A Mother’s Work Is Never Done, But A Break Would Be Nice
As an entrepreneur and work-outside-the-home mom, my morning starts getting my 2-year old daughter and 6-year old son ready for daycare and school before I head out myself. After putting in the hours at work, back-to-back meetings par for the course, the moment I walk through the door is when our household rush hour begins. Mom duty is on again for the dinner, bath & bedtime routine. For stay-at-home-moms, it’s around the clock tending to the children — by no means a walk in the park (a chase through the park maybe). Whichever way you look at it, as a mother, you’re “on” day and night, 365 days a year. Even when you’re sleeping, you’re never fully asleep; eyes half open, listening out for a cough or cry.
So on Mother’s Day, the day we’re meant to celebrate the incredible job all of us moms are doing all year round, wouldn’t it be great if we could actually just get the day off as a show of appreciation? Sure chocolates, roses and even jewelry are fabulous. But what if we could really check-out (I’m talking zero updates on the crayoned Picasso on the wall, the unusually green potty contents, tantrum #1,2 or 5 or the current status of SoothyGate) for just one day of the year?
Mommas, close your eyes and imagine a Mother’s Day scenario that looks something like this: Checking in to a luxury boutique hotel alone, heading down to the spa for massage, reading (an actual book for adults) in your soaker tub, ordering room service (must have wine), lying in your comfy bed with 10 fluffed up pillows to yourself, watching your favourite flick and then the pièce de résistance – a good (slash that) a great night’s sleep – totally uninterrupted. I can’t even.
Now before judging me for being an ungrateful mother, hear me out. Like all moms, I adore my children in a way that is inexplicable. My love for them is boundless. They have brought me joy that I didn’t know was possible. My heart actually is doing this squishy-achy thing even as I write this, imagining their adorable tiny little faces. But being a Mom is hard. Not just a little hard, like REALLY freaking hard. And especially for new moms, it can be downright overwhelming. I remember those early months of motherhood: feeling exhausted, stressed out and sitting in a puddle of tears on many occasions. The raging hormones didn’t help my flux of emotions. I doubted myself and my ability to be a ‘good mom’. It was only when I finally confided to my close group of friends and they reciprocated those same feelings of vulnerability that I was able to start having real conversations about motherhood, which included the beautiful highs, like precious everyday moments when my daughter looks up at me before falling asleep and whispers “Mommy you’re my best friend in the whole wide world” to the frustrating lows, like sometimes dreadfully missing my amazing husband, because in the daily grind of taking care of the kids, the simple things, like having an uninterrupted adult conversation are much harder than they once were.
Unfortunately, social media has helped kicked our already explosive mom guilt into overdrive. We scroll our Insta feeds and are inundated with images of the seemingly perfect mother — she’s serving up a feast for her triplets on a Monday night, cheering on the kids at the soccer field, blissfully creating some sort of epic volcano for little Timmy’s science project, all of course while flashing a perfect smile and latest Louboutins. Mother’s Day is a feeding frenzy of moms showing just how wonderful their wee ones are: #breakfastinbed. I’ve done it too — guilty as charged. But what I didn’t share was that my son actually ate my brekkie before I even touched it! (or that my daughter threw up on my shoes during Mother’s Day brunch). So this Mother’s Day I’m going to keep it real and encourage others to join me. Thankfully, I have a tribe I can share the real deal with, who much like myself, love their kids strong and fierce day in and day out. We’d just appreciate a day off. See you at the Shangri-la.