Emmie here. And Mother's Day and I have a love-hate relationship.
Let's face it -motherhood is hard. It is really hard. It is one of the most complicated, frustrating, and yet breathtakingly beautiful journeys in the world. It's fantastic and it's amazing.
But man, it can also be the crappiest part of each day, being a mom. There is something about being a mom that is so specific - only moms understand it, and only moms can relate to it - how you can hate and love something so much at the same time.
But then when I say that, I feel like a terrible person. I have so many friends who desperately want to be mothers, and they try so very hard to become them. Sometimes they never do. Sometimes they do after sweat, and blood, and tears. (All literally.) Sometimes they do after exhaustive travel or court dates, or both.
I hate that people can't just become mothers when they want to. I hate that some of my friends have to pray and cry and work and pay extravagant amounts of money to become moms, and I hate it even more when all that doesn't lead to more than just an empty feeling in the bottom of their stomach.
I hate that people have had the joy of becoming mothers only to then lose that joy to death or devastation. I hate that people go through personal crises that keep them from providing for their children. I hate that some people have real illnesses that keep them from having joy in their children. I hate that some people see in their child the face of another child no longer there.
I hate that sometimes we feel most like children ourselves when our own parents die, or are far away, or are not part of our lives.
Today is Mother's Day - when we celebrate those who are our mothers, and other moms around us. For all those obvious reasons above, it can be a pretty difficult day for many.
For me, right now - it's a good day. Mostly.
On mother's day, I really want to celebrate me and my journey. I absolutely want to be pampered. I want to be shown in physical ways how much I am appreciated, because so much of what I do is physical work. I want to feel loving emotion from my spouse and children to know that they recognize the emotional energy I invest in them every day. I am so joyful and honored to parent these two lovely daughters of mine. I love them with my whole heart and they are counted among the highest blessings in my life.
I also want to recognize my own mother for all she has done for me. I want to thank her for the things she has done, and for the help she has shown me, and the way she parented me that taught me so much about how I wish to parent my children. I want to wish my mother in law a happy mother's day, for helping craft the man I call my husband, and for loving my own children so genuinely.
On mother's day, I want to show my love and appreciation for my family members and friends who have taught me so much about being a mother.
On mother's day, I want to recognize the uniqueness that is motherhood. I want to shout out to those in my sisterhood of motherhood and give high fives to everyone out there.
I also want to hug my friends who wish that they had someone to say "Happy Mother's Day" to them. I want to reach out to my friends who grieve the loss of a mother. I want to cheer on those who care tenderly and deeply for those who are not their children. I want to celebrate the single men who fill the roles of mom and dad. I want to praise gay men who together parent their children. I want to support those single mothers who get no one to pamper them and hug them on this day. And I want to listen while friends weep for lack of feeling appreciated, this day and every day.
I think, absolutely, there should be a day that recognizes mothers. It is such a special thing. But I also think we should never stop recognizing those who are along so many different places of that journey.
I think we can do that if we come to a time when we aren't so self-censored- so closed up about our lives. When do we get the ability to admit that our grief is too much? That post-partum depression is real and has taken control? That we are fed up with being a parent and need a day to be on our own? When do we get to say that we are struggling with infertility, or feeling unsupported in a marriage, or have a child with a serious problem that needs help?
My point is this. We should support one another. Every day. Every. Single. Day. We should refrain from judgment. We should open our dialogue and be real with one another so that we can feel with each other, together? Everything is easier together, when you know you have support and love.
Why else do you think moms talk about the tough times to each other so much? We know we love our kids. We know we are devoted. We know we are trying to do the best by them. But sometimes we need to acknowledge the difficulty and the fear and the anxiety that comes from being a mother, and we need to be able to share that with each other.
Today I am grateful for being a mother. I hold in the light those who have difficulty with this day. I praise my parents. I support my fellow moms.
And I say, happy Mother's Day!
Because as hard as it is.... it is so, so, so, worth it.