have a great year!
Hugs, Lisa

Wanda said...

I helped my grandaughter pick a few wild flowers for her mom...that's what I did for Mother's Day.
♥...Wanda

Jojo said...

My daughter called me today to say that today was one of those days that Hallmark tagged as a special day. She went on to say that she was calling me to tell me she loved me, but that to her, Mother's Day is a year-round event. She doesn't just value me on a day. It was a nice message to hear.

Janet Johnson said...

I'm not there yet, but my 3-year old did grudgingly stop whining for a second in honor of mother's day. I'll take what I can get. :)

Thanks for stopping by and entering my contest!

gayle said...

Your earlier mother's days were just like mine. I always felt bad that they (my daughters) picked that day to fight the most!!!
Today was a perfect day though!!

Country Dreaming said...

I hope you day today was great. Holidays are tough no matter what.
You can have all the people around you andstill things aren't "right"
you can also have the opposite and have the same thing.
Sometimes we just have to make the best of what is handed to us.
No Mom's for us but we had Ken's Dad so we did our best to have Mother's Day. There's always tomorrow.

Melinda

Mary Elizabeth said...

Jenny,

Thanks for visiting and following my blog, "Ten Thousand Hugs"!!! I came over here to your blog - I LOVE the look of it! So hip!!! I am now a follower!

Best wishes,
Mary Elizabeth

Terra said...

I really would hate to be cleaning up bluebird poop tonight. It would be much worse than my 4 year old longing for my to be by her side 2 hours after her bedtime, or the fact that my 9 year might be getting sick because she slept half the day away...Blue bird poop would just throw me off, make think I was crazy and possibly start me on medication. Because if their was ever a day when blue birds danced and the angles sang in my house, I would certainly know I had lost it.

MOtherhood is by far the hardest adn possibly most thankless,selfless job on the planet...and I wouldn't give it up for the world - even when "mothers day" isn't all that!

Auntie Cake said...

I so hear you. I think, why do they invent this holiday so I can think my kids will be fantastically happy on this day, my hubby will wait on me, and I won't have to clean up after making lunch? It did happen though. This year, for the first time ever, my kids made me breakfast in bed, they bought me a present, and hubby got a flower for my garden. Miracles will never cease!
Hoping you did have a good day.
Kate
PS- I did have to clean up lunch though. It's still all good though!

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

I had a few sweet surprises today which made for a special day. Always looking for blessings to count! Happy Mother's Day Jenny

grammy said...

so true
we do set our self up
we want a Norman Rockwell kind of day
I tell my husband what I want for my BD and that helps....like we are going out to eat and a movie...then the poor thing does not have to figure it out
but on this day...we don't get to tell everyone what to do....I take that back...I still told hubby (o:
but the kids were on their own and it worked
I had a great day at the park with all....bikes....bubbles....dog....food and fun (o:
happy and blessed me

Ms. Anthropy said...

My little blue birds don't poop, they just sit in their tree, reminding me of Jenny! My oldest finally called me, around 10:45 pm. Better late, than never. I was very fortunate this Mother's Day, for a change. (3 out of 4 ain't bad) Someday, maybe they can all get along, long enough to be in the same place, at the same time. Maybe... but I won't hold my breath!

Melinda Cornish said...

I love this post, cause it is so true....I have had many Mothers days from hell, let me tell you and part of it was probably my expectations.....Today, I gotta tell you though, was a great one.....and guess what? I had no expectations at all...maybe that is the secret...that and not letting the bluebirds poop on your head.....happy mothers day....we both have earned it....

Holly said...

I have tried to reinvent all of our holidays because none of them ever met any expectations or the tales of what my friends told. We go strawberry picking every mothers day. I expect nothing but that, a handmade card, and to sleep in.

This morning (afternoon at 12 pm) my daughter jumped on my head waking me up asking for jelly beans and then she ate all of my oatmeal...my day ended with mounting 60+ art projects for my sons class...that was mothers day and it was fine.

