Mother’s Day

May 13

Yesterday was Mother’s Day here in the US, and I had a hard time with it.

Why is that?

For some reason I kept dwelling on a particularly memorable Mother’s Day when my children were very small. As you know, when the children are young it’s the dad’s job to make Mother’s Day happen for Mom because the kids aren’t capable of doing a whole lot.

On this Mother’s Day my children were just-turned-one, two almost-3, 5, 7, and 9 years old. I was tired exhausted. I was grindingly, to the very depths of my soul, exhausted. The kind of weariness where you aren’t sure which way is up or how many bottoms you’ll have to wipe when you get there. When asked, all I wanted for Mother’s Day was a nap. I needed rest like a fish needs water and people need air to breathe. “Please, just let me take a nap,” was my only request for Mother’s Day.

So my husband packed all the children in the car and went away for a couple of hours, and I fell asleep. I had a momentary flash of fear about the safety of my youngest because my husband was not good at watching out for babies, but I knew that my oldest child wouldn’t let the baby get lost or injured, so I passed out.

PolaroidBikeWheelConsciousness slowly returned when I heard the clan come back home. My husband came in and with a sheepish grin told me that he’d bought something while they were gone. And then he wheeled into our bedroom a brand new bike. This was not just any bike. This was a very nice, several-hundred-dollar road bike that my husband had bought…for Himself. He also bought the shoes that he could clip into the pedals. He got the really nice ones. That year went down in history as the infamous Mother’s Day when That Man got a bike and I got a nap.

Another reason I had a hard time yesterday is because I have too many friends who are reminded of deeply painful events or situations on Mother’s Day.

I thought about my dear friend whose mother died just a few weeks ago. This is her first Mother’s Day since losing her mother and her second Mother’s Day since her only daughter lost the battle with cancer. My friend didn’t have a good day. I also thought about the women who desperately want to be mothers, but cannot have children for some reason.

And then there’s my own mom. My gift to her this year was a vacation to visit my daughter/her granddaughter in another state. We had a fabulous time until she slipped in the shower and fell, injuring her shoulder. We ended up in the ER. I know it’s not all my fault, but I feel guilty anyway. If I hadn’t taken her, she wouldn’t have been there in that particular shower to get hurt.

Of course I also reflected on myself and how I’ve handled my role as a mother. I often feel guilty about my marriage and the fact that I chose to stay in a destructive and dysfunctional relationship for so many years. Would my children be happier and emotionally healthier if I had gotten out sooner? I’ll never know.

Now that The Day of Guilt™ is over I’ve recovered. My lovely children took me out to dinner and we had a delightful time. When we spend time together we laugh often and truly enjoy each others’ company. They like me. In spite of my mistakes as a mother, they really like me.

I feel very blessed.

Elizabeth Siggy


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  1. Elizabeth /

    You did get the better deal with the nap. 🙂

  2. Guilt is sometimes a much bigger part of parenting than we might like.

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