Mama Love and the Mother's Day Tea Dilemna

There's been a lot of talk around our home about Mother's Day this week. Both of my kids are having Mother's Day Teas at their schools. They attend two different schools - one is in elementary and the other is in preschool. They both brought home beautiful invitations, and coyly invited me to their special day for mommies. They both told me that there were lots of secrets they could not tell me about the day and would I please come.

Here's the problem - both of their teas are at THE EXACT SAME TIME ON THE EXACT SAME DAY.

I felt like I was on the spot.

Who do I choose?

Which kid will be MOST devastated by mom not coming?

Which kid is more reasonable? (That is a tough one when you have a preschooler who is just developmentally not reasonable at all because, well, he is in that stage where his brain computes everything according to how it effects him and only him. And then you have a very sensitive, sweet girl who is kind of broken hearted if you are not the first parent waiting in line at pick up every day.)

I settled on trying to reason with the older one. My logic was that she has already had 4 special performances at her school that I have been able to attend, and I am in her class every Tuesday. But, her brother has never had anything at his school that we have been invited to. Her eyes widened with shadows of tears as I talked to her. She put on a brave face and said she understood that was "fair."

But then, this is what she said: "But, who will be at My Mother's Day Tea to celebrate with ME?"

We talked through other special people that she could invite, like one of her grandmothers or her Great Grandmother. Immediately, she was fine. It was not really about me being there, and I say that knowing absolutely how much my daughter loves me. It was mostly about her not wanting to be the only one without a guest. All of this is normal and of course I know that I would be feeling exactly the same if I were in her shoes.

BUT, it got me thinking ... Isn't this ironicly appropriate? Here is a day set aside to honor moms, and hopefully pamper moms, and I end up navigating a tide of mommy guilt in how to best love my children in how to celebrate this day. Because I am a mom, and in that role, I am constantly thinking about how to care for, love, and shape these two kids.

The truth is that none of us could have ever known how much our lives would change from the moment that our hearts knew that we would soon be mothers. People say, "It changes everything" and you think to yourself, "Yes, of course it does. I am going to be a parent. -You are stating the obvious, random fellow grocery shopper awkwardly rubbing my belly and telling me about my future."

But, man, does it ever change everything. We will forever be making decisions through a lens that filters how those decisions impact our children. It is what it is, and we are blessed to walk this road. That is absolutely the truth. But, there are times when I just wish that I could turn off my mom radar and walk through a day without that weight of responsibility. That is why we get so excited about Girls Night Out, or a weekend getaway with our husbands. It just takes a while to shed those layers of radar and really settle into time away.

So, here we sit a week away from Mother's Day. I think that for most of us, if we could choose our own gift it would be for our husbands to understand this little piece of us and give us something that gives us that time away. We would choose a day free from meal prepping, driving kids to and fro, having to manage decisions on what the family should do and whose nap needs to get bumped or moved, or, or, or. A spa day would be nice, but wouldn't a day just to go and sit at a Book store or coffee shop or even a park bench UNINTERRUPTED be nearly as sweet? Just to breathe slowly and only think about what we need in that moment. Oh, the sweet, sweet joy that rests in those moments.

(Perhaps this post needs to be left on your husbands computer screen!)

There are all sorts of other sweet little somethings (and some big somethings) that would be fun to unwrap on Mother's Day (in no particular order):

An ipad would be fun.

The "gift" would be husband taking the kids to do the craft while we have our day away.

A donation to charity: water to help the mothers and children in Haiti is one of the best gifts I can think of.

Any of these pampering gifts are welcome:

A new fabulous perfume scent - Leslie Blodgett's new "Santa Barbara" and "Nanette" by fashion designer Nanette Lepor, both smell like vacation in a bottle. (At least with these we can cover up the evidence of not having time to take that shower.)

I'd say just about anything from Anthropologie would be lovely. Better yet, a gift card and that "DAY AWAY" to go and stroll the store slowly would be heavenly.

And, for those of us looking for crafty ideas to make some gifts for those fellow mamas we love ever so much, here are some links:

We will be taking our moms on their own separate picnics (with good food, not pb & j's cut out in heart shapes) with their grandkids. We are going to lay down a gorgeous blanket in a pretty place and enjoy a nice picnic lunch. Then, we are going to take a ton of photos of the grandmas with their grandkids and take the best ones and frame them.

I am hoping that my expectations on this holiday won't be so high that I feel disappointed, as sometimes that happens. For me, this day is a great reminder of how blessed I am to get to wear the title "mother", that I have 2 beautiful mothers who have shaped my life and poured so much love into me and my precious children, and that I am surrounded by some pretty amazing women who are on this journey as well. The responsibility as "mama" is just part of the journey that hopefully I will handle with grace as I move along.

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