Happy Mother's Day

I am a fan of holidays. I know that there are people who think that holidays were mainly invented by Hallmark and such companies. I say let's make the best out of it - ignore Hallmark and their products (unless you are into them in which case go ahead and enjoy!) and get in the festivity mood. Where I come from people take every chance at celebrating. Maybe it is the history that influenced the attitude of embracing the moment and doing so in a circle of friends and family with food and drinks. It's simple but it's wholehearted. When I was growing up buying cards for birthdays (Christmas, thank yous, etc.) was mainly unheard of. You would buy a postcard if you went on a vacation and send it to people who were not there with you. You would buy a congratulations card for people you didn't get to see in person. You would not buy a card to write a note in it to hand it to the person to which you could say what you wrote in the first place. You would say thank you and it would not need to be followed by a thank you card. After all, you meant it when you said it, right?

Anyways, I am steering off the subject. The Mother's Day is here. I read a lot about this topic recently. I came across an article that was referring to what one should and shouldn't do on this day. It was cute and entertaining and at first I thought I'd relate, but the second I started to actually think about the content I came to realize I would have to be dishonest about my own shortcomings. The main point of the article was to advise husbands and kids to make sure the Mother's Day will be properly planned out ahead of time. It reiterated that they needed to start thinking, buying, booking and doing things way ahead, instead of just asking in the morning "so what is it that you want to do today?". It pointed out that bringing breakfast to bed doesn't count if the Mom has to do the dishes afterwards.

Here is the thing - I want to jump on it and say "hell yeah!". But the truth is that I myself more often than not leave the thinking, buying, booking and doing for the very last minute. Christmas presents that I ship to Europe usually arrive in February. Birthday presents that I ship to Europe usually arrive in February together with the Christmas presents, regardless of the month in which the gifted persons were born. It is not that I don't care about them. It is not that I don't appreciate them, that I don't think about their special day approaching, it's just that I am not so organized as I wished to be. I will say it - there are other things I need to get done every day. So I feel like I am the last one to get upset over somebody who didn't make an elaborate plan and execute it to a perfection.

As far as the dishes go, I would certainly be happy to skip a day, but my husband happens to be working on Mother's Day. I could leave them for him for later, I suppose. I am not going to get into the "who has it harder" argument here. He works hard and he works a lot. I don't envy him. On the other hand, he gets to go to the bathroom all by himself. But as far as I see it, I don't think I am going to be making a big deal out of the dishes.

Until recently, the Mother's Day was the day when I would celebrate my Mom. The very first time when I came into the picture as a person to be celebrated was right before Kai was born. I don't remember paying too much attention to it beforehand. I don't remember pondering whether I was technically a mother already, with Kai being almost full term, even though still 4 weeks away from his due date. Until the Mother's Day arrived. I woke up on that Sunday morning giddy with excitement. I kept checking my phone and my e-mail, but there were no congratulatory messages coming. I texted my Mom and my sister to wish them happy Mother's Day and eagerly waited to hear back. My sister texted back and said "next year you will be a Mother too". My Mom texted back to say thank you and had not mentioned anything else. I was crushed. I don't know if I'd felt differently had I been 8 weeks, not 8 months along. It took me by surprise how much it hurt me not to get the acknowledgment. I felt heartbroken. Then angry. Then unappreciated. Then my husband panicked because he saw what was happening but didn't really have anything planned either. I could not be mad at him, because I could see how much he was wishing he could turn things around for me. So he took me for a brunch, got me a bouquet of flowers and took me shoe shopping. Based on the article I read he messed up. He didn't plan it. He improvised. He was probably caught just as off guard as I was, considering there was no kid on the outside yet. And he made it into a great day.

Looking back at it, I can't say that I was overreacting and I can't say that my family should have done something differently. It's a matter of feeling. It was a particular emotion on a particular day that was completely unpredictable. I agree with people who say that it is not about giving flowers and gifts just because the calendar and media advertising say so. I agree with people who say love and appreciation should be shown year round. But I want to get flowers on Valentine's Day. I want to get a cake on my birthday. And I want to be acknowledged on Mother's Day. It doesn't have to be bigger than coffee in bed. As lame as it may sound, it's the thought that counts.

There is one more thing I came to realize - it should not be left only up to the husband, partner or a child to wish a happy Mother's Day. Ultimately, who is the one person who understands more than anyone else what it takes to be a Mom? Another Mom, that's who. So with that I want to wish you a fantastic Mother's Day and tell you that I get it. That I am thrilled with you if this day turns out perfectly and you will be treated to breakfast in bed, massage and afternoon off. And I am feeling your frustration if your kids run around the house like crazy maniacs as on any other given day and your husbands are working or watching some very important sport match on TV. Don't let anything bring you down. Call me if you need to and we can drink champagne and marvel or we can drink vodka straight from the bottle and talk smack. Your choice.

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