I have to admit, I was a little surprised by the near complete silence that came in response to my request for favorite Mother’s Day memories. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, so I went to the place we all go to when looking for feedback: Facebook.
Have you ever put something out there on Facebook and not had a single solitary person respond? Me neither . . . until this week! It wasn’t until I got this brutally honest comment from my husband’s hysterically outspoken cousin (after my third request) that I understood why in the world I wasn’t getting any responses:
“When you first posted your request, I moaned. Mother’s Day reminds me of New Year’s Eve and all the wonderful, fantastic dreams you have of the midnight bells. When they finally chime, you look around and you are alone–dreams crushed! So, the lack of comments from others about their “wonderful and meaningful” Mother’s Day experiences has given me the much needed hope I was looking for. That is, I am not alone in having crushed expectations of that glorious day when I will once again be handed a potted plant at church that will die because remembering to water it amongst the 1,037 other chores is impossible. And when those beautiful, yet insensitive children I am raising don’t stop to bow at my feet and proclaim their undying love and gratitude for all I do each and every day for them. (How dare they!) And when the husband says, “You are not my mother” and I secretly vow to tie his socks in double knots for the remainder of the year. And when my family looks at me at dinnertime and states, “We don’t know what to cook for you, and let’s face it Mom, you cook way better than we do!” Ah, yes, those meaningful, beautiful Mother’s Day memories! Don’t get me wrong. Even with all of this I still think it is the best job on the face of the earth! The bottom line is that the truly meaningful memories don’t happen on Mother’s Day. They happen when you are standing in the airport at 5:30am about to send your first son off to Africa and he leans down to give you one last hug and whispers in your ear, “Don’t worry Mom. You did a great job. I’ll be fine!” Meaningful Mother’s Day memories happen on the least expected days of the year. So, maybe if no one can think of their best Mother’s Day memories, it’s because they’re looking on the wrong day!” Norine
Now that I had my head on straight, I sent out a fourth (and last) request explaining in more detail that I wasn’t looking for tales of glory, admiration, and breakfast in bed, but only simple, meaningful experiences. Finally, I got what I was looking for. Here are the fruits of my labors. (Or more accurately, the fruits of my begging. It was worth it.)
First, another mom who feels that every day is an opportunity to celebrate being a mother:
“I don’t know that I really love Mother’s Day. I don’t love all the attention. I know my kids so enjoy it and can hardly wait to give me their lovingly handmade gifts, but it just seems that I have the opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day on several other occasions when my children have done things that make me a proud mama. I’m not saying breakfast in bed isn’t nice, but sometimes a day set aside for that seems forced to me. I love the various homemade clay “things” that can’t always be identified, and I really appreciate my children’s efforts. I’m just saying that I think the biggest reward I receive as a mother is when my kids make correct choices or do something above and beyond. That doesn’t just happen on a certain Sunday in May. It’s the small things and the accomplishments in their personal lives that I celebrate as “Mother’s Day”. I will never turn down a home-cooked breakfast from my lover with the cutest cards ever that my children spent hours creating, but I like to look for other opportunities to celebrate motherhood.” Janine
I enjoyed this beautiful message that Mother’s Day isn’t about perfect mothers, but about love:
“Mother’s Day has been kind of tricky for me ever since I can remember. I was usually with my dad on Mother’s Day and my mom on Father’s Day (the wonders of divorce), so it became just a card and a phone call. Even though I didn’t live with my mother full time, I always had a good relationship with her. Unfortunately, she lost a lengthy battle with breast cancer when I was just seventeen. Every year after that I was hit with the conundrum of what to do on Mother’s Day. I saw her suffer so much that I was very much at peace with the fact that she moved on from this earth life, but I still felt I should do something for her. But what? Now I always make sure to spend a few minutes remembering the good times we had together and think about how to live in a way that would make her proud. My mom wasn’t perfect–she made mistakes–but she loved us with all she had. I don’t think Mother’s Day is about being perfect. That’s not what being a mom is. It’s all about love. And it’s not just about your own mom. There have been and continue to be many wonderful women in my life who are like mother figures to me–aunts, church leaders, dear friends. I look forward to Mother’s Day. It’s just one more day the world shows love.” Sarah
There were several Mother’s Day memories that centered on simple gratitude for life and health after struggling with health challenges or difficulty getting pregnant:
“My favorite Mothers Day was last year when I was able to bring home my baby boy from the newborn intensive care unit at the hospital. He spent his first ten days of life there after being born severely anemic. His three older sisters didn’t get to meet him or see him until we brought him home on Mothers Day. I couldn’t think of a better Mothers Day gift! My heart was turned to my new baby and our other children and the special feeling that was in our home that day. I wasn’t worried one bit about myself, only about bringing my sweet baby home.” Shelley
