The reminders come early for Mother’s Day. Flower delivery coupons arrive at the house, news programs have countless segments on what to buy mom, and restaurants advertise their brunch specials. The internet is no different. Facebook is awash with cute stories, anecdotes, cartoons, and recipes. And now, with the new list format way of delivering news, we arrive at the top 10 competition for Mother’s Day: Top 10 gifts, dinners, brunch cocktails, things moms want, things moms don’t want. The list(s) go(es) on forever.
I read one list detailing what moms really want for Mother’s Day and it included things like going to the bathroom alone, eating a meal sitting down, watching a “grown up” TV show. It was basically a list of mom complaints translated into a wish list.
Don’t get me wrong—I would love these things… and I complain. A lot. At least twice (or three… or four times) weekly I’m grumbling about a shoe being thrown at my head because it wasn’t a “Mary Jane” or that my baby has precision timing to poop whenever he is freshly diapered. I like complaining.
But, in the recent past, I’ve unfortunately witnessed some of life’s worst tragedies and they made me stop and think. These grievances I have—are they really worth complaining about? I have a hunch that the people I have watched suffer the loss of a child or struggle to become pregnant would welcome any of my “problems” in a heartbeat.
In thinking about this, I came up with a list of my own. A list of “troubles” in which I can find a blessing. I don’t do this all the time, I don’t do it nearly enough as I should, but I see it as an opportunity to take a minute and find a moment.
1. Being awakened at 3 a.m. and being dog tired, until… Just before I close the door, she says, “Momma, I have a question.” “Yes?” “Momma, I love you.” Just as the speech pathologist in me fights to be heard that this was not indeed a question, my heart melts and I find the moment.
2. Wallowing when the babysitter cancels and I have to take not one but two children out and keep them occupied on a fun outing, until… My son giggles with joy at seeing something amusing and my daughter tells me, “I’m having fun, Momma, you’re my best friend.”
3. Being so embarrassed and exhausted that little one is throwing a tantrum through Whole Foods because she asked for Pirates Booty and you accidentally gave her Smart Puffs (warning: they’re not interchangeable), until… She threw her shoe behind the deli counter and you realized just how much you needed that laugh.
4. Being so frustrated that she keeps stealing the pen out of my hand when I need to write something down, until… She stole it and wrote her name for the first time.
5. Cringing because she asks me to read the SAME book night after night, until… The night she “reads” it to me.
6. Needing the house to be quiet because four Advil aren’t cutting it, until… She tells her brother, “I love you.”
7. Being overwhelmed with cleaning up the toys after they’ve gone to sleep, until… I notice the Princess Castle made of LEGO that she must’ve created while I wasn’t looking.
8. Sighing at not being able to ever eat an entire meal without sharing at least half of it, until… She requests a new food after having tried it from my plate.
9. Complaining about having to go to the park when there’s laundry to do and dinner to cook, until… We get there and she asks to push her brother on the swing.
10. Worrying at our GI visit at the Children’s Hospital regarding “regularity,” until… I looked around and realized I had nothing to worry about.
In the spirit of honoring people on Mother’s Day—the woman who was taken too soon and will never have children, the woman who lost her child. and the woman who struggles to have a child—I am making a Mother’s Day resolution. I am not very good at keeping New Year’s resolutions—my closet is messy by March, I usually stop going to the gym while it’s still cold out, and I just never read enough. But this is different—this is a resolution to remember my blessings. It’s a pledge. A pledge to take a minute to find the “moment.”