When You Have to Mom So Hard on Mother's Day: Surprise me God!
Updated: Apr 16
Mother’s Day invokes images of smiling children running into the bedroom with trays full of funny shaped pancakes they made with dad’s help, a hand-picked flower wobbling precariously on the tray, and handmade gifts full of glitter and glue. I’ve had Mother’s days that were like that. I’ve also had ones like this year when I had to mom so hard and limped into the day exhausted, just wanting to sleep. This article is ©2018 Heather Anne at Heather Anne Art and Soul. All rights reserved. See my copyright notice here.
The three weeks before Mother’s Day were intense for me this year. My job ramped up and got busy. Homeschooling ramped up and got busy. Dance team events, competitions and conventions all hit at once. Martial arts and scouts all had events and commitments. I had some personal stress with someone in my life that unexpectedly knocked me for a loop and sent me reeling like I had been hit by a train. (Sometimes people are like that.)
Chaos erupted in my life all at once. (Sometimes life is like that.)
I was so looking forward to relaxing on Mother’s Day. My family had made reservations for a gorgeous brunch by the beach where we would sip mimosas and look out at the ocean. But… my new friend Chaos wasn’t done with me yet.
I got sick on the Monday before Mother’s Day. Fever, chills, weakness, the whole deal. Of course, I could not stop momming hard. There were classes my kids needed to attend, state testing I had to drop my son off for, tutoring sessions and my job (which thankfully I do from home so I could work even while I was sick). The Friday before Mother’s Day, my daughter had a performance at a local event, so still coughing but feeling better, I got her ready and dragged myself to the performance. Saturday my son had Scout O’Rama with the Boy Scouts and my daughter had a four and a half hour dress rehearsal that she needed me to stay for because she needed my help with costume changes.
By Saturday afternoon I was beat, but I had Sunday morning brunch to look forward to. Then my son came home and reported he was sick. He had the fever and cough. He said hello and passed out on the couch without even eating dinner.
My daughter also felt sick and skipped a birthday party that night. My son coughed all night and I could hear him from my room not too many feet away. My daughter couldn’t sleep and woke me up around 3 a.m. to take care of her. I myself was still coughing. I got almost no sleep and woke up drained for Mother’s Day. I had to cancel going to brunch and instead I stayed home taking care of sick children and momming hard on the day that was supposed to be my day to relax and drink champagne.
When life doesn’t live up to our expectations and Mr. Chaos decides to visit, the best yet hardest thing we can do is roll with it. During that time of upheaval I started simply praying, “Surprise me God. You have a plan here. I can’t see it. I’m confused so… just surprise me.”
And you know what? God did surprise me. My ex-husband and I made the joint decision that for the sake of the children we would put aside all differences and have an amicable split. He had helped the kids get gifts for me. (We do that for the kids so they have gifts for their parents on celebration days. We take the kids shopping for each other.) He came over and made us breakfast. He helped the kids wrap gifts. After we ate and I opened gifts, I spoke life into my kids and told each one of them the many reasons I am so blessed to be their mom.
What could have been a day of disappointment at missing out on family brunch by the ocean and frustration at being sickly ended up being a sweet day with unexpected blessings.
Sometimes Mother’s Day looks like that. Chaos. Exhaustion. Sadness. Frustration. Tiredness. Coughing.
A single mom friend of mine whose relationship with her ex is not so amicable posted on Facebook that she felt awkward about Mother’s Day. She wasn’t sure how to help her kids get her gifts. She asked, “Do I hand them money and send them into a store and tell them to buy me gifts?”
Another friend of mine took her son on a Cub Scouts trip and woke up on Mother’s Day on an aircraft carrier after spending the night there. (I made the dad do that trip when my son was in Cubs. I mom hard, but I have my limits and sleeping on an aircraft carrier was past those limits.)
A friend posted her story of the loss of her baby to an ectopic pregnancy and the possibility she might not be able to have children, which left me sobbing for her.
My young friend, whose mother is my age, has been asking for prayer because her mom is battling cancer and just finished up a series of treatments.
I always say the building can be burning down around me and I will throw pixie dust on it. There are some times though that life can be really hard and we don’t feel like we have any pixie dust left. Life can just beat the glitter out of us sometimes. People we trust and think we know can surprise us in terrible ways and beat the glitter out of us, too. Sometimes all we have is grief and we have to honor our grieving.
There are times when things are so out of control, we just need to throw up our hands and say, “Surprise me God.” We just have to surrender and let our friend Chaos pass. Chaos always passes.
If your Mother’s Day is in chaos, you have to mom so hard, you are a single mom with nobody to help your kids celebrate you, you are grieving on Mother’s day because of your own losses, your own mother wasn’t stellar and caused you pain, or life is just hard for a million possible reasons… you are not alone. We all have times such as these. These times will pass. You will find your pixie dust again if you look for it. Joy comes in the morning.
Do everything you can to foster relationship with your children so that when storms come, you have a solid base to cement your feet to.
Say yes more than no.
Apologize when you make mistakes.
Teach your kids to apologize.
Hug them every single day as many times as you can, even if they are teenagers.
Tell them you love them.
Speak LIFE into them and praise them for their gifts, talents and their character.
Cuddle up with a blankie and popcorn to watch a movie with them, even if they are teenagers.
Give and give and give some more.
Appreciate them for who they are.
Forgive them when they act like kids.
Act like a kid WITH them!
Play in puddles.
Go to Disneyland and wave at the princesses.
Make funny faces and take silly selfies.
Just be with them.
Forgive them some more.
FORGIVE YOURSELF WHEN YOU MAKE MISTAKES. You WILL make mistakes.
Forgive yourself some more.
There is great peace in surrender. Let go of expectations. Sit down in the middle of the storm to look for flowers on the ground. Just let the storm wear itself out. This too shall pass.
Peace and blessings to you mamas. Mom hard and keep on!
©2018 Heather Anne at Heather Anne Art and Soul. All rights reserved. See my copyright notice here.