I remember my ‘first’ Mother’s Day. It was 2013 and I was pregnant with Ben, so I’m not sure how much that counts. We’ll say it does. I was so happy dreaming of what life would be like as a mom, especially on Mother’s Days. There would be homemade cards, breakfasts in bed, and fun-filled family time. Perhaps there would be some jewelry involved. Mother’s Day would at least be a beautiful day where my family loved on me.
Let’s fast forward four years. I have my amazing son and my wonderful daughters. Every day is Mother’s Day in terms of how much love my children give me. There is no reason that one single day should be more focused on me than any other. The point of mothering is to give your love to your children, not to gather accolades from them. I don’t need fancy celebrations or days where my children sing my praises. (I won’t stop it if it happens, but it isn’t necessary.) No, I just want one thing for Mother’s Day. It’s simple, and in fact isn’t even a thing at all. I want a whole day in which I don’t make any food or feed anyone.
Overall I enjoy cooking. I like the challenge of creating healthy and tasty meals for my family. But some days it feels like all I do is prepare food no one wants to eat and then clean it all up. Three meals a day, every day. It can get a bit wearying. Ben is three. He is going through a phase where he only likes about 4 main foods. We are working on it, but it means every meal has a battle component to it. Have you done battle with a three-year-old? They have a complete lack of logic on their side. It’s a powerful weapon. Ali and Sammy are better eaters, they are only a year old. I think they subscribe to the Viking lifestyle judging by the way they toss half their food on the floor. Now again, we are working on these things. Don’t think I am just slacking off and letting my children rule the table. Manners and good eating don’t always just happen. They take work and planned effort. I am happy to put in that effort. Most of the time.
Sometimes I want to just forget it all and not care about what another human being is eating. Heck, I don’t want to care about what I am going to eat! I want one day where I don’t think about what anyone else is eating. Nutrition? Not my problem. Food cut into appropriate sizes? Someone else’s job. Expanding the palates of little ones? Who cares! I don’t even want to think about the food that is placed in front of me.
There is more though. I don’t want the kids to eat junk. I want someone else to care about what they eat as much as I do. The kids still need to have healthy meals with variety. No just giving them pizza or crackers to fill them up until I am back on duty. I could take that easy way out, but that isn’t what I want. They need vegetables, they need protein, and they need to try something new. I am not planning it out ahead of time though. It isn’t a break if I have to take the time to plan ahead and do the prep the day before. I want someone to make my food too. Plan it out, cook it up, and put it on the table.
If we are going nuts with Mother’s Day dreams I want to add in I am not getting up once I start eating. I want to sit and eat a meal, start to finish. No jumping up to wipe up spills, no refilling sippy cups or rescuing them from the floor, and no hopping up mid-meal to help someone use the potty. Not this mother, I am going to happily eat the food that tastes good and is good for me that someone else made. After eating a wonderful meal, I’m just going to walk away from the table. I’m not doing dishes or wiping up messes. I don’t know who is going to get down on the floor and pick up all the food that was dropped, but I do know it won’t be me.
Of course, this dream will never come to fruition. I think when my kids are older they could make it happen. Pat would for sure try to do this for me. I know myself though, and I can’t just sit there if one of my babies needs something. Ignoring the mess just isn’t in my nature, and I don’t want to dump the work on someone else. The biggest thing is that I do want my kids to eat well, to eat food they enjoy and that is good for them. I think that I want to just turn off the caring for a day, and I can’t do that. What mother can?
I suppose instead of a day free from meals I can always go back to the jewelry idea. Even Cinderella got beautiful shoes.