For about 20 years I’ve been a parent and 15 of those have been as a single parent. Being a single mother has it’s own set of challenges. I’m not sure I focus on those challenges from day to day, but it’s especially noticeable when I spend Mother’s Day alone. And when I’m alone with the children on that day there are so many mixed emotions that I’m always between tears and joy for almost the entire day.
I said I wasn’t going to do anything today, but how actually is that possible when my three young children – ages 4, 7 and 8 – are home with me? I mean, I can be lazy and stay in my pajamas all day, but I’ll still have to fix meals and do all of the 100 million things required when one has children.
In my opinion, there’s something special about a husband, significant other or baby daddy honoring you on Mother’s Day. I think a friend of mine put it best, “Without no you, there would be no them.” That same friend was going to buy his ex-wife a Kindle for Mother’s Day, but his children said their mother had hinted about a certain perfume she wanted so he bought that. How sweet, I thought, as my eyes teared up.
I have to pause and say that of all the people – read: men – that I’ve spoken with they are very considerate of their ex-wives or baby mamas. Why, I’ve asked. The majority have simply said, ‘because they’re the mother of my children.’ Some pay mortgages or rent, some pick up kids from school everyday or get them every weekend, I know a couple of guys who go to the exes houses each night to tuck kids in (no, it’s not the ones who are still “relating” with the moms. LOL)… In fact, I’m amazed at some of the things they still do. I even have a few girlfriends who have confirmed this. Wow, I think, it must be nice…
But, I digress…
Then there are the moments, like today, when I was laying down in my room while talking on the phone with my mother and my little one, Anna, came into the room then climbed into the small space next to me and the edge of my bed. After a few minutes, she lifted her little, sleepy face and said in the tiniest voice, “Happy Mother’s Day…”
I nearly melted…
Before that I received a six-page text message from my oldest Amber who couldn’t be here (I think it’s the first Mother’s Day we’ve spent apart) and, among other things, she said, “…I just wanted to say that you’re the best mommy ever and I’m pretty lucky. I’m so glad that I can come to you with anything and know that even if you don’t like it, I always have your love and support no matter what.”
Later after breakfast as I sat on the couch wanting to spend an hour of quietly watching the boob tube, my girls came out with their Mother’s Day cards that they’d just made for me. The cards, on the left here, are so adorable, and the best thing about Amareah’s card was she had put a dollar in it (see below). Boy, that brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart – what a generous little daughter she is. How sweet is that. Anna’s card, the yellow one, is so cute. I love how she draws her people and when I asked her who was in the picture she said me, herself, Andre and Amareah and we’re playing in the park. What an imagination, huh?
Andre gave me a drawing first of me and him standing under a rainbow (the red one below); on the other side, which I didn’t get a picture of, is an abstract drawing (my favorite), with flowers, etc. I guess later he remembered he’d done something in school because he came in with a card he’d either made in class or art. The flower, which you can see on the pink one below, is actually made from his fingerprints. How cool is that?
It’s those things that make me happy and know that I’m doing a good job with my children. They touch my heart and make me feel good, but I have to keep that in mind when – like now – I have sequestered myself in my room after listening to the children fight, yell, cry and scream while playing the Wii.
I’m laying here on the bed, in the dark, with that mixture of feelings going on again. Somewhere between teary and utter joy. Well, I guess that’s the life of a mother anyway, huh?
Happy Mother’s Day ladies. I truly hope you’re enjoying yourself as well as feeling the love, honor and respect that you deserve. Or doing whatever makes you the happiest today.