I met with a client today who I hadn’t seen in several weeks. She started telling me about her Mother’s Day–where what she wanted was peace and quiet, but what her kids needed was crisis management, and guess what won out.
“Well,” I said, “that does sound like a real mother’s day.” We both laughed, and what I was thinking of was my own Mother’s Day (my second), from a few weeks ago.
My husband, my daughter (a burgeoning toddler), and I went to an outdoor fair. I’d heard there would be funnel cake, and I got nostalgic, since I haven’t had that particular artery-clogging delicacy in I don’t want to say how many years.
It seemed fun to go in search of something, like funnel cake, because that was what my husband and I used to do before the kid. You know, crave something, and spontaneously satisfy that craving. Or at least, enjoy ourselves trying.
But life isn’t that way now, as we quickly learned. Our daughter has started begging for food (well, more accurately, whining for it) whenever we’re eating and she isn’t. Funnel cake was no exception, and offering her Cheerios wasn’t going to cut it.
We tried to distract her; we acted like court jesters. All to no avail. My husband recalled an article he’d recently read on how her whining was a “first world indulgence problem”, but he couldn’t remember the solution for this.
The fun was largely sucked from the day, and we went home early. I felt a little deflated, because I miss the days where we had only our own moods to worry about. Basically, I miss control. I miss quiet.
So it wasn’t exactly a celebration of motherhood, or of me as a mother, but it was a reality check. Sometimes you have to just acknowledge to yourself what you miss, before you turn to appreciating what you have. Otherwise, it’s a false appreciation, a Hallmark card about gratitude, rather than the real, warts-and-all experience.
I love you, little one, to an unfathomable degree, but I don’t always love mothering you. And that’s okay.
Parents holding crying child image available from Shutterstock.