Mothers Day will soon be here, and everywhere I look I’m bombarded with ads and commercials that picture a happy mother cuddling her baby or getting sloppy kisses from her toddler.
The second Sunday of May is often depicted in loving images, with husbands giving beautiful and expensive presents and children making breakfast in bed for mommy.
The mother is often portrayed in saintly ways smiling as her kitchen is wrecked by adorable children out of central casting. Perhaps she’s smiling as her befuddled husband tries to get the kids ready for mom’s one big day off and at the end is handed her “prize” of a bracelet or diamond necklace.
I’ll admit that for my first few Mother’s Days I was a little let down that music didn’t play as my kids came in with coffee and homemade cards, or that at the end of cleaning up my children’s latest mess, my husband didn’t look down at my tired, stressed out face, take me in his arms, push the hair out of my eyes and hand me a present to end all presents while my adorable kids giggle in the corner.
I love my life, but it’s much messier than the Madison Avenue version.
If past Mother’s Days are any indication to what will happen next Sunday, I’ll get woken in the middle of the night by a sick child or find an elbow in my face by a kid that has snuck in between my husband and me.
As I clean up the sick child, or try to gently move the intruder back to their own bed, I’ll hear my husband mumble “Happy Mother’s Day” while we both crack up at the way our life turned out.
I’ll go back to sleep only to be woken an hour or two later after one of my sons ask for bacon and eggs. Maybe my eight-year-old will ask if he can join the circus, or live at Grandma’s house. Again I will hear my husband laugh. He’ll tell the kids it’s Mother’s Day and we should let mommy sleep. Again, I’ll go back to sleep laughing.
I will then be woken up another hour or two later to the beautiful peaceful sounds of my daughter screaming my name from my now locked door and my husband yelling, “Let Mommy sleep; it’s Mother’s Day.’”
That will be followed by my husband’s pleas to sign my card and telling someone to stop picking their nose, hitting their brother, or eating the special breakfast that is meant for me.
Then my family will come in my room all smiles.
If I’m really lucky, I may get to hear in no particular order: “Stop hitting me.” “I’m not hitting you.” “You’re a pain in the neck.” (Since we now have a 14-year-old, he may refer to another part of the anatomy when describing his younger brother). “Don’t talk to your brother and sister that way.” But only if I’m really lucky.
There will be my three beautiful children and my husband standing before me with presents, pictures, cards and coffee. My husband will direct each child to give me their present. I will ooh and ah as I hear how they picked out the presents and who tried to make a break for it at the store, or who had a meltdown at the bank because there were no more lollipops.
Then we will have breakfast and go about our day. Maybe we will take a ride to the beach or playground. Maybe we will buy some plants, and I’ll even have a minute to put them in the ground and watch the kids play with the water, getting completely soaked and filthy as they “help” me.
Dinner will be Chinese food and then children will be shooed into the shower and gotten ready for bed.
I will be tired, stressed out and not at all relaxed.
I will look at my husband, laugh and thank him for another great Mother’s day.
And you know what, it will be.