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The Bitter and Sweet of Mother’s Day

May 10, 2011

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day, the holiday to honor thy mother/spouse/sister/daughter. And while my Mother’s Day was nice, I’ve come to the conclusion that this holiday is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Let me explain. Mother’s Day brings with it the expectation that us mothers will have a blissfully pleasant day. There may be cards, flowers, breakfast in bed (or at least a custom Starbucks); maybe a gift, some quiet time, and pampering would be nice.

However deep down, us mothers know this blissful day will never happen because … WE’RE MOTHERS! The one thing we’ve learned as mothers is a single perfect blissful day doesn’t exist. Sophie’s needs won’t miraculously disappear because of the date on the calendar.

And then what happens? We end up feeling let down. Not because our husbands or children failed us; but because there is no way to meet such unreasonable expectations.

I’m not complaining that my Mother’s Day was doom-and-gloom. I enjoyed a morning Starbucks, compliments of Bryan and Sophie who also gave me a very blissful 20 minutes to myself (reading the remaining pages of Ashley Judd’s biography).  I was able to take an afternoon nap and even purchased two books I was eying.

And while I did not have pedicures or an expensive dinner, I was able to enjoy the company of Bryan and my daughter at the dinner table, where I was treated to to the best gift ever: Sophie turning to me saying, “Mommy, I forgot to tell you: Happy Mother’s Day.”

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Here are a few photos of the Mother’s Day treats I made for my mom and sisters.

Pound cake topped with homemade raspberry sauce, whipped cream and fresh raspberries, and a shortbread cookie on the side (a la Costco).

Coconut and sprinkle cupcakes made by Sophie and me (Sophie is the official decorator and taster).

I made these little candy jars out of old glass bottles, scrapbook paper and M&M’s for my mom and sisters. The idea was inspired from this craft from Our Best Bites.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Wendi permalink
    May 11, 2011 5:27 am

    What a good daughter/sister you are! I only mailed a card to my Mom & MIL and I didn’t even put them in the mail until Saturday! Oy. Oh well, they know we love them.

  2. Lena permalink
    May 11, 2011 5:27 am

    I hear ya sister! This year marked my third Mother’s Day and I completely relate, yet have been unable to really describe it until I read your post.

    It’s so nice to know I’m not alone. This year I have to admit the day snuck up on me, mainly because my husband and I were on vacation over the same weekend so we woke up on Mother’s Day and it became the day we had to rush home to our kids and see our in laws off to the airport, clean the house and do 5 loads of laundry. I did get Pad Thai for dinner upon request — takeout– and my husband put both boys to bed so I could take a bath – but I was still doing all of the normal stuff all day and well, it was a slight let down but William did say happy Mother’s Day unprompted and that is something I will cherish.

    From one Mom to another let me say Happy belated Mother’s day and you rock!

    Lena

  3. May 11, 2011 6:23 am

    Leah – Your words are oh-so-right 🙂 Though I can attest that at least for me it HAS gotten more enjoyable in certain ways as the kiddos have gotten older. My daughters are almost 15 & 19, so I am able to carve out more “me time” these days. But I’m sure you can let your mind wander to how it might be spending time in close quarters with two teenage girls, too?? lol

    They & my hubby food made for me, I had time to read, went to stitch for a bit with my mom & the girls came along (my older dd is an avid x-stitcher), but … the catty girl bickering -UGH

    My hubby was wonderfully encouraging reminding me that this, too, is a season & will pass.

    Happy Belated Mother’s Day to you!
    Denise

  4. May 11, 2011 6:27 am

    It sounds like you had a nice and delicious Mother’s Day! I think with so many holidays, especially these “day” ones like Valentine’s Day, there are so many expectations for them to be utterly relaxing, romantic, whatever. It’s impossible for them to ever live up to them. But I think New Year’s Eve might be the one we put the most pressure on to be amazing — in my younger days, at least, it was always a big let down!

  5. May 11, 2011 7:37 am

    You hit the nail on the head; I think the reason that most women are ambivalent (or outright militant) about Mother’s Day is unmanaged expectations. Women who haven’t been able to have children or who don’t have a good relationship with their children hate this holiday. Women who expect to not have to lift a finger all day hate it too. I think we just need to adjust our expectations & enjoy the time with our families!

  6. May 11, 2011 8:43 am

    Truer words, never spoken. I suppose I too had ‘unreasonable expectations’. However, your treats have now made me hungry 🙂

  7. May 11, 2011 11:53 am

    I so agree with this post! I hate that I have expectations (and I never think I do until the day), but I do. Still, as you say, it truly is the simple things that I most appreciate: an “I love you Mom,” a hug, a conversation one-on-one. It’s nice to have a day where I allow myself if not extravagances, then the opportunity to slow down a little and appreciate all I have.

  8. May 11, 2011 12:58 pm

    I take matters to my own hands. For year this day was about just women in my family: mom, mother in law, sister in law and my niece (who is not a mom). we always get together for this day and just having a nice time. This year you’ve inspired me. I hired a professional photographer and she took pictures of moms and grandkids together. One more thing I need to mentions: you should not worry about “The Dry Spell of Seasonal Candy” look at the desert you got on MD, who needs candy if you can have the cake!!! I hope you enjoyed your day no matter what!

  9. May 11, 2011 1:16 pm

    Just jump ahead in your imagination for a moment, Leah. When Spohie is in her twenties she will treat you to a pedicure or something else girlie and wonderful. Because girls always remember their mamas. Trust me on this one – and be glad you had a girl.
    The treat you made for your sisters and mother looks scrumptious! I ate it up with my eyes. LOL! And the little m&m filled jars are adorable.

  10. May 11, 2011 1:53 pm

    Those treats look yummy. I’m glad you got a few minutes of peace for Mother’s Day.

    I recently wrote about Mother’s Day, too. I think feeling unhappy about it is almost universal.

    Stopping by from SITS.

  11. May 11, 2011 4:33 pm

    Girl … I am coming to live with you. You whip up the yummiest treats and cutest decorations/gifts. Glad your Mother’s Day turned out “okay.” My furry kids didn’t get me anything or even say happy mother’s day, so it could be worse :-). Kidding, of course. I salute everyone who IS a mom – truly the toughest job out there.

  12. May 11, 2011 7:01 pm

    Mother’s Days get better as the kids get older. Not that they’re ever bad. 🙂

  13. May 12, 2011 6:47 am

    We were talking about that Mother’s Day let-down around our house this past weekend. A couple of my mom friends were over saying that they always get their hopes up, and then they are somehow let down. I remember as a child, my mom being sad that we wanted to hang out with our friends rather than spend time with her. Man, I was a punk. I love that Sophie remembered and wanted you to have a special day.

    I’m obsessed with raspberries lately, and that pound cake looks like it would make my life!

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