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A Split Personality Mother's Day

Updated on April 30, 2013

What is a Mom to do?

A major dilemma is faced by many a mom every Mother's Day. We want to take a break from the daily mom-grind, but seldom have the opportunity until our children leave the nest. Dad and the kiddos may think they are letting us sleep while they make breakfast, but no mom can sleep for fear of the disaster that awaits her in the kitchen. If we are fortunate enough to, instead, go to brunch, we still don't get to sleep in, because waiting until 11am to fill little tummies carries severe consequences.

Sleep vs. Celebration

What every mom of small children really wants on Mother's Day is sleep with peace and quiet. The best Mother's Day present I have ever received is the day Dad took my two young boys to the park and had a breakfast picnic with them while I slept in a quiet house until 10 am. When I finally stretched myself out of bed, I poured a cup of coffee, and turned on the television to see what the rest of the world watched on a late Sunday morning. I spent a few glorious minutes reliving my own childhood when I found The Jetsons. I was then smothered by slobbery kisses when all my boys came home to wish me a happy Mother's Day with a bouquet of dandelions.

As the kids grow and change, so do our celebrations. Elementary school brings adorable gifts and poems made by tiny hands and hearts, and every mom melts when they are unwrapped. Those gifts stop abruptly by 4th grade, and acknowledgments of Mother's Day only continue if Daddy, or another loving adult, sets the reminder.

What do you really want?

What is Your Favorite Mother's Day Present?

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When I first became a mother, I celebrated my own Mother's Day along with the birthday of each of my children. After all...isn't that really what Mother's Day is all about? It's the celebration of the day you became a mother, right?!


As my boys got older, their birthday was really devoted to them and their milestones through life - as it should be - and I realized that Mother's Day was a celebration of the role and responsibility of motherhood. Whether we enter this journey through natural childbirth, adoption or by willingly mothering those who need us most, we can celebrate Mother's Day with dignity and grace for the road travelled. I have subsequently adopted the Hallmark day right along with the rest of the country...and I sincerely appreciate the attention.

Now that my boys are in middle school and high school, and I am giving them more responsibilities around the house, they are more appreciative of mom's role in their lives. (Of course, it helps that I remind them quite often.) These last few years have brought the best Mother's Day celebrations of all, because I see and feel the love of my boys through their willingness to celebrate their mom. However, the challenges of one son firmly in his teen years, and the other dealing with Asperger's Syndrome are wearing on me to the extent that my most desired Mother's Day gift this year is time alone. But, whenever I envision a Mother's Day spent relaxing in my favorite spa getting a 90 minute massage, I feel a tug of regret picturing the look on my boys' faces as I mentally drive away and rob them of the pleasure of doing whatever I ask for one entire day. I'll save the spa relaxation for my birthday!

Am I a bad mom for wanting alone time on Mother's Day? Come live a day in my household before you judge me, but I'm pretty sure your life is just as uniquely crazy and wonderful.

I won't go to the spa this Mother's Day. I will probably spend the day enjoying a boy-made breakfast, going for a hike/picnic with my two-legged and four-legged family members, and bringing dinner in while watching a movie.

After all, this motherhood journey changes drastically as our children navigate high school toward their own path through life. I'm sure we'll have plenty of Mother's Days to spend however we wish when our kids have kids of their own.

For now, welcome and appreciate the craziness of motherhood. It means we are still doing our job, and our kids are still in our care.

How lucky are we?!

How will you spend this Mother's Day?

Do you also suffer from "Split Personality Mother's Day?"


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