My mother died seventeen years ago. I find it crazy that my children don’t know her and that she is not around to share in the myriad of life moments that pop up. I think I assumed that she would always be around and am still shocked she isn’t. Her absence is an acute void even now.
There is a lot of talk about what mothers want for the one day they get to officially revel in their “motherhoodness.” I am being bombarded with offers from every marketer on the planet. Apple is offering a new iPhone case, and every technology accessory imaginable. Nest suggests that one can show their love by buying the woman that birthed their children, a thermostat. Another vendor offers fuzzy “Mom” pajamas that scream, “You are a mom and will never have sex again!” And yet another offers a coffee mug to inspire that reads, “To the World You May be One Person. But to One Person You May be the World.” –Hum mm.
Other than a chef, a maid, a personal assistant, and personal shopper, child schlepper, and a conflict resolution and logistics coordinator, all I want for Mother’s Day is a time-out. I want a day where I can be present. A day I can celebrate the fact that I created a group of amazing healthy humans who, G-d willing, are learning to be resilient, self-sufficient, and above all, good people. I want a day where I can reflect and remember my mother and all she taught me about being a mother including forgiveness and compassion.
One of my favorite tee shirts I own reads, “Motherhood is not for Sissies.” How I love this shirt! I assume many roles in my life including entrepreneur, business owner and market strategist, volunteer, education expert, wife, daughter, sister and of course, “mother.” No one can prepare oneself for the role of mother. It is a “learning by doing” profession. It is also tougher than tough and is certainly not for “sissies.”
Given the position, shouldn’t Mother’s Day be celebrated in a more mindful way? Perhaps your mother or wife might appreciate the gift of a time-out.
Rachel Modena Barasch