Today is Mother’s Day. Happy Mommy’s Day to all the amazing mothers out there. Each of you please take a moment to pause and pat yourself on the back. You are doing a great job! Yes, you may have forgotten that it was pajama day at daycare and sent your little one inside in normal clothes leading to an embarrassing on-the-floor-meltdown or maybe you poured the pouch of cheese into the macaroni noodles while cooking Kraft Dinner only to have your little one burst into tears because they wanted to do it even though when you asked them if they were going to, they said no – excuse YOU for being SO inconsiderate. Or maybe after an incredibly long, sleepless night up with your fussy, teething babe you totally lost your shit with your sweet, endearing STALLING toddler at bedtime the following night and said a word his or her little ears aren’t supposed to hear and now they are repeating it? Whatever the case may be, YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB. We have all been there. Each of the previous scenarios is a personal experience.
No one said this mom thing is easy. Yes, there are times where your little one may have you at your wit’s end and you wish it was socially acceptable to lay down on the floor in public making fists while crying, kicking and screaming. Heck! They can. Why can’t you! Yes, there may be times where you fantasize about packing a bag and jet setting off to somewhere exotic where you aren’t spit-up covered “Mommy” and you can pee in peace or wish you had continued using birth control just a little longer, because if you had you would have probably already gotten your own business up and running, or… you get my point.
In my opinion, the key to being an amazing mom is gratitude. Be grateful for those little hearts and minds that love you unconditionally that you are influencing every single day. Be grateful that they are in your life, because there are many hope-to-be moms and grief-stricken-moms that would trade anything to be in your comfy mom shoes. I am talking about the mothers that cringe when they hear the words “Happy Mother’s Day”. These moms are the wonderful women who desperately want children of their own but are struggling to get pregnant. They are the women who experienced the joy of hearing their baby’s heartbeat and held on tightly to the promise of a little addition to their fam-jam only to discover later on that there was no longer a heartbeat. They are the women who have embraced their little ones for five or ten years or even just a few minutes before having their hearts obliterated when their loved one leaves this world.
While I have two healthy boys, “Happy Mother’s Day” is still sometimes difficult for me to hear. Come July, it will have been two years since I birthed my second son into the world and snuggled him against my bare chest, only to unexpectedly lose him 26 hours later after a horrible series of events. It has been almost two years since I survived through the darkest hours of my life and yet my heart still aches almost every day when I think of my departed son, Beckham. While time does make thinking of him easier, I believe that losing a child is something a person never truly recovers from. Instead, you just learn how to better manage your emotions. You attempt to remember any good moment and refrain from letting your mind travel back to dig up any heart-wrenching, guilt-filled regrets. While friends and other loved ones eventually continue on with their normal routines, you struggle to find a “new normal” because from the moment your child’s heart stops beating, you will never ever be able to return to your “normal”. More than likely, your whole outlook on life will change, as has mine.
My purpose in writing this little note is not to be depressing. I am grateful every day for my sons and my significant other. I feel very blessed to live the life I lead and have had a wonderful day. I just ask you to be aware of ALL of the moms on Mother’s Day and to understand that while it is definitely a day to be celebrated, it is a difficult day for many. Remember that a smile or a kind word can go a very long way and might just change another mom’s day who is struggling this Mother’s Day. So go and spread your light and your smile, because someone may need it. XO, Jenna