It’s hard to be in the perfect, sentimental, emotional state to write about Mother’s Day when my son just moments ago climbed up on the couch and aimed straight for me. Donald Trump and I showered the exact same way today. And by the time I cleaned all that up, Oliver was giggling hysterically while peeing on a birthday balloon on the floor. After I stopped whimpering, finished cleaning the second puddle up, my daughter started screaming because he had just squatted on her baby doll. That one was caught in time, thrown into a diaper, and I closed their bedroom door for quiet play time and plopped down on the towel-covered couch, defeated by potty training and the expectation of a special Mother’s Day.
I don’t know how other single parents do it with toddlers, but I had no intention of buying myself flowers today, or paying for that kinda brunch. All I wanted was to lay in bed with the doughnuts my sister delivered, watch Harry Potter, and enjoy the fact that it’s MY day. That’d be a mother’s day. But you must know, these energetic little kids refuse to lay in a bed all day, they ask for veggies, and Spencer only likes the Sorcerer’s Stone. Apparently, the other ones are ‘too scary’. So today will have to be just another day.
Today will be another day that I clean up pee, vacuum snacks out of the carpet, tape book pages back together, and do a load of laundry from the never-empty basket. I will have to put kids in timeout, I will have to sit and have important talks about how we treat people, and I will have to threaten “spank-a-butts”. I will cook lunch, I will plate it in a cute, fancy way to make them feel special, and I will beg them to eat it until it goes cold. I will mediate arguments about whose toys belong to whom and whether or not we watch Nightmare Before Christmas for the 4596862 time, or another episode of Littlest Pet Shop. There are four seasons of that show on Netflix, and after three years, I can officially recite every episode.
Today will be another day that I run the trash to the dump 100 feet from our front door, and will come back inside to screaming babes who were terrified I’d left without them. We will spend 5 minutes in front of the free kids’ fruit stand at the grocery store trying to decide if they want a green apple or a red one only to whine “no wait, mom I wanted a banana instead!” after eating half of the apple. Today will be another day that we run the risk of either kid vomiting in public, or suddenly realizing that they have to pee right immediately right now when the bathroom is at the other end of Target.
Tonight will be another night that I run the bath, it will be too hot for O, too cold for S, and everyone will be upset that we’re out of bubble bath soap. I will brush her little curls as gently as possible, and she will still shriek in pain when the comb hits one teeny knot. He will run away when I say “let’s brush our teeth, monkey!” and refuse to open his mouth. Tonight will be another night that I promise only ONE movie, and we end up watching three. Tonight will be another night that Spencer asks me to switch spots with Oliver, lay in the middle, and snuggle both of them. Tonight my arms will be crucified to my bed, sleeping on my back, uncomfortable as can be with two sweaty tots on either side of me, my phone completely out of reach, and needing to pee terribly.
And then tomorrow will come, and it’ll be another Monday that I slip out of bed extra early to get a work out or perhaps some meditation in before the day starts, and inevitably at least one of them will come stumbling down the hall not more than ten minutes later, rubbing their eyes going “mamaaaa” with the sweetest inflection that guarantees my full cup of tea will go cold.
When you’re a single parent with toddlers, Mothers Day (or Fathers Day, or Grandparents Day, or whatever you celebrate as the sole raiser of small people) is just another day. It’s another day that you are completely and solely responsible for their safety, stability, nourishment, education, behavior, and happiness. And you put all of these things above yourself (and your desperate need for a shower).
If this all sounds familiar, I've got news for you:
You are a tough as nails badass, and you are selfless, and you are brave. And my god, you could not be luckier. You truly could not have it better. You couldn’t be more special to them for all that you do, regardless of whether or not they understand calendar holidays. You could not be more amazing to the little ones around you, more snuggly, more supportive, more tentative, more kind, more present. They love you for everything you are, every single day. So let today be just another day, amongst the tens of thousands that you will spend with them in your lifetime. Let today be just another day that you are theirs and they are yours. It is your day. It's your everyday.
So, Happy Just Another Day of Being Mom
And for everyone else: I hope today is so special for you, whether you have a mom, love a mom, or are a mom. Spread some love and gratitude today for all the life givers, and all the little ones who make life worth living.