Sometimes I miss her, the girl I used to be. The one who didn’t care about makeup, but choose to sleep a bit later instead. Sleep, what is that? I’ve almost forgotten. The one who didn’t go about with perpetual dark circles (hence the lack of need for makeup) unless it was because of a good book, a movie marathon or a fun night out with friends. I didn’t drink coffee, there was no need. Even in college, I rarely drank coffee except during my twice yearly almost-all-nighters.
But here I am, 33 with three children; almost seven, four and seven months. I don’t recognize myself sometimes. The days are rushed and harried. (And to think I thought I was busy before). Running from one task to another, amid the constant barrage of “Mom! Mom! Mom!” Even the baby, with his adorable cry of “umma, umma” begins to wear on me sometimes.
I used to have hobbies and interests. Now I don’t have the attention span to learn a new app or program, even if it could make my life easier. Learning something new would require more than a few moments of silence and more than a few neurons to rub together.
As Mother’s Day approached, I almost forgot. (Apologies to my mothers-in-law, your cards will be late). I know it’s only a day, it doesn’t really matter when we do it, but that we honor our mothers. This year we’ll be spending the day eating subs before tackling more renovations at my parents’ new house in preparation for their upcoming move. It may not sound like much fun, but it’s what my mom wants. For all of us to be together, and try to make some more headway on the seemingly endless list of things to finish before moving day.
But on this day, though we may all argue that it was invented by Hallmark, we need to honor these women, the ones who bore us and raised us (whether literally or metaphorically), flawed though their efforts may have been. But we also need to honor ourselves, as moms, for who we are today.
I carry ten to fifteen pounds of extra baby weight, but my son didn’t notice that when I held him half the night. He only knows that when he’s upset (and no one knows why) sometimes only mama can make it better. I am the comforter.
I plan a poorly advised trip to the library with all three children (my four year old is no doubt lacing up his running shoes as we speak), because they are excited to go, and we need more books for lessons for the next few weeks. I know it will wipe me out for half the afternoon, but I do it anyway. I am their educator.
I desperately plow through the logistics of getting my husband and I out to dinner for our 13th wedding anniversary. (Has it been that long already?) I don’t feel very pretty, or very much like celebrating sometimes, but I feel that the years we’ve put in, though the good, bad and messy times in between deserve some kind of acknowledgement. Because I am still wife, lover, partner and best friend.
So whether you give cards, go out to dinner or try to forget all about Mother’s Day, at least honor yourself, Mom. You aren’t the same as you were before, but that’s OK. You are still strong, amazing, and ever growing and changing. We may miss those young girls, childless and unencumbered as they were, but I’m learning to love this grown up, spit-up-on, tired, squishy, mom-woman I’m becoming too. Perhaps someday better than who I used to be.
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