This year, all I wanted for Mother's Day was to have my whole family over for a big Sunday dinner: all of the mamas and the daddies and the babies around our big dining room table. Together. A time to gather in fellowship and give thanks for the blessing we have been given in this role we call motherhood.
Because that is what Mother's Day is for me: to time to gather together with the ones you love and give thanks, a day of reflection, a moment of devotion and gratitude for these three little people that I can call my own. My mother and I woke at the crack of dawn, much like every other day, and started prepping and cooking our big family dinner. Every square inch of my kitchen was filled with steaming, baking, simmering dishes as well as the loud and hilarious conversation that my mother and I are lucky enough to share. She can often be found sneaking behind me in the kitchen, adding things to my recipes and clucking away when I do things a little differently that her. I used to get so hot and bothered by her "unsolicited advice", until I realized that I will probably do the same thing to my girls and I really hope that they know that I am just coming from a place of love, just like my mom is. Patience and grace and love: it is what makes the relationship between mother and child work, right?
The morning was a busy, colorful scene of homemade cards dripping with glitter and glue, a "surprise" gift from my husband that I may or may not have not so subtly instructed him to buy (he needed help, admittedly), and three different cups of tea that went cold before I ever had the chance to drink them. I can never finish a cup of tea before it turns cold these days. The family started to trickle in just as we put the finishing touches on dinner and our house was bursting at the seams with people that I love. My favorite part of the day was saying grace before our meal, all of us gathered around the table holding hands, the beautiful intimacy of the moment as we all thanked our Lord for bringing us together, for making us mamas. You could seriously feel the love in that moment.
Mother's Day is not relaxing. It is not a day to be pampered or a day to rest or a day to receive a million extravagant gifts. My kids didn't magically behave any better just because it was Mother's Day and the dishes didn't somehow manage to do themselves. The laundry still had to be done and my alarm clock still went off at the same time (his name is River and he has never once gotten the late sleeping memo). Mother's Day is, truthfully, not much different from any other day. What it is, in my world anyway, is a day to just say WOW, all of this is mine. All of this love, all of these blessings, these three beautiful, crazy, unique children who rarely listen to me but are always willing to give me the love that I still can't believe that I deserve. It is mine.
This thing we call motherhood: it's hard y'all. To wake up every single day and give it your all, to be patient and kind and slow to anger, to be empathetic and respectful even when they are acting like complete lunatics. To provide for them and care for them, to give up your own dreams so that they can someday achieve their own. To be selfless, truly selfless, to the point that their happiness suddenly becomes ENOUGH. It is hard. But most things in life worth having, most things that are good for you and allow you to evolve as a person, are hard. That's why we need a day like Mother's Day: we need to take a moment to stop and look past all the HARD, all of the sacrifice, and just see this whole journey for what it is. Because it is so much bigger than us and what we feel like we need as individuals. Being a mother is about stepping outside of ourselves for a moment and appreciating the fact that we have been given these people to walk this journey with us. They make us better, they give us purpose, and we are so blessed to have them.