Through the years I have come to appreciate Mother’s Day, but it took a while for me. I wasn’t one of those women who had a pregnancy “glow” or loved any part of it. Rather, I felt like an alien had taken over my body, changed my personality, made me sick, and had me gain 65 pounds! Then when the alien came out, I wasn’t that mom who had the instant connection with their newborn. Instead, I was pretty worried if I would really love this little creature that finally came out of me so I could feel normal again!
Then every year in the month of May when Mother’s Day came around, I was pretty pissed and bitter… for at least the first 5 years. I thought, this holiday was definitely invented by a man because there is no woman on this planet who would put a day on the calendar where you are expected to take care of more people all day (in addition taking care of their children and husband), under the guise of a “holiday” that celebrates you! Then one year, and unfortunately, it did take me 5 years to figure this out, I decided to celebrate Mother’s Day for my mom and mother-in-law separately so that I could enjoy my Mother’s Day the way I wanted to… ALONE with my girlfriends at the spa! The first year we did this, we felt a little guilty as we watched a packed room of mother’s with their families and little children dressed in their Sunday best having brunch together, as we sat in our spa robes sipping champagne. We felt guilty for about 1 minute and then giggled in just pure joy! And this is one of my favorite traditions every year!
Today, I appreciate and celebrate Mother’s Day and have learned a few lessons along the way:
- Be humble. Being a mom is a humbling experience. I will never forget when Conor was 7 and brought home his Mother’s day project/gift. It was one of those fill in the blank worksheets all about your mom. I spend a lot of time in my day job providing coaching to leaders about how feedback is a gift. The feedback I got from my 7 year-old son was his truth and it hit home for me! Here’s a few lines from the “All About My Mom” worksheet he brought home:
- My mom is 148 pounds (Conor said he doubled his weight to get this :))
- My mom’s favorite food is cheeseburgers (After I read this, I went to get a cheeseburger!)
- My mom spends most of her time doing things like work (These last two just about killed me)
- I wish my mom could play with me
- Be selfish so that you can be self-less. It is so true that you have to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others. It is so counter to what I have been taught my entire life but to be a great mother, it is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself and your children. So plan that spa day, staycation, vacation, whatever makes you happy!
- Be you. Don’t listen to those voices in your head and the voices that are coming at you – ignore all the “judgy eyes” (for those RHOC fans) because yes, everyone is judging you. But, only you know what is really going on, only you know your children, and only you know what is right – so trust yourself and Own it! You are who you are and that’s what makes YOU a great mother. When I first read the poem below from Conor 2 years ago, my first instinct was to immediately beat myself up for being too hard on him, wondering why he would say I was like a shovel, etc.? Then I thought how amazing this poem was that he took all of the things that I am judged for and saw them as positives.
Feedback is a gift and so is Motherhood. Happy Mother’s Day to all the RAD Moms out there!