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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Tidd

Mother's Day

My son recently asked me the question I have been WAITING for one of my children to ask for years.

“Mom…how come you get a Mother’s Day and we don’t get a day?”

Haven’t you been waiting all of your adult life to answer that question just like your parents did?

“Because every day is Kid’s Day.”

I never understood that as a child, but now as the mom of three small children I wish I had a tattoo across my forehead that said it. I would be such a hit at Chuck E. Cheese.

Have you ever noticed how Father’s Day tends to be the day that the dads get to take off and go play golf or something that is decidedly away from the rest of the family? And that Mother’s Day seems to involve a lot of family bonding and yard work? How exactly did that happen?

It confirms my belief that these two holidays were invented by a card company to increase sales and that that card company was run by a man. Probably the brother of the guy who invented pantyhose. Otherwise, Father’s Day would be in May…just in time for spring clean up. And Mother’s Day would be in June…the perfect weather for laying by the pool and sipping frozen alcoholic beverages.

I guess we moms should count ourselves lucky that Mother’s Day doesn’t fall on “National Clean Out Your Pantry Day” or something.

I was strangely oblivious to how hard Mother’s Day would be the first year my husband was gone. I knew Father’s Day would be a bitch, but my husband was never big on spoiling me for Mother’s Day. It took him 5 years of very strong hints for him to realize…I didn’t want to be with any of them on Mother’s Day. I wanted a break.

I know that sounds terrible, but you were thinking it too. I just verbalized it.

My first Mother’s Day without him was when it occurred to me that there was no one here to remember the 200 hours of labor I went through to bring three children into the world. That even though my parents had been around to greet the kids when they finally made their appearance, my husband was really the only one who was there. He may have been slightly hungover for the first one, but he was present. And he may have almost missed the second one, but he made it. And he was the one who was sitting beside me at church the third time around, when my water broke and we decided to go to brunch before the hospital because we knew we wouldn’t be fed for awhile.

It hit me that these memories weren’t ours anymore…they were mine. That's a big concept to swallow.

I am fortunate that my kids, even though they are young, get unreasonably excited about Mother’s Day. They start planning well in advance the things they are going to do for me. Last year, I figured out that they were planning on bringing me breakfast in bed and I quickly went out and bought a donut for myself so they could pamper me in the way they saw fit. I just had visions of my 4 year old trying to navigate the stairs with a full bowl of Cheerios and milk.

I’m hoping that one day, all three of my children become multimillionaires and continue their enthusiasm for Mother’s Day. But these days, I look forward to drawings, crafts, cards, and hopefully a day of minimal fighting.

As my children were arguing at a not-so-dull roar today, I asked them, “Can’t we start the ‘No Fighting On Mother’s Day’ now?”

My 8 year old looked at me like I was crazy and said, “But it’s not Mother’s Day today.”

After three years of widowed Mother’s Days, I’ve gotten used to being “spoiled” by my kids and not having the anticipation of a special treat from my significant other. They were rare, but I always lived in hope. Hope of a surprise pedicure appointment. Hope that he would say, “You deserve a break. Why don’t you go to the movies?” Hope that he would just take the kids out of the house and leave me in peace for 10 minutes.

I will say, though, that I kind of miss not having anyone around to ask, “You didn’t get me anything for Mother’s Day?”

Wait…now that I think about it…maybe that was his gift. Because there’s nothing a mother likes more than a good guilt trip.

That sneaky devil.

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