Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 36. And someone important to me was getting married, so I spent it celebrating with the groom, his new wife and a handful of friends. Some people expressed surprise that I’d spend my birthday at a wedding. The way I see it, you get a lot of birthdays, you only get two or three weddings.
Just kidding. Kind of.
Today is Mother’s Day. The weather is gorgeous! I’m taking the kids to a baseball game. Not something I would typically choose to do on Mother’s Day, but the St. Paul Saints is having a special section for families with food allergies today and it will be much, much more safe for my child who has peanut allergies. I know my kiddos will love it, and so, despite the fact that baseball is the slowest, most boring sport I’ve ever seen, we will go and have fun.
So in a way, sure, this weekend is about me – having a birthday, celebrating Mother’s Day – but it’s really not. It’s about my friend getting married and being very, very happy for him, and it’s about my kids enjoying something we typically wouldn’t get to do. And for many reasons, this makes me happy.
Even just a few years ago, I was very territorial about May holidays – my birthday, Mother’s Day and my wedding anniversary were all within a week of each other. I hated having them all jammed together like that. I wanted to celebrate my days, each of them separately. And then something happened. Divorce. And I lost every hope and desire of having the “perfect life” or the “perfect family.” Where before my unhealthy marriage and feelings of brokenness were hidden on the inside, now my imperfections were crystal clear for the entire world to see. A broken home. A single mom. Two little ones.
And suddenly NOTHING was about me anymore. It was all about the kids. Keeping everything as stable as possible for them. Being there for them in every way in every moment. Learning how to be the Mom and the Dad – learning how to do manual labor things like mowing the lawn. Working extra hard at my job so I can at least keep security in where my next paycheck is coming from. When you are doing everything by yourself, it’s a totally different ball game.
The meaning of the words mother and motherhood have changed a number of times in my life. It meant something different for me
..as a child.
as a teenager.
as a single woman.
as a new mother and wife.
as a single parent.
I’m sure it will continue to evolve and change. Someday, maybe, I’ll become a Step-Mom or a Grandmother and it will evolve again. One thing I’ve learned that I believe will continue to hold true, is that there is very little room for selfishness in the heart of a mother. Being a mother means giving of yourself, in so many ways – physically, emotionally, financially… as well as teaching and cooking and playing and doing homework and going to sports practice and calendar planning and laundry (so much laundry!) and loving.
Yes, mostly loving.
I’ve always loved children and I’ve always wanted to be a Mom. It is by far the most important work I’ll ever have on this Earth. God has given me two beautiful children to love and care for and so this Mother’s Day I celebrate them – and how honored I am to be their Mom.
And I also celebrate and honor all the amazing women I have the privilege of knowing and sharing this journey of motherhood. The love and support we have for each other as women and mothers is so meaningful and amazing. Your friendship means the world to me and lifts me up. Thank you. May you have a wonderful Mother’s Day. I’m off to a baseball game.p.s. I’m honored to be included in a story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Social Media: A New Mom’s Best Friend. Those of you who have been with me for awhile will remember my friend Emilie Lemmons. Although she wasn’t mentioned by name, part of her story was included in my description of how we form friendships online. I’m so happy to remember her today, too.
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