I love being a mum. I love both of my children more than I ever thought it was possible to love anyone or anything. I love staying home with them and all of the adventures we go on together. But on Mother's Day, the best way I can think of celebrating my status as a parent and my children's love is simply by them leaving me the hell alone for at least 80 percent of the day.
I've never understood the common Mother's Day celebration. It starts with a child-made breakfast, most likely including some burnt toast or pancakes that are raw in the middle, presented with juice served in a sticky cup or a side of coffee dad made and they spilled. All of this, of course, arrives some time between 6 and 6:15 a.m. because your children love you and want to give you that extra seven minutes of sleep. After you're forced to eat this mess so you don't hurt their feelings, they move on to gifts. They're homemade and look like the 30,000 other crafts they've presented you over the last year, but again, you really turn up the "oohing" and "aahing" because you're a stellar mom.
By dinner time, everyone's forgotten it's Mother's Day entirely. How is this different than any other day, and where is the wine?!
That's when you realise you still have approximately 13 hours left before bedtime, and regardless of the holiday, everyone's looking to you to fill them. Maybe you convince the kids that some screen time is in order, hoping to get a few minutes to yourself. They decide to bring their iPads to your bed for some cuddles. Maybe your husband shepherds them out of your room so you can get a shower; inevitably, they're back three minutes in because dad can't find the tape or Sharpies, and suddenly shower time involves a side of screaming at your husband that tape and Sharpies do not a good Mother's Day activity make.
Then you all decide to go out to a nice lunch, which means you're trying to eat a celebratory meal while cutting up chicken tenders, cleaning up spilled chocolate milk, and refereeing sibling battles. Lovely. You convince your husband to let you drop him and the kids off afterwards because you need to run errands, then you spend 30 minutes in the Target parking lot scrolling through Instagram and hating every perfect Mother's Day photo you see (but also "liking" them because social media is a corruptive force that you're not immune to), all while knowing that those mums are probably suffering, too.
By dinner time, everyone's forgotten it's Mother's Day entirely, and you're left wondering how a day that's supposedly all about honouring you also involves you washing sinks full of dishes, doing loads of laundry, and picking up enough toys off the floor to fill a small store. How is this different than any other day, and where is the wine?!
That's why what I really want for Mother's Day is some glorious and rare alone time. I want my husband to wake with our children, feed them breakfast, dress them, and take them out of the house for the next three hours so I can sleep in, shower, and escape before they arrive home. I want to go to the coffee shop that makes the best lattes but that I never frequent because those lattes take 10 minutes to create, and who has 10 minutes to wait for coffee when you're dragging around two kids?! I want to pop in a couple of shops, maybe meet a friend for lunch, and read part of the book I've been trying to get through since Christmas. And then, and only then, will I be ready to return to my kids, who will preferably be waiting with take-out dinner, a glass of my favourite Champagne, those homemade gifts, and maybe a gift card to my favourite store. Now that is what I call a Mother's Day.