Motherhood Lightened

It’s a responsibility with a lot of weight. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, being a mother can get heavy. It’s so important to find ways to lighten the load. Here’s one.

SONY DSC
Am I smiling, or grimacing?? Maybe both?

There was a video that went viral a year or so ago. It showed people being “interviewed” for a position with a company. It was staged, of course, but the people being interviewed didn’t know that it wasn’t for a real position. The interviewer asked questions like, “Are you OK with never having any breaks?” “Are you available 24/7?” And as the questions went on, of course, it became obvious that the interviewer was describing the job of a mother.

Yeah. It’s one tough job. The toughest, if I might conjecture. As a mother, you are responsible for the care and cleaning and feeding and teaching and… well… everything of a small human being. Or 3 or 5. Everything. And that, my friends, can feel very heavy.

Enter Mother’s Day. A day to celebrate the women who mother the children of our communities. And as one of those mothers, do you know what I’d like for Mother’s Day?

A DAY OFF.

Yep. A whole day off.

‘Cause, I don’t know about you… but I rarely get an actual day off. Never mind a whole day… lunch breaks don’t even exist. And vacations? Ha! Nine times out of 10, my “work” comes with me. (It’s cute work, don’t get me wrong, but I’m still taking care of them in paradise.)

And that is what I ask for on Mother’s Day. A day off.

I do not make the meals. I do not clean the house. I do not answer the screaming. I do not get anyone dressed or bathed or wiped or carpooled.

And my amazing husband gives me just that.

He makes all three meals. He takes care of all things relating to the small people in the house. He does it all.

And I get a day off! (It’s fantastic!!)

I highly recommend asking for this next Mother’s Day. And if it comes with flowers and strawberries and crayon-drawn pictures of transformers (yep) that’s OK.

But mama! Take a day off!!

And while we’re on the subject, this is one of the BEST ways for me to lighten up the heavy load of mothering. I take a break!

Do you know what happens to a knife if you use it and use it and use it without ever stopping to sharpen it? Dull and disappearing.

Sometimes I feel dull and disappearing.

And that’s when I know I need to go sharpen my knife-self.

It’s a rare occasion when I can take a whole day off. Though I do take time twice a year (not including Mother’s Day). But I try to take little breaks when I need them.

When the boys go to bed and my husband is home, I get out of the house.

When the boys are quietly playing for 5 whole minutes, I stop doing my chores, and I do something just for me, like dance in the kitchen to a Broadway show-stopper.

When the boys are playing in the back yard, I stop weeding the flowerbeds and just sit with my eyes closed and my face toward the sunshine.

Somehow, somewhere, I have to fit in those breaks. If I don’t… I will break. Seriously.

And before I wrap up this somewhat lengthy ramble about Mother’s Day, I want to salute some very special women.

SONY DSCMe and my big kids in the middle of my single mothering years.

Mamas who are single. I see you. I was a single mother for almost 10 years. I know that it’s that much harder to take a break when there is no one else to take over for you. I know how incredibly hard it is. You are a warrior. My heart cheers for you.

Mamas whose arms are missing one of their children. I see you. I lost a baby girl I never got to meet. I heard her heartbeat. And then she was gone. Mother’s Day is sweet and bitter when you don’t have all of your children to wrap your arms around. My heart breaks with you.

Mamas who are still waiting to be called, mama. I see you. I know the feeling of desperately wanting a child (or two) and watching the clock tick on without my deepest wishes coming true. Mother’s Day is so hard to get through. My heart waits with you.

To all the women who know that their heart is a Mother Heart… I hope that you will take tender care of that heart. If it waits, if it breaks, if it is tired, if it is full, hold it in your hands and love it with all that you are. Though it can feel so heavy, it can be lightened.

Mamas who work so darn hard at this amazing, exhausting, incredible work of raising humans… please remember to take a break! It will lighten the heaviness and sharpen you up for another round of mothering.

img_2242.jpgMe and four of my children (and if you close your eyes, there’s an angel baby too.)

How did you take a break this Mother’s Day?

3 thoughts on “Motherhood Lightened

  1. Since I am waiting, I enjoy serving others. I spent most of my weekend helping others and I was able to focus on the joy of what I do have rather then what I don’t have. This last mother’s day was one of the happiest I have had in a long time. It felt good to smile!

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