“I remember finding out I was pregnant the week before Mother’s Day 2003. I was so happy and proud to be a mother-to-be on that Mother’s Day, but only a week later I miscarried. I was devastated to say the least, and worried I would never have a baby. I had a lot of irrational thoughts during that emotional time. Two short months later I was pregnant again and terrified I would have another miscarriage! Things went well until I was diagnosed with cancer at nineteen weeks. I was so worried I was going to lose my baby. Needless to say, despite surgeries, MRIs, CT scans, and chemotherapy, my baby girl arrived healthy on March 2, 2004. That next Mother’s Day meant so much to me. I was so certain that my life was over when I first miscarried; I thought it was such a difficult trial. But here I was with a baby on Mother’s Day after I had defeated cancer while this little warrior was in my belly! I learned I could do hard things and that all the struggle was worth it to be a mom.” Lindsay
“I remember the first Mother’s Day after we had been trying to get pregnant for over a year. It was that time in church I had been dreading: standing to receive a flower I didn’t deserve. I was not a mother, so I shouldn’t get a flower. My husband made me stand to get my potted flower even though I wanted to run out of the chapel crying, but I stood and thanked the young man while trying to hold back my tears. When we got home, I threw the flower in the garbage (and not gently by any means–I threw it with all the force I had!) and ran to my room crying. My husband lovingly got the flower out of the garbage and planted it. I don’t know why it meant so much to me that he did that, but it did. I remember watching that flower grow and holding on to the hope that I would one day be a mother.
Thankfully, soon after that Mother’s Day I found out I was pregnant. I was thrilled, of course! It brought such joy to my heart. There was still much heartache to be had when it came to our childbearing journeys, but suffice it to say, I used to be embarrassed about my fertility issues. Now, I look back with gratitude for what I have experienced because it made me a better mother than I would have been, and it made me more grateful for what I have.
Fast forward 17 years from that first dreaded Mother’s Day, and here I sit with five beautiful boys at my feet. I could never have imagined how blessed I would be as a mother!” Denise
“The night before mother’s day in 2008 I found out I was pregnant with my first baby and got to share the news with just my parents and my in-laws. The day had a whole new meaning for me that year as I thought about how the baby growing inside me would change my life forever.” Summer
Then there’s the truly dreamy, once in a lifetime Mother’s Day moment. I hope we all get at least one of these!
“One time I was at the mall with my husband and we walked through the china department of a department store. I commented on a set of dishes I really liked and–unbeknownst to me–he took note. Some time later, he and my daughter were in the same department store and my husband noticed the dishes happened to be on a very good sale. They bought the dishes and hid them in the house (not an easy thing to do) until Mothers Day. The night before, my husband and daughter stayed up after I had gone to bed and set the entire dinning room table with the new dishes. They even put a tablecloth on the table, cloth napkins with napkin holders that matched the dishes, and a vase of flowers. The next morning, instead of the traditional breakfast in bed, all the kids and my husband made me come downstairs to this beautifully set table with the new dishes. What a shock! BEST MOTHERS DAY EVER!!!” Lori
I like this thought about appreciating the mother in every woman:
“The one Mother’s Day that sticks out to me was when I was in college. My roommate had just gotten married and for some reason I went to church with her on Mother’s Day. I was just 19-years-old, but since I was considered a “future” mother I was given some potted flowers along with all the other women in the congregation. I remember feeling kind of special and appreciated just for being a woman. Now here I am the mother of almost five children, and I think the main lesson learned from that experience was that we must honor all women, no matter how old or wether or not they have born any children, for we are all mothers, aren’t we?” Judi
Okay, let’s end with the downright funny. (I wish I had asked for funny memories to begin with! I’m sure there are tons of stories out there, so feel free to share in the comment section below.)
“It was my first Mother’s Day and I was about five months pregnant with our first child. I remember asking my sweet husband if I had any stretch marks. He kindly hugged me and asked me what I thought . . . (ouch!)
Another memorable one was when my husband was deployed to Iraq for a year and I was feeling sorry for myself in Germany with five kids and no husband to help them pamper me on Mother’s Day. My fears were short-lived when my bedroom door burst open with mostly-not-fighting children bringing me a breakfast in bed with cold scrambled eggs, spilled orange juice, and very dry french bread slices spread with Nutella. Lesson learned? Everything is better with Nutella!” Becky
I hope you’ve enjoyed these delightful memories shared by these wonderful women, and I especially hope that this year’s Mother’s Day will hold some special memories for you to cherish for years to come. (Yes, even you, Norine!)
Happy Mother’s Day!
QUESTION: What are your favorite Mother’s Day memories? There’s still time to share in the comments section below!
CHALLENGE: Take a moment to write down some of your memories so they can be enjoyed by others for many years.