I was going to post a picture of myself with my kids celebrating Mother’s Day, but, I decided against it.
If I’m really honest, I have to admit, I kind of *hate* Mother’s Day. Breakfast in bed is never as good as it’s cracked up to be. And the one day of the year you’re supposed to enjoy being showered with love from your kids is often the day you would rather hide in a closet with a bottle of champagne and a block of cheese, binge watching Veronica Mars episodes on Netflix.
Don’t get me wrong, the *idea* behind Mother’s Day is great. But let’s be honest… All those pink cards with pictures of bows and flowers is a bit of a crock right?
I mean, what if you don’t have the best relationship with your mom? (Here are some great cards if that’s you!) Or, she has recently passed away? What if you are the sleep deprived caretaker to twin toddlers? Or you have to work? Or you are a single mom of three? Or, God forbid, you have lost a child…
I’m all for celebrating motherhood and all the amazing mothers out there, but this idea of Perfect Motherhood is a heavy burden to bear.
Mothering is one of the toughest, funnest, most rewarding, and thankless jobs I’ve ever had.
I remember the first several years being a mom… the feeling of constant panic and exhaustion. I look back on pictures and see how chubby my little girls’ cheeks were and think, “Wow! They were so cute! Was I there? That’s not how I remember it.”
Parenting is hard. Babies don’t come with instruction manuals and days off are few and far between.
So… Instead of posting a *perfect picture* of motherhood, I decided to post a picture of me as a newborn, screaming my head off.
Here’s to REAL motherhood. Not the Hallmark or Brady Bunch, or Pinterest version, or the one in Women’s World (with the perfectly cut vegetables in the shape of a sailboat.)
Here’s to motherhood with kids who don’t sleep through the night, aren’t polite at restaurants, who bite other people’s kids. Here’s to cereal for dinner, solo happy hours at 2pm, daisy chains, falling asleep while reading bedtime stories, random legs hugs, and sandy floors (after you’ve vacuumed!) Here’s to parenting cling-ons, “runners”, bullies, sweethearts and cry-babies. Here’s to being a human jungle-gym, to walking around all day with spit up on your favorite shirt.
Here’s to REAL moms, taking care of REAL kids. And to all of the gram-grams and aunties and pre-K teachers and babysitters and Mother-in-Laws and helpful strangers and co-parents and best friends who have our backs and give us a break every now and again. We are TRULY grateful.
Here’s to kids (and moms, sometimes) who scream their heads off… and the kisses that follow.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Ali M. Collins is a San Francisco-based organizer and public school advocate who has worked in the field of education equity for almost twenty years. She is an independent agent of change and active blogger on SF Public School Mom (http://sfpsmom.com), where she writes about education policy, parenting, and race.