Happy Mother’s Day to Me: Celebrating All of Me

This guest post by Ali Wilkinson, the hilarious and thoughtful mama behind Run Knit Love, is part of a series called Happy Mother’s Day to Me. (If you don’t already follow her blog or Facebook page, you’re missing out!) In this series, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mothers they are—and like Ali, they are celebrating all they are. Check out all the posts in the series!


 

Celebrating all of meI’m about to tell you a terrible story about myself. I know that may seem contradictory, since this is supposed to be a celebration of motherhood, but bear with me.

On Sunday night, a duck flew onto our neighbor’s roof. It felt surreal, like an omen. I mean you see ducks fly, but have you ever seen one on a roof? We debated getting a ladder to help her down, but then she casually, awkwardly flew down to our yard and started waddling around, looking pointlessly for her crew or for a lake—neither of which were within a mile of our yard.

Our neighbors across the street have an almost-two-year-old. He was playing out front with his mom, and I ran over to invite them to see the strange sight.

We admired the duck for a while, and then followed from a distance as she hopped down onto the street and began to walk away, as if it were totally natural. Taking the duck’s cue, we went our separate ways.

As I walked back up the path to our yard, my head filled with thoughts of wise and lonely ducks, the top of my left foot came sharply up on the underside of a rock overhanging the path. The pain was bright and harsh, and my foot immediately began to swell and discolor.

It’s Tuesday now, two days later, and because of a few things—namely, my three children—I haven’t had time to get it X-rayed yet. But it still looks like I have another foot growing off of it, and an angry purple C snaking around my toe.

So all this is to say, my foot hurts. Especially when I put pressure on it.

Cut to this morning’s school drop-off. Because of the three kids thing, we have (cue ominous music) a minivan. Normally my two younger kids sit in the front row and my oldest is alone in the back in a booster seat, but we temporarily have another car seat in the back row, giving my oldest two a chance to sit together. However, due to this being a (cue music again) minivan, it involves a great deal of contortion and pressure on my foot in order to strap my daughter in back there.

My daughter asked if she could sit in that seat this morning, and I said, being all let’s foster independence, “I’d rather you didn’t, because it hurts my foot right now to strap you in back there.” When I came to the car to strap her in, she had chosen to sit in the back row anyway.

I smarted, I fumed, but I basically held it together, and worked through the pain to strap her in.

I then spent the entire drive to her school unsuccessfully trying to give my new insurance information to our doctor’s office so I could schedule an appointment to get my foot looked at. This was not super successful given that I was trying to give them my vision insurance. The day was starting off (forgive me) on the wrong foot.  Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: Mom Resume

This guest post by Laura Starner, who shares her uplifting and triumphant story of surviving cancer at Laura’s Journey of Hope, is part of a series called Happy Mother’s Day to Me. In it, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Chances are, if you’re a mother, you have an impressive—and long—resume, too. Check out all the posts in the series!


Mom Resume Mother's Day

As moms, we usually don’t take time to celebrate ourselves because we don’t really feel like we’ve accomplished anything.  So today I celebrate my accomplishments as a mom and Mimi (Grandma).  I want to encourage others by writing about my resume as a mom/Mimi.

My daughters are 28 and 24 years old. I have three grandchildren ages five and under and a new addition on the way.

Here is my Mom/Mimi Resume. Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: Dear Mommy

This guest post is by Katie Karambelas, a fiction writer earning her MFA and a single mom. She blogs about adventure, motherhood and dating in the 21st century at Writing & Wanderlust. In this Happy Mother’s Day to Me series, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Check out all the posts in the series!


 

Happy Mother's Day Dear Mommy
Dear Mommy: I love you! Photo by AE Photography

Dear Mommy,

I see you, Mommy. I see you trying not to cry because you are too distracted juggling work and school and you forget to flip my grilled cheese before it turns black. You scrape the burnt part into the sink and flip it over on my plate so I won’t notice.

I hear you, Mommy. I hear you tell me things that I need to hear. I hear you say “I love you” and “I’m so proud of you” and they mean so much to me. I hear the happiness in your voice when you say these things to me.

I see you, Mommy. I see you lifting weights at the gym, trying to get stronger on the outside, even when you don’t feel strong on the inside. I watch Mickey Mouse on my DVD player but I look up every few seconds and I see the sweat dripping, your hair falling out of the too-loose ponytail holder.

