Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The thing about Mother's Day and Expectations

This past weekend we celebrated Mother's Day. A day to be thankful for all the mothers in our lives. This was my 10th Mother's Day and it seems they only get better. It always begins with some sort of breakfast in bed and homemade cards and hugs and sweetness. I think I get it easy because it is fresh on their little minds since they have been celebrating mom for the past 2 weeks (see birthday week). So it goes without saying that I am a big fan of Mother's Day.

However, I know for some it is very hard. I care deeply about many wonderful ladies who don't have children to call their own and for them this day is a reminder of what they can't have. Or something that hasn't happened yet. Also hurting are my friends who have recently (and some not so recently) lost their mothers. I imagine this day brings up all the saddest of emotions every year. I pray that these sweet friends made it through the day with peace and comfort from God and hopefully with some extra love from their families. And flowers. Flowers are always a good idea. oh and chocolate. For any day really.... (if there happens to be a man reading... take note of that.)

But then there are my friends who say mothers day is hard - not because of loss, but because of expectations. Expectations can totally kill even the best mood. Am I right? I can't tell you how many times I have planned a whole day/night/week/naptime (especially naptime) out in my head and  have been completely (and very dramatically) devastated that it didn't go as planned. So obviously, a day that is supposed to be "all about mom" where the plan is to be pampered and doted-on has the potential to be a HUGE disappointment. Especially when you have 3 young variables and 1 well intentioned spouse.

I get it. I've been there too. You wake up to a crying baby. You stumble past 2 other (although it sounds like 8 or 9) children kids fighting over... anything. (They are always fighting over something. Sometimes even over who gets the best air in the room.)  And this time it might even be over who gets to tell you "Happy Mother's Day" first, but it doesn't matter because they have forgotten the purpose of the fight and now are trying to kill each other with their screams.

So you sigh and head downstairs and clean up the "breakfast in bed" attempt and when they see you at your post they just start spouting off their breakfast orders because that's the routine. (and we all know kids love a routine except when it is at bedtime, or getting dressed, or doing homework, or anything other than eating food. Food must always happen at the same time and immediately) At some point your sweet husband comes in and says "Aww you shouldn't be doing that. It's your day, let me help." but then gets distracted because someone spills their milk. Again.

Then things start moving in fast-forward and you begin the crazy that is Sunday morning. Ironing dress clothes. Brushing teeth. Fighting. Twirling. Falling. Crying. "This is not the dress I wanted to wear because there is no pink on it. Wait, where are my shoes? Not those shoes. Where is my bible? Will you fix my hair? Walt won't stop looking at me with a weird face!"

This is when we want to throw our hands up and say "What's the point?! Mother's Day is a joke! No one appreciates me at all!!!" I know, because I have had those thoughts myself. But what I don't realize is that the real problem here is expectations.

Mother's Day/Birthday/Thanksgiving/Christmas expectations are the worst. We build them up in our minds and feel so defeated when things don't work out perfectly. Nevermind, my family is not perfect. Least of all, me. If we allow for some grace we will be able to see past the Sunday morning crazy to hear and be thankful for the sweet little voices saying "Happy Mother's Day".  And for the husband that means well, but is at least there to catch the milk waterfall that is flowing from the breakfast table.

Grace was my expectation for this Mom's Day and I am so happy that was all I planned. Somehow the day was perfect. Not because our family behaved perfectly, but because my focus was on grace. I hate to admit that I need a little focal adjustment from time to time. And because I was able to clear the expectations from my view this is what I saw....

What's better than breakfast in bed? Starbucks in bed.
And what is cuter than corny Sunday School cards?
God bless Sunday School teachers.
Just LOL at all of this. I clearly need to dress up more.

So after breakfast and church and cards we headed to lunch and took this perfect picture. I posted a civilized one to Instagram that day, but this one is a more accurate portrayal of my bunch.

 After lunch we had some lazy time before heading down to MS to see my mom. It was the first time in a long time that we have been in Senatobia when it was not raining or had not rained right before we came. Since it was nice and dry the kids took the chance in play outside. 

Chilling on the porch with a book before heading to Mom's.
My most favorite spot in the house.

This went on for at least 15 min. She has the best laugh.

The kids decided we needed to make bird feeders.
Which means they got all the stuff out and put a dab of
peanut butter on a pine cone and lost interest.
So really mom and I made bird feeders. Classic. 

Amelia and I even had a chance to ride with dad to go visit my grandparents. It was a nice but short visit. I could tell they were happy to see us all, but Amelia was the star, of course. She is sweet and smart and loves to read (which Grandmother loves) and she has that Dowdle red hair. (which makes Granddad light up!) 

Finally, Mom and I picked up some fried chicken take out so that we didn't have to cook and then we called it a day.  A great day.

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