Thursday, May 14, 2009

Great Expectations

Is it wrong to want to celebrate Mother's Day alone? Every year since I became a mother it is always the same celebration: me spending the day with my husband and children. Brunch is usually involved and every year as we sit down to our meal, I realize again that truthfully, I would have a much better time if I was alone. Yes, I know we should be celebrating with our children because without them we wouldn't have this title, but for some reason every year I have this expectation that this day should be different than the other 364 days. I guess I expect to relax and enjoy my meal out. I agree to the celebratory brunches to avoid cooking and drag my children to places they probably don't belong, only setting myself up for disappointment.

One year we arrived at the restaurant for a special Mother's Day Brunch only to find that although with our reservation my husband had specifically requested a high chair, the restaurant had run out of them. They ran out of high chairs on Mother's Day, probably the biggest day for small children to be dining in restaurants. I had to sit through my meal with a squirmy 1 year old on my lap. And, the restaurant had been so considerate to seat us right next to the open wine racks, that I had no choice but to keep him on my lap. I foolishly had expected to actually eat my meal at the brunch in my honor.

I guess I think of Mother's Day as a holiday for Moms. And I find myself expecting to have the day off in a sense. But I'm now thinking that is just not a realistic expectation if I'm going to spend the day anywhere near my children. My husband told me this year that he thinks of Mother's Day as more of a "celebration of mothers", and maybe I should actually do more mothering on this day. Despite my husband's "hilarious" comment, he generally does try to make Mother's Day special. He always plans the brunch and usually starts off the day giving me a break and handling the kids. He'll change a few extra diapers throughout the day, but as the day drags on, I think he gets burnt out. By 5pm this year, he was asleep on the couch leaving the kids to fend for themselves and me to intervene.

I don't know if its wrong to want to be alone on Mother's Day. I certainly wouldn't judge a mother who decided to. For myself, I do enjoy the excitement my children have helping me celebrate. I've found its just wrong to have certain expectations for this day. If I want to relax and be pampered, then yes, maybe I should spend the day alone at a spa somewhere. But then, I think my children would be disappointed. Another mother was recapping her Mother's Day to me and she and her family basically stayed home for the day. Also, not what I expect out of Mother's Day, but maybe not a bad idea. She certainly didn't seem stressed by her day. It was just another Sunday.

This year I did find myself at a Mother's Day Brunch again. The Country Club this time, but the same scenario as always with my kids falling out of their seats, and me controlling the chaos. I sat down to brunch though this year with a different expectation. Its just another Sunday brunch. My friend with three kids at the table next to us beat us through brunch and commented that she was "so done", while her husband commented that we looked like we were actually having fun. I'm still not sure it was fun. But, I was pleasantly surprised that although my meal was interrupted a few times, I did finish eating. And although my boys were whining that they were finished before I even started eating, I did have time to appreciate that they are the reason that I am a mom. But, I also set the bar low. And, I wasn't disappointed when my 2 year old spilled his Shirley Temple; I expected it. It was just another Sunday brunch.

1 comment:

  1. Just had to share in your "great expectations" revealations... I spent my mother's day morning at the grocery store with my screaming 3 year old. 7:00AM at the rocery store, buying stuff to make dinner for my husband's family... oh, and did I mention that I am 9 months pregnant.

    And the whole trip my daughter kept asking me why I was crying. I agree with the low expectation sentiment... maybe next year, I will be pleasantly surprised.



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