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Challenge: Your Special Traditions

Mother's Day Review: Two Stars

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Preamble: I did get a late start on this blog, so apologies for any unseen typos. I got a late start because I had to empty the dishwasher. More on that later.

I’m almost positive that last year I pledged in this very forum to switch up Mother’s Day this year. Or maybe the forgotten promise was, “Next year, please remind me to go out of town for Mother’s Day.” Either way, it was forgotten until we were into the meat of this year’s holiday. And, yes, I do understand the Hallmark-ness of this holiday and, yes, I will always claim indifference until this holiday arrives, at which point I will want a big to-do. And, yes, I know it’s not an actual holiday. I just really like opportunities to eat cake, even if it’s a made-up reason.

Midamble: This year, we added an actual note to next year’s calendar while we were standing among the dozens waiting for a brunch table while being beaten down by the blazing sun. We had plenty of time to map out 2024 whilst suffering through a nearly 90-minute wait for a table touted as three “ just be another twenty minutes” promises. The angst on the faces of those other waiting mothers? Yikes. I wondered if I should tell them of the plans we were hatching for the ghost of Mother’s Day Future.

May 11, 2024: You can’t come quickly enough. Yes, it is a Saturday and, yes, we will have Mother’s Day on this day to avoid the melee of actual Mother’s Day on May 12, 2024.

In our home, we have had a decade-long love-hate relationship with Mother’s Day. Therefore, we didn’t even realize that we had never done “normal” Mother’s Day for me … until we were deep in that brunch line.

Of course, this is not uncommon in the land of blended families where, no matter how it’s spun, Mother’s Day will leave one maternal figure feeling less important. (Step)moms spend 364 days a year willing themselves to be the bigger person and one day each year undoing all that effort. We even declared the “(Step)Mother’s Day,” held the Sunday after real Mother’s Day which seems terrific until no one has the energy to repeat the previous weekend’s festivities.

Admittedly, this year, I tinkered with the idea that, with my kids’ biomom now out of state, I would be moved to priority seating. In past years, my seating was at dinner or a late lunch, or a different weekend altogether, depending on the plans for biomom. This was our first ever Mother’s Day in which only I was available for all the things. Of course, I am sensitive to the out-of-state sadness of Mother Number One, but still, my first real Mother’s Day Brunch.

My lord, never again.

Looking around at the other mothers sweating through their sundresses, I didn’t see a lot of gleeful excitement. I did see pleading looks towards hostess stands, urging a table to open prior to the beginning of the toddler tantrums. I didn’t see a lot of moms looking relaxed and spoiled. I did see many moms cutting pancakes, passing out napkins, and wiping up spilled juice from shirts. Everywhere I looked, all I saw were mothers worried about whether the morning would turn out delightful or disastrous.

Quick PSA to the fathers: Next year, take those littles out for breakfast sans mother. Let her sleep in, away from the lines and choke hazards. Bring breakfast back for her and let her dine in silence.

I, too, felt the pit in my stomach that came from knowing that my family was very much not having an ideal Sunday morning, all because I was fairly insistent that we do a family activity during that designated mimosa sweet spot. This was partially my fault (partially?) as I went a bit bananas when my mother-in-law suggested the kids celebrate with her since their mom would not be here. Um, hello?

After returning home from our brunch and after my husband skipped out to see his mother, I approached the dishwasher, full of clean dishes needing to be relocated to their homes. Blissfully, I heard the words “You can’t empty the dishwasher today! It’s Mother’s Day!” from my youngest. Eeeeeeee! I celebrated by also not pulling the fresh towels from the just-dinging dryer.

My kids? No longer little and are very much baby adults. Baby adults as they try, really, but maybe don’t have complete follow-through.

Want to chat about the next day? The day after Mother’s Day? Here, I’ll start:

My first task that morning was to empty the dishwasher that I didn’t empty the day before because it was Mother’s Day. Then I loaded the one-day-larger pile of dirty dishes from the sink that had to camp there overnight because the clean dishwasher had never been emptied. Luckily, I was able to do a cool-down after by pulling the previously fresh towels out of the dryer for folding.

Oh well.

There’s always next year.

PostAmble: I know Mother’s Day isn’t traditionally a “cake” holiday. But if we’re rewriting the script, shouldn’t we add that bit in?


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