As with most holidays, blogs and articles all over are reminding you that it’s Mother’s Day and that every exhausted mother deserves a pedicure and a day off from the laundry. All you’ll find is a list of things moms really want for Mother’s Day (like sleeping in and not having to change dirty diapers) and the argument that your self-less mother doesn’t want any of your macaroni noodle crafts. But there's one thing moms don't tell you about Mother's Day.
It’s not about being appreciated. It’s about being celebrated.
Look, all mothers want and deserve appreciation. But for many, that’s not what Mother’s Day is about. I’m grateful to have a man in my life who tells me every day how thankful he is for me, how I’m a wonderful mom to my daughter. I’m grateful to have a little girl who throws her arms around me first thing in the morning, who may scream when I give her the banana she asked for, but claps her hands with glee when I agree to read her book. I’m showered with appreciation every day, in the small and big ways, and Mother’s Day isn’t about that.
Mother’s Day is about celebrating a mother. It’s not about finding a way to do all of her work for her because she’s miserable, and exhausted, and tired of folding clothes. It’s about taking her out for ice cream, for snuggling on the couch because you just want to be near her, and for being head over heels excited that she’s your mom.
Not because she makes your meals or because she takes the kids to soccer practice. But because she is your mother.
When I think of my own mother, my stomach does a flip. I’m not thinking of all the ways she made me breakfast or how I always had clean clothes in my drawers. I’m thinking about the times when she set up the pull-out couch, made chocolate covered strawberries, and let my siblings and me stay up late to watch Snick. I’m thinking about singing Fleetwood Mac in the back of her car, I’m thinking about how safe she made me feel, and I’m thinking about how happy I am to have her as my mother.
There’s a level of appreciation in everything, sure. My mom didn’t have to go through all of the trouble of making things special, but she did. And that’s how I want to be celebrated on Mother’s Day. I don’t want to be reminded that I do a lot for my family and that it’s hard work. I want to be told that I make my child happy, that I’m creating a home full of love and happiness and light. I want to be told that my child recognizes my immense love for her before she notices that there are clean bathrooms in our house.
Mother’s Day isn’t about appreciating your mother -—that should happen every day. But it is a day for all kids to clap their hands with glee because man, they have the best mama in the world.