I hear you, Mommy. I hear the happiness in your voice when you talk to me about traveling, and I believe you when you tell me that we will go to Paris and I’ll get to see the Eiffel Tower like I’ve been asking since I was only two years old.  Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: A series to celebrate ourselves

Happy Mother’s Day! (Well, almost.) This Mother’s Day on my blog, I want to do a little something different.

Happy Mother's Day to meFor the holiday, your kids and your partner might gift you a homemade card, a bouquet, a special breakfast or maybe even a much-deserved morning to sleep in. That’s totally legit. Syrup-sticky kisses in bed and hand-glued art are some of the best perks of motherhood.

But waiting for the gratitude—especially on just one day a year—isn’t enough. That’s why in the two weeks leading up to Mother’s Day this year, I’ll be featuring the stories of mothers writing themselves a message.

Too often, we moms fill the internet and our heads with self-doubt and self-criticism. That’s why this Mother’s Day, I want to flood my tiny corner of the web with mothers celebrating ourselves.

In these guest posts, you’ll hear from moms who walk slowly alongside toddlers and shuttle kids to out-of-state sports tournaments. You’ll hear from moms who kiss boo boos and battle cancer. You’ll hear from moms who delight in the everyday joys of motherhood and slog through the hard times.

These stories are authentic. And they might ring true for you, too.

I hope you join me in the coming weeks to read these Mother’s Day posts. And I hope you’ll share in the comments why you appreciate yourself this Mother’s Day.

It’s time to celebrate ourselves. Are you in?

Happy Mother’s Day!

Last year was my first Mother’s Day, but in the last year I’ve come to appreciate what the holiday means even more.

Living what it is to be a mother—the millions of choices and actions and books read and songs sung and car seats buckled and tempers checked and lunches fixed and owies kissed every single day—underscores everything the mothers in my own life have done (and continue to do).

mother and daughter moustachesMy own mom believed in me fiercely. She encouraged me to turn every interest or passion into a business, certain that someone would want to buy tiny animals sculpted out of wire or t-shirts covered in my angsty teenage poetry.

Graduation with in-lawsMy mother-in-law has always been unequivocally welcoming and accepting. Her hugs, confidences and phone calls made me feel as if it were a given that I am one of the family. I will never, ever, ever forget or take for granted the way she embraced me as one of her own.

Argentine host mom meets babyMy mama argentina, my host mother when I studied abroad in college, welcomed me as a stranger into her home. Ana and I chatted every night as she made dinner or as I sipped a submarino—a hot chocolate—at the breakfast bar. I left, four months later, as part of the familia and continue to love that collection of characters from afar—even as they expand their families.

great grandma grandpa and grandma with babygrandma Bessie sunflowerfour generations women grandmasAnd my grandmothers, of course, whose mothering I feel through the generations. These strong, beautiful women raised families amid less than ideal circumstances without complaint. My Grandma Hawkins, for example, loves to tell me about the moment when she discovered she was pregnant with twins—my mom and Uncle Steve.

She already had one baby at home and not a whole lot of income or support, but when she got back from the doctor, she stood in the middle of the kitchen and hugged her just-starting-to-expand belly. Then she threw her arms out and spun around. She couldn’t contain her happiness and couldn’t believe her luck that she was carrying twins—twins!—a secret wish she’d always carried.

These are the kinds of moments that make up motherhood. Yes, parenting is also colored with frustrations and peanut butter stains and pooplosions and sleepless nights, but it’s the joy and reward and unending gratitude that stick with us.

day-old newborn with mom hospitalThat gratitude stretches in both directions, toward both generations. I cannot express how thankful I am to my daughter and this growing life inside me for choosing us as their family. I am also thankful to the long line of women who wiped noses and corrected homework and spun in kitchens so that I could be here.

So I’m sending love to all the mamas in my life—the ones who helped raise me, the ones who brought up my loved ones, the ones who I’ve known since they were kids, the ones who struggled so hard to become pregnant, the ones who are celebrating their first holiday as moms. You all deserve to be celebrated every day, but these 24 hours are dedicated to you.

Happy Mother’s Day.