Ah, Mother’s Day. The flowers, the chocolate, homemade cards, cuddles in bed, beautiful time with the family. It is actually like a hallmark card. I observe with amusement the antics of florists and department stores who lure husbands, partners and children in with promises of ‘what Mum will love’. Do you know what this mum would really love for Mother’s Day? Time alone. Yep, that’s it. Peace and quiet.
Sometimes I feel like for 364 days of the year it’s all about the kids. On this day, this day for mothers, I would like it to be about me. What I want. And I want to hear the sounds of silence. I feel bad saying that. I feel guilty that on the one day a year that celebrates my role and contribution as a mother, that all I want to do is be me. I often feel pulled in so many different directions that I rarely take time just for me. I need some time for me. To be the best mum I can be, I think I need to take care of me. So for Mother’s Day this year, I’ve asked my husband to take our boys out for the morning and lunch so I can spend some time at home alone.
The thought of having five whole hours to myself fills me with glee. On the one hand, I’m fantasising about all the household jobs I could get done in that time, but that can wait. Jobs will get done eventually. I’m really looking forward to waking up naturally – I’ve no idea when that last happened. The opportunity to read the Sunday paper from cover to cover whilst finishing a cup of tea is quite a tantalising lure. I’d like to sit. Just sit and be still and enjoy the sounds of nature that I rarely take the time to listen to.
I sound like an ungrateful wretch. I have two amazing children who fill my heart and my life with so much joy that I find it difficult to put into words. I love their quirky little senses of humour, their helpfulness, listening to their stories about what went on at preschool. I enjoy watching my eldest be engrossed in his Lego and am so touched when he secretly leaves me something he’s built on my bedside table so that I’ll see it when I go to bed. I marvel at the tenacity of my youngest as he learns to bridge the gap between toddler and pre-schooler, a little fellow who sees flowers in the garden, any flower even a weed, and picks it for me because he knows I like to have flowers in the house. They are my greatest joy, but also my greatest challenge. Being a parent is by far and away the hardest and often most exhausting thing I have ever done. Rewarding? Undoubtedly. Life changing? Absolutely. It’s a 24/7 job and mummy needs a time out.
I’ve got the whole day planned. The boys and their Dad will have a great time together in the early part of the day and then we’ll all spend the afternoon together enjoying some sunshine. Essentially, I want it all for Mother’s Day; time for me and time with my children. Too much to ask?