This week dads and kids around the country will hit the mall, department stores, and jewelry shops looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift. They will buy pancake mix, fresh berries, and specialty flavored coffee in preparation for making mom breakfast in bed. They may wash her car, take her out to dinner, or surprise her with tickets to that concert she has always wanted to see. Lovely cards will be given from spouses, little kids will work hard at school this week tracing their hand over a Mothers Day’s poem, and teenagers may actually give mom a genuine hug and grunt out a “Happy Mother’s Day Ma.” And yet, none of these things, these gifts and gestures, cards and meals, are what moms really want this Sunday.
I know it’s not what I want. No, I don’t want to be left all alone on Mother’s Day with a box of chocolates, the remote, and a quiet, peaceful house. I also don’t want to be waited on hand and foot all day, pampered and fussed over, like someone who has just come back from a traumatic experience and needs a refreshing makeover.
There is only one thing I want for Mother’s Day. Just one.
I want to be told I’m doing this right. This whole motherhood thing, just be told I’m doing it right.
I need to hear it. And I don’t want it told to me in the form of a bouquet of roses, a scented candle, and a burnt omelette brought to me in bed on Sunday morning.
Remember your very first six weeks of mothering? When you endured around the clock care taking with zero feedback, when the only sounds you heard were wails and the only sight you saw was a red scrunched up face? When did you first feel like you were doing it right? For me, it was the first time my baby looked up and me and smiled. That one wide grin told me everything I needed to hear, that I was doing it right. In the years since, I have allowed myself to forget what it feels like to be smiled at, and I have simply forgotten to be aware that I am doing it right.
So please, please tell me I am doing it right, and not just on Mother’s Day.
Tell it to me on days I need to hear it the most. On days when I am at my worst.