This Mother’s Day came and went, bringing with it a surprising amount of debate about the appropriateness of such a celebration (to me anyway, that is...)
I’m not sure if society is becoming more sensitive, or if I am, but I feel like I heard more talk this year about whether or not the day is OK than I've ever noticed before.
In the past, I've known a mother or two who would shoo the whole idea of singling out a certain day to be celebrated. She would usually say something along the lines of “I know my family loves me every day...”
Yeah. That’s nice and all, and I do appreciate the day to day love immensely, but I’m not about to turn down chocolate and presents either.
This Mother’s Day, in addition to all of the sweet “Thanks Mom” posts and pictures on social media, I saw quite a few statements from people about why they would NOT be celebrating. Some people even hate the day.
Of course, a cheesy card and some flowers wouldn’t mean as much if the givers of the gifts didn’t seem to actually appreciate you the rest of the time, but even then, wouldn’t some appreciation be better than none? Especially if it’s accompanied with chocolate?
If it gets people to be a little nicer to their moms once a year, I don’t really see what the problem is.
If the greeting card, floral and candy industries commercialize the whole thing to make money, that’s not exactly surprising, and it doesn’t make the moms any less worth celebrating. If a person didn’t want to support those industries, couldn’t they find some other way to celebrate?
Because celebrate, you should. Being a mom is a lotta work, and raising people is worthy of some gratitude.
I know that some people don’t have a mom, and since moms are human, not all are worth celebrating. Some moms are grieving or missing their kids, and some women want to be moms but can’t. All of those things hurt, but eliminating a holiday won’t change that.
In fact, all of the sadness in the world seems like more reason than ever to find the good things that are worth celebrating, and then to celebrate the heck out of those things.
When life is hard, I want to find the light in the dark.
On my former happy homestead, I saw all sorts of mothering, both good and bad. The most amazing thing was that in so many instances, when one creature or situation failed, another often stepped up to the plate and saved the day.
Sometimes a hen would toss baby chicks out of the nest (she would not get to stay long with us after that kind of behavior) and sometimes a mother duck would adopt and mother abandoned baby chickens (which earned her a lifetime pass, even if I had to watch carefully to make sure she didn’t take them swimming)
In nature, not everyone has a great mom and not everyone can be one. Some of us moms are really good at some things, and awful at others. I feel like you can actually suck at a lot of things (housework and punctuality for instance) and still be a good mom.
Also, most of us are actually mothered by many, not just the woman who gave birth to us, and many of us will mother lots of kids who have no blood connection to us at all.
People can love and mother smaller people whether they’ve ever used their uterus to grow a person or not, or even if they don’t have a uterus at all.
Often, the concept of motherhood is a myth about a woman who is revered as a saint, and the real life mother gets blamed for everything that’s wrong in the world.
I know I’ve gone through phases of judging, none of which I’m proud of, and most of which have already come back to bite me in the arse. (I used to have very high standards for myself and others...now….bwahahahahaha!)
The longer I’ve been in the mutha hood, the more I realize that there is no perfect mother and most of us are not only doing our best, but probably have some really endearing and loveable traits, along with our quirky and annoying ones.
I’ve also realized that it’s easier to see and enjoy that kind of thing if you lighten up and let go of the idea of perfection, whether from mothers or life in general.
When my kids were little, I loved being a part of a circle of women with children close in age. From the time they could walk, I could see that my kids would gain experiences and learn things from these women that I just couldn’t offer. In the same way, their kids would get things from me that they wouldn’t get from their own mom.
I still love these women and their kids. I also love all of the little ones I get to be a mama to, even if some of them are now taller than me by a foot.
I love the mom I was born to, who taught me to kick butt in all sorts of venues, and the other women who have mothered me both as a child and even still today.
There are all kinds of mamas in the world, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Some of us are patient, some of us are kind. Some of us make glittery crafts or cupcakes or take kids on nature hikes. Some of us will clean up after everyone (I am not that mom) and some of us will tell a kid to suck it up and show them how to make their own PB&J if they don’t like what’s for dinner (that’s more likely what you can expect at my hacienda ;-)
Sometimes I feel like a mama hen, and sometimes like a mama bear. I’m not as patient or “together” as I had thought I’d be, and often both feel and look askew, but overall, I really, really like this mama gig.
And also, I love the celebration of it. I’ll gladly take the flowers, the chocolate and the gifts any day. I love the loot~ along with the smiles and love from the people giving it. And I hope I can give some smiles and love to the other awesome muthas out there who inspire and encourage me every day because friggen aye, they deserve it.
Watching my Boy Child sprawl into a Man Child leaves me both baffled and in awe. Fifteen is an odd place indeed~ no longer a kid, nowhere close to adult.
Being my youngest, there were literal pangs in my heart when he turned double digits. There was a bit of denial when he passed me up in height, but at some point, I could no longer ignore his growth. Now, I have to crane my neck to look him in the eye.
The Winnie the Pooh belly of his childhood has transformed into a 6 pack, or maybe a 12 pack by now. His long pants seem to turn into capris on a weekly basis, and giant puppy style hands and feet sprout from long limbs that have grown so rapidly, he barely knows what to do with them. I sometimes think if he had a tail, he would wag it.
His muscles flex and a deep “bro” voice appears in certain company, namely that of teenaged females, yet he giggles over goofy kid jokes with others. The hair that had at least one fist sized knot in it for years now somehow is gelled into coolness.
As I observe him navigating the strange waters of adolescence, I’m one proud mama. Yes, on occasion he has done a few things that made me wonder if he was trying to qualify himself as contender in the dumb arse of the week club, but who hasn’t? I probably spent a good portion of 1986 through 1991 in that category.
What I see in my Boy Child is loyalty and strength, curiosity and kindness, determination and a forgiving heart, and above all, a great sense of humor.
I still miss the little boy, but I love the man he is becoming.
Anne Lamott talks about how none of us is really the age that we currently are, but a combination of all the ages we have ever been, and how you can see this is your kids. It’s true.
I think back to fifteen years ago, when after what felt like one of the world’s longest pregnancies~ like the pregnancy that would never end~ and was followed by one of one of the shortest labors ever, how my world was taken by storm.
I remember looking down and laughing happy tears at this huge baby who looked like an angry old man, mad as heck that he had to exit the comfort of my womb.
This baby, who seemed perfectly happy to stay put in my uterus for 3 weeks past his original due date turned into a kid who is obsessed with punctuality. I wonder if this is some sort of cosmic joke, since he was born to a time challenged mother who this shirt may have been designed for:
Thinking back to the boy who for years lived up to the nickname “Hurricane,” the boy who ran, jumped, fell, broke, built, dismantled and destroyed, I can still see him in there.
Now, this Giant Boy still runs and jumps, but falls and breaks things less often. His building has surpassed his dismantling, and aside from occasional mishaps with electronics, his destruction is for the most part contained to the video game world.
Whoever he becomes in the future, that Boy turned out to be one of the best surprises of my life.
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Who is Zesty Mom?
I'm an Artist, Writer, Funschooling Facilitator, Empowered Living Advocate, Wanna-be Organic Gardening Foodie, Travel Loving Life Explorer, Former Goat Herding Chicken Lady, and Full Time Mamacita Extraordinaire to a Couple of Cage Free Kids.
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