Every year since becoming a Mama, I have looked forward to Mother’s Day and the chance to spend a special morning with my own children and an afternoon with my own Mama and my mother in law.
Last year the wheels fell off a little when in the planning of Mother’s Day and trying to fit in with everyone’s schedules I felt like we were dealing with Christmas Day all over again rushing here and there and really not enjoying any time to just be. So after a delightful morning at home with my little family, my husband took the kids to visit his mother, while I went to meet my siblings to lavish love on our Ma. It was lovely. It was nice to be with my mother without my kids demanding my attention and it was nice to spend time with my siblings as siblings rather than uncles and aunt. I felt a little guilty about it though, I’m not going to lie.
Sometime ago I read a magazine article where different famous mothers talked about how they celebrate Mother’s Day and what the day means to them. Some told of how it was the chance to do whatever the heck they felt like – a child-free day at the spa or spending all day alone. Other’s spoke of scenarios more like I am used to. I have thought about that article a lot since I read it.
Personally it’s only been in the past year to eighteen months that I have allowed myself to feel OK about spending time without my kids. I’ve felt that to be the best Mama I can, I needed to be 100% available to them and to put them first 100% of the time. If I made plans to go out with friends, I would make sure that the kids were completely taken care of, dinner made (if not also fed), baths done, clothes laid out, routine sorted, before I whisked myself off for the evening. I haven’t had a weekend away with girlfriends since I was pregnant with number 2 and my eldest was 16 months old. I’ve had the odd weekend off duty with my husband here and there, but it’s not a regular thing.
But here’s the thing… I’ve been feeling like my patience is wearing thin, like my kids aren’t really appreciating my constant companionship and possibly they need space from me too?
And so now, I find myself 3 days out from Mother’s Day pondering a few things. Today my husband goes to Sydney for another 2 night trip – he was also away in Sydney last weekend and a couple of weeks prior to that also. He returns on Saturday night just in time for us to join in and celebrate a very dear friend’s 40th birthday in the city. I’ve bought a new dress. I’ve just had my hair done. A night on the town with friends and my man. I simply can . not . wait!
As it’s worked out, my children will be staying with my in-laws for the night, not because that’s what I asked for but because that is what suits them better. At first I was a little bit like “But then they won’t be with me on Mother’s Day when we wake up which is what we always do!”
But before I let those words slip from my lips, I realised the positives of the situation: I will get to have a few drinks out on Saturday. I will (hopefully) sleep in on Sunday morning. I will not be woken by my beautiful well-intention-ed children who have put together a delicious breakfast spread. We will then retrieve them all from the in-laws and I will snuggle them with all my might around lunchtime. I will then leave the youngest with my husband and take my Mama and my eldest two to a movie premiere. It will be more like a regular Sunday than a Mother’s Day of years gone by, but it will be bliss!
Part of me feels like I should be feeling guilty about the way it’s all worked out. But the other part of me keeps thinking about that magazine article and instead I am telling myself “You know what? I’m OK with this! And I’m allowed to be.”
As I’ve been learning from reading Tui Fleming’s book “Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too!”** I’m filling my own cup this time. And there is nothing wrong with that!
My 7 year old hasn’t figured out that these weekend plans mean we will not be together come sunrise on Mother’s Day because she will likely spazz when she does. But though I don’t want every year to spend most of the day that is to celebrate Motherhood on my own or away from my children, I am sooooo looking forward to that sleep in. And if I should have a hangover – I will be able to slumber in the comfort of my bed, wrapped in my duvet with the curtains closed and doze back to sleep until I’m truly ready to rise.
Don’t even get me started on what I asked for this year either. It seems most years I ask for a cook book or something equally as tame. This year I went all out and asked for a leather jacket! I know, something has come over me!
What will you be doing to celebrate Mother’s Day this year? What will you be asking for?
** Incidentally Tui’s book would make an excellent gift idea for a new Mama or for yourself if you haven’t already put in your request!