I sort of have a history of having emotional meltdowns on Mother’s Day. Not every Mother’s Day – and thankfully, none in my recent past – but I’ve had my fair share, nonetheless.
I believe it all started with me having the expectation of, um, receiving something; you know – something as in a gift from one of my MANY children. (Note: if you expect to receive anything material – anything other than something intangible, like love – you may be setting yourself up for disaster!)
Here’s how it went down…
This happened about the time that my husband and I had decided to take our three “steps” out of public school to be homeschooled. I’d say they were somewhere around the ages of 6, 7 and 8.
The wonderful thing about public school, at least when the kids are elementary age, is that Mother’s Day is a huge deal and an occasion for a major crafting event at school. I’m thinking teachers spend an entire month brainstorming ideas about what craft their students will give their Moms – and this was before the days of Pinterest!
Over the years, my elementary aged kids have brought home some of the best Mother’s Day “gifts” imaginable from school. Money-wise, it may have cost them nothing, but they poured their time, energy and creativity into it, which actually made it the best gift of all!
Their handmade goodies: cards with words misspelled; picture frames made out of pasta; plastic plants in tiny, painted ceramic pots; self portraits made into Christmas ornaments (which still adorn our tree 20 years later); and Mother’s Day poems with tiny hand prints on it really rocked my world! God bless those under paid and overworked teachers!
So, back to the year when these little tots were newly homeschooled and that blessed day – Mother’s Day finally arrived – I got NOT ONE gift! Nil! Nutin’! Zilch!
To be fair, I don’t remember if my Ashley (who was probably 13 or so) gave me anything (she must have gotten me something?) Autumn was disqualified as a new born and my husband doesn’t count – that is, doesn’t count for kid’s gifts. All that mattered was that three of my four kids who could have given me a gift didn’t, and I was crushed!
Of course, they all wished me a happy Mother’s Day and loved on me, but WHERE WERE THE GOODIES?
As usual, whenever I’m disappointed on Mother’s Day I act as if nothing’s wrong, but I don’t have the gift of hiding my emotions, so eventually my disappointment shone through. (If your lip is dragging on the floor the kids are going to know that somethings wrong.)
My husband was disappointed with the kids and expressed his disapproval over matter, but somehow I felt that something was off.
Eventually, I realized that the kids had always had a built in, foolproof system for coming up with the cutest most thoughtful Mother’s Day gifts ever: they simply relied on their teachers. I had to remind hubby of this and tell him that perhaps he should have coordinated the effort due to their young ages – but honestly, it was totally off of his radar. He technically was the principal of our little homeschool, not their teacher; but going forward he would have to take the lead in this area (which is exactly what I do for Father’s Day).
So there you have it – (one of) my worst Mother’s Day memories ever! Yes, I have others, like the time I cried my eyeballs out in Walmart on Mother’s Day and ducked under clothing racks so my family would be none the wiser, but I won’t bore you with that account.
At some point, I started to realize a bad Mother’s Day pattern developing: if I received what I thought was an appropriate amount of praise I was happy; and if I didn’t, I was deflated. This cycle had to stop!
Eventually, I had to decide not to hang my hope on what I did or didn’t receive. I had to decide whether I was going to give thanks and be grateful on Mother’s Day, regardless of how my family chose to honor me. (The Lord has really helped me in this area. It came with spiritual maturity.)
It turns out that thanking God for what we have and not looking at what we don’t have is definitely one way to have a great Mother’s Day.
A Reformed Mother’s Day Momma!
I’ve shared this post at these fabulous faith and family link-ups.