It’s the Saturday night before Mother’s Day, and I’m crying in the bathroom. I finallyput dinner on the stove, after holding out for a while, thinking my dear husband had some spectacular plan for our holiday weekend meals. I waited, and got angry, then gave up. I knew this weekend would turn out this way. Each year, I try to be a helpful wife and mother by inferring, suggesting, and encouraging my family to celebrate me in some kind of way. When you become a mom, let alone a mom of 3, you start to really invest in Mother’s Day. It’s the day where you allow your family to pamper the hell out of you and give you gifts that are heartfelt (and something that you’ve wanted for a really long time). Well, for yet another year, that wasn’t the case. But this year, I learned a new lesson, thanks to one of my favorite shows, Parks and Recreation.
If I had to blame someone else, I definitely place it on my Dad. Growing up, my dad made a big deal about holidays and birthdays. For the 14 years that I was an only child, my father made sure to let me know how important Mother’s Day was for all of the women in my life, including grandmothers and aunts. When it came to my mother’s gifts, we planned weeks before the holiday. My dad asked me what I wanted to get her, we spent almost a whole day at the mall searching, and we (well, he) purchased the gift, wrapping paper, and such. My mom had a much deserved full weekend of fun planned by us.
Once I created my own family, I thought this is how things worked. I was supposed to be celebrated on my special day, and my family would have planned it weeks ahead of time to make sure it was perfect. 9 years later, that hasn’t come into fruition. My husband is great at so many things, but he just hasn’t lived up to Daddy’s standard of celebration. Although, this year he did ROCK my birthday. I mean, he did the damn thing. But again, I had been asking for certain things that he bought and did for me for about 4 years. Maybe it just takes time, but should I really wait?
On Mother’s Day, I still tried to be optimistic. I received my Mother’s Day gift the day before, but was so sure there was something else coming. I loved what I got (who doesn’t love a Star Wars tee?), but I just KNEW there was more in store. My 4 year old had been waxing poetic about the “fun gift” she, her dad and her brothers were going to get me. She’s the best hype man ever. I was excited. The day started with breakfast in bed of the usual things I eat every morning. It was super sweet, since the kids made it for me this time. Then, that was it. By 2pm, I got real and knew I would have to take a page from one of my favorite Parks and Recreation episodes.
Treat. Yo. Self. That was it. Instead of hiding in the bathroom crying over the day that never was, I got up, did my hair, put on my new favorite skirt, and created the best day I could. A trip to Panera for a hot broth bowl, use of their wifi to watch some of my favorite YouTube videos, and then hours spent at Barnes & Nobles checking out books I’d love to buy, and reading the book I brought with me. I have to learn to treat myself like I wanted to be treated, as well as treat others that way. I’ll still make a huge deal out of my husband’s and children’s birthdays. The plans I put together for Father’s Day will still go on without a hitch. They deserve it all, and so do I. No one like a self-imposed martyr, so there’s no reason for me to be one.
My (second half of) Mother’s Day was simple, but it was glorious. It also prompted me to do exactly what Tom and Donna planned for themselves each year. Next Mother’s Day, I’m gonna treat myself. How? A trip to Disney World. With friends. BOOYAH. Go hard or go home.