M-Day: A Mixed Bag of Emotions

Mother's Day is a mixed bag of emotions.

And I'm fine with that, as long as it’s a Louis Vuitton. 

Because I'm a dreamer that way.

But really, Mother's Day can be all kinds of tricky for all kinds of women.
If you’re a mother of young children, like me, you try and keep your expectations low, so that you won’t be disappointed when your special-occasion brunch takes place at Luby’s, and all you got in the way of presents was a decorate-it-yourself wooden picture frame, minus the decorations or picture, and a macaroni necklace.

But all of that is OK, as long as the bathroom door remains shut for an entire day.

Photo source: Scary Mommy

The other not-so-humorous aspect of M-Day is how it shines a spotlight in the faces of those among us who are not mothers, but want to be.  Those who suffer from infertility, miscarriage, failed adoptions, or just never found a path to marriage and motherhood.

Those friends will not be at church on Sunday, at brunch, or plugged into social media.  They are probably hiding in their homes, clutching a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, waiting for the day to be over. 

I certainly was, for several years in a row, while we struggled with infertility.

M-Day was a reminder of my expectations and disappointments.  While others around me were taking pictures of their children in their Sunday-finest, I was reeling and recovering from another month of failure.

I was lucky, in that my suffering came to an end, my prayers were answered, and I became a mother not once, but twice. 

But now what? 

Motherhood is nothing like I thought it would be.  It’s hard as hell, and doesn’t appear to be getting any easier.  There’s joyous stuff, but then there’s also hard stuff.  Really hard stuff.

Each week, it seems, the news hurls another horrific event in our faces, even when we have yet to recover from the last one.

Every mother I know reacts in a similar way: how do we keep this from happening to us?  I’ve been struggling to stay positive, but I’m catching myself peering around the corners of society and checking for proverbial monsters under the bed. 

There is, and always has been, a degree of evil in the world, but I find that I’m more aware of it, and possibly even looking for it, wondering if it’s something I would even recognize.

Because I think that if I shine a light on it, it will scurry away and never return.

How do we do this motherhood thing, without helicoptering and fixing and paving the way for our kids, but still keeping them safe?

I’ve read numerous articles on this subject, and so far, what makes the most sense to me is this post by Glennon Melton at Momastery.  We need to accept that we can’t keep them safe, in the traditional sense of the word, because that would involve no risk-taking.  And we would then deprive them of the good stuff in life, as well. 
The Best Things.

And no mom I know wants to do that to her kids.

So, on this M-Day 2013, amidst the pain that keeps rearing its ugly head in the world, I choose to put it all in the hands of the Man Upstairs and focus on the Best Things. 
The smiles on the faces of my children (when they’re not fighting).  The meal lovingly prepared by my family.  The homemade trinkets and cards that say, “Mom.”   My other Mama-friends who keep me sane.  The women I know who are not mothers in the traditional sense of the word, but breathe life into other people and the world around them.

We are each different variations of the same theme: to mother.  And I have yet to meet a woman who does not fit this bill, in some way.

Let’s all enjoy our day, because it belongs to each one of us.

Now pass me the homemade macaroni necklace, because it’s family picture time.


  1. I love luby's. Is that wrong? Excellent post.

    1. If loving Luby's is wrong, I don't wanna be right. But sometimes I get jealous when I hear other moms talk about having "lunch at the club."

  2. The last line was my favorite! I can just picture it :)

    1. Thank you! Got to love those homemade trinkets!!

  3. Amen to it all! And as I was relishing in the joy of my clay heart, homemade picture frame and handmade trivet, I had that touch of sadness, too, for missing my own mom--now gone 21 years. So, I agree that it's always a mixed bag. My like motherhood itself. Hugs!

    1. Wow, I can't believe your mom has been gone for that long! I always wonder if it gets any easier. Definitely a bittersweet day!


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