Every year on Mother's Day, I wake up to the smell of freshly cut flowers. It’s sweet, really. My husband has always picked them out, and he tries to pick what I like: daisies, tulips, roses in odd colors. There are presents, picked out from the artisan farmer’s market. It's usually locally made jewelry I’ve picked out and pointed out to my sons on the sly, so I know I’ll get what I want. It's nice to get these presents. They show me that the men in my life care.
On Mother's Day, I won’t get to sleep in, because we go to 9:00 Mass and then we have brunch with the family, but everyone will shower me with good wishes and hugs and love. If the weather is nice, we might go kayaking. When we’re done, my husband will throw the kids in the tub while I relax. It’s nice. It’s sweet. But other than some sweet accolades and a few presents, it’s the same thing that happens every other Sunday.
So I’ve decided that I don't want to celebrate Mother's Day this year. That's because I don't want to be celebrated on just one day of the year — I want to be celebrated all the time.
Let's face it — I do a lot of sh*t. I wake up early and write. I lay out adorable outfits for the kids. I feed the kids all day, through two meals and whining for snacks, until Daddy comes home and cooks dinner. I homeschool them, which means my 7-year-old has to do hours of work, while my 5-year-old has to do a half hour of painful reading practice. I have to plan an entire curriculum. I wash all the laundry, dry all the laundry, sort all the laundry. I keep the house clean. I make pushes for big initiatives, such as "Get The F*cking Legos Out of My Grandmother’s Cherry Dining Room Suite And Into the Kids’ Room." I am expected to know all things prehistoric and all facts about Spinosaurus.
Let's face it — I do a lot of sh*t.
When we go kayaking, I’m the one who ensures that my kids have long-sleeved rashguards and sunscreened legs. I also make sure they socialize with other children, feed the dogs, and remember to bring sandwich ingredients. Not sandwiches, mind you — sandwich ingredients, which I will then assemble so the jelly doesn’t get soggy on the peanut butter. I remember to pack the towels and the extra sand toys when we go to the botanical gardens. Then I remember to bring them back home. In between all this, I work out daily, paint my toenails, do my makeup, and put on a damn dress. I also have to make sure my German Shepherd feels loved and appreciated, which is no small task.
So I don’t deserve one day of celebration and 364 days of ignoring. I deserve to receive jewelry and flowers and presents, including a Twin Peaks mug and a keychain ordered off the internet, year-round.
I’m lucky that for the most part, my kids and my husband realize how much I'm worth. Sometimes, flowers will randomly appear on my side table at random intervals. I never know what kind, but they’re usually seasonally appropriate and selected by my sons: roses in January, Christmas cactuses in December. My 5-year-old once picked out a grocery store Easter lily for me, and he was so proud. He paraded it over to me and told me how good it smelled. His joy in giving it to me made me so happy. And these ephemeral flowers make me feel loved and remembered and appreciated.
I don’t deserve one day of celebration and 364 days of ignoring. I deserve to receive jewelry and flowers and presents, including a Twin Peaks mug and a keychain ordered off the internet, year-round.
I’m also lucky that my kids and my husband realize that sometimes, mama gets tired. And sometimes, mama needs a nap. And when mama needs a nap, I can sink into warm, quilt-y goodness with my sock monkey, all by myself. I tell my husband to wake me in about an hour. He lets me go for two.
I try to do the same things for him. He isn’t into flowers, of course. But I get him little presents. I encourage the kids to pick out things for Daddy. We let Daddy nap when he’s had a hard day at work. And when Father’s Day rolls around, we’ll buy him a tasteful tie he’ll actually wear and go out on the river, where I will not complain for him to stop fishing and hurry the eff up. Because if I deserve to be celebrated every single day, so does he.