mother's day: number 4
Updated: Jun 7, 2018
This weekend was my fourth Mother's Day since becoming a mama myself.
Heading into it, I felt like I often do around holidays like Valentine's Day or New Years, and even my own birthday this past year: I tried to keep my expectations low enough that I wouldn't be disappointed. When your life revolves around other people, it's dangerous to feel like you're entitled to be treated in a way that will make you feel more special than any other day. Taking care of little people does not always come with expressions of appreciation. But I was pleasantly surprised by what a great day I had.
My husband, Navin, had just returned from a week-long work trip and I was wiped. While he was away, I messaged him that I wanted to go out on the Saturday night. A theatre group that I've been involved with in the past was putting on a production of "Oliver!" and I had previously opted out because of nursing, bedtime, etc... but as the show approached, I felt sad to be missing it. I wanted to see my friends perform. I wanted to feel the joy that I always feel when I go enjoy a musical. I wanted to reminded of the person I am outside of being a mother. So days before, I texted Navin and said that I wanted to go, as my Mother's Day gift, and I'd head out after feeding the baby, so he'd be on his own for bedtime. He sent me back a thumbs up emoticon. This was happening!
Let me add to this by saying: neither of us has ever successfully done bedtime alone. We ask for help at bedtime a lot when one of us is on our own. Ezra needs a bath every day, both boys seem to need to go to bed at the exact same time, my older son, Ari, has been known to say things to me like "but who will take care of me?" when left alone for a few minutes, and until recently it used to take 45 minutes to put baby Ezra to sleep. But now Ezra is going to sleep on his own and it changes the dynamic a lot. So it seemed feasible.
So I got a head start on Mother's Day with a Saturday night outing with a long-time friend. We timed it perfectly, lucked out, and arrived at the theatre 1 minute before the lights went down. As I checked my phone to turn off the sound, I found this message:
"So, in the first 5 mins of you leaving, Ari had a pee accident, including on the stairs. Changed it himself to pants only (no underwear), then within 2 mins had a poo in them straight down his whole leg."
My childless friend, Laura, burst out laughing. I was stuck between sympathy and laughter. But we enjoyed the show and shared some chocolate covered almonds during intermission, just like we used to sneak at competitions when we figure skated together as kids.
We had so much fun, the show ended, and then I ran back home to go to sleep. Navin had cleaned up the entire kitchen (well, almost) and my little boys even treated me to a relatively good night's sleep and a morning with an (almost) sleep-in!
Real Mother's Day got off to a slower start. I told Ari about how kids usually make their moms breakfast (I was thinking a piece of toast) and so he decided that he wanted to make French toast, which meant that I ended up making my own breakfast (with a little helper). We had no plans for the day and I was feeling a bit disappointed, because of course despite my best efforts there were expectations that I'd be treated differently than any other day or there would be some sort of celebration. But I did get to shower (which is still not something to be taken for granted). And then after lunch during nap/quiet time, I took control of my own day and decided that I wanted to go to the studio to work on my big mosaic project.
While I was there, after less than 40 minutes, I got a text that baby Ezra was awake, and that he "barfed up his whole lunch". Oh boy... but it was quickly followed by "take your time, I got this." As I hurried to finish up and head home, I realized that even though what I do as a Mama on a day-to-day basis is appreciated, in the chaos of the past 24 hours I not only felt that appreciation, but also felt understood. We totally switched roles for a day and boy was it refreshing.
In the afternoon we went for a walk in the park, where the baby decided not to sleep, followed by a long drive to put him to sleep, and then went out for a really nice dinner together that included 4 desserts for 3 (well 2.5) people.
One of the best things about these milestone days is that you can easily look back and past years and see how you've changed, how your children have grown, and remember fond memories.
Look at these pictures from the past 4 Mother's Days (including this one) and how much my Ari has grown each year. Since the last one, there is even a whole other amazing person in our lives. I am one lucky mama.
Just as it felt good to be appreciated and understood on this Mother's Day, I have never truly appreciated or understood all that my own Mama has done (and continues to do) for us, until I became a mother myself. Mothers are amazing people. Mine is especially remarkable. I would not be able to be the mama I am today without her support and example. I feel so lucky to have her in my life.
Happy (belated) Mother's Day to all of you magical mamas out there!