I am seriously in awe of you...you have such an awesome blog and so many comments and you are so up to date...I fell behind after my SITS day and think I may never catch up!

Way to go Jenny!

Happy Mothers Day.

jfb57 said...

I'm always amazed that your Mothers day is at a completely different time to ours. I also feel sad for those women who are not mums & how they must feel with all the hype.Glad you had a good one!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Ah Jenny,
You are to funny........but also as full of wisdom as you are wit!!
Some Mother's Days are truly better than others, but I think the key to enjoying them is to not have high expectations or no expectations at all really, and just enjoy whatever happens, and cling to those everyday wonderful lil glimmers of hope that we get along the way, just like you said.
I have to say tho, that as my children have gotten older and I have lost my expectations my Mother's Days have gotten better and better! This years was great!!
sounds like you had a good one too.
Blessings, Nellie

Brenda said...

Oh Jenny, my thoughts are not fit for posting... so I'll just say thanks. Big hugs, B=)

Theresa said...

Oh, you are the cutest! I just love this post! It was a great day for me, Church, home for the family to come for a swim... and late cleaning up messes:) bluebird poop! OK, hope you have a precious day and Happy Mother's YEAR! HUGS!

My name is PJ. said...

I'm with you on this, Matlock. Let's get down to brass tacks.....God specifically said to honor your father and your mother. He made no mention of the first Sunday in May or the third Sunday in June.

If, in fact, a mother is honored on but one day a year, the score is
Hallmark 1, Family 0.

Jan Vermillion-Thomason said...

I read this and I didn't feel like it was a tangent.
I think what you said was heartfelt and I for one, totally agree with you.
Having all boys, Mother's Day has never been any big deal and that's been okay. It's when, like you said, our expectations are too high. We're just setting ourselves up for disappointment and I'm not simply talking about Mother's Day.


I love my life.
I love my family and treasure the phone calls, the visits, even the text messages.
Yeah.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Jan

P.S. PLEASE make Paper Cowgirls a priority..........emai me with any questions...........you would NOT be disappointed and you WOULD have three days surrounded by women that "get" you, you'd be with me:) and you would leave on Sunday smiling really big!

JAN

MrsJenB said...

You know, I think this applies to all of life and not just Mother's Day. Comparing our own experiences to those of others and wondering why we never measure up. Ruining things from the get-go with impossible expectations because "that's the way it SHOULD be". Finding true peace and contentment when we learn that we have to appreciate what we have for what it is and not "what it should be".

I think I am going to write about this today! And of course I will cite you as my inspiration!!

Miss Kodee said...

What absolute perfect timing to find your blog. Your Mother's Day post made a Happy Monday! Thanks

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Bravo!

And this is why I love you, Jenny...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Lindsay said...

I remember my dad giving us a hard time and telling us to be good! With Sammy being 3 he doesn't even know how to do that period.. I take it more as my day to sit back and chill and spend time with family and friends. I didn't have any expectations especially since Sammy isn't capable of making breakfast and Tim's family never participated in mother's day. So I was pleasantly surprised with a wonderful day. I think for me at least the key is to not expect anything and just to enjoy what you get :-) (way easier said than done!)

Lourie said...

Mine was somewhere between, "Be nice to mom," and bluebirds. I had a good sized mess to clean up today and the laundry is out of control. But the kids mostly got along, and hubby only yelled a couple of times. Haha.

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

It really is too bad my internet was down yesterday...I needed this. I've had bluebird Mother's Days...and some that were so bad I wanted to just sleep from Saturday night until Monday morning. Yesterday had some good moments and some very sad ones...bittersweet. Certainly nothing like any Disney movie I remember...

Tina said...

And here I thought I was the only one who hated Mother's Day. You nailed it. I've never had a bluebird Mother's Day. Ever. I'm exhausted and my house is trashed along with yours. sigh.

Nishant said...

you are the cutest! I just love this post!
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