Farmyard Letter #8: Why Mother's Day Is Really Not My Favorite Day
It’s really hard to be a Good Mom. And then you throw in the other types of Moms – The Super Mom, The Fun Mom, and the Always-Put-Together Mom. Then there’s the Lululemon-Wearing-Athletic Mom, The Smart Mom, The Forever-Nurturing Mom, and The Spiritual Mom who knows exactly what to say at all times. And you really, really want to hate her but you can’t, because she’s also The Kind Mom. And of course, there’s the Cheerleader Mom (who ALWAYS, ALWAYS has good hair. I swear!), The Chef Mom and then there’s Me. The Average Mom.
I’m not feeling sorry for myself, I swear. I just feel that there’s always this monkey on my Mom back and once it jumps off, there’s an entire circus in town I have to deal with! So. Seriously. I’m the Average Mom. The Mom that yells, continuously burns meals, says SHIT! when yet another pair of pants shrink, picks up my girls late, and breaks the horn slamming my fist into it because the girls were arguing in the backseat. So, by now, you would have to agree with me. I’m pretty much an Average Mom.
I knew I was an Average Mom, when I had my first baby, Thena, and I was reading Anne Lamott’s book Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year. (I still pick through it sometimes and reread all of the dog-eared pages.) One of my favorite quotes from Operating Instructions was:
"It has been a terrible day. I'm afraid I'm going to have to let him go. He's an awful baby. I hate him. He's scum. I'm not even remotely well enough to be a mother. That's what the problem is. Also, I don't think I like babies."
Well, here I was, a chubby, sleep-deprived, depressed newly-appointed Mom who not only felt completely inadequate but really lonely and I laughed so hard when I read “…I don’t think I like babies.” Because of course I LIKE babies. In fact, I LOVE babies. (Especially puppies.) But finally, I didn’t feel so lonely anymore because I felt connected with Lamott after my laughing fit.
I would then read the next line…."one thing about having a baby, is that each step of the way you simply cannot imagine loving him any more than you already do, because you are bursting with love, loving as much as you are humanly capable of — and then you do, you love him even more."
So, here’s the deal. I owe Lamott a lot of money because without her irreverent way of capturing the disparities of motherhood, I would have probably had to check myself into rehab because I would have drank a whole helluva a lot more. But instead, I would push my stubborn post-partum depression aside and pick up Operating Instructions and laugh and cry.
So, when I write that “Mother’s Day Should be Everyday!” I really mean it. Because during those rare moments on those rare days when you actually feel like you have it all together for just a millisecond because you find yourself laughing with your kids, or breaking a horn; those are the times when I want to celebrate “Mother’s Day”.
Happy Mother’s Day y'all!