Practicing Parents

When It Is Mother’s Day and You’ve Had It With Your Kids

~ by Dena Hobbs


It is that time of year again when children are supposed to celebrate their mothers in a day of pink, rosy bliss. I’ll be honest with you. I have often had issues with Mother’s Day. Mostly it was because I suffered from infertility for many years and could not become a mom. Then my own children were born/adopted and though I was still sensitive to the pain of others, I entered the lovely world of watercolor handprints made into flower pictures and cards with the words spelled wrong.

I loved those cards. I have saved nearly all those cards. Along with the hand made necklaces and whatever else my children crafted for me as a gift for Mother’s Day. Even though on many of those Mother’s Days I was exhausted from no sleep and caring for the constant demands of small children, when my children with their still chubby sweet hands held out their gift and then crawled into my lap to give me a hug, it was all worth it. I could deal with all the headaches of mom life because I knew they loved me.

This year there will be no chubby sweet hands giving me a hand made card. My children are eleven and twelve years old now respectively. They hands are have long since lost their baby fat and are now too busy playing with their cell phone to make me a homemade card. And I get the impression kids don’t make crafts for their mom in middle school, because it is not cool or something like that.

I think my kids know this weekend is Mother’s Day, but I highly doubt they have gotten me a card or a gift. They are too busy worried about school or their friends. Their Dad is organizing a brunch I hear, so there is that.

So how does one get excited about Mother’s Day when their children have gone from adorable and sweet but demanding to demanding and sassy and ungrateful with not much cute left behind?

I knew the teenage years would be hard, I just didn’t know it would hurt so much. When they stopped wanting to cuddle, when they stopped saying “I love you” back, when they made fun of my arm fat in front of my face (Really, like you don’t think you’ll have arm fat one day? Just wait, my pretty, just you wait).

I used to hang the moon for them. Now they ask me not to embarrass them as I drive them and their friends to a million and one after school activities that still have me exhausted.

In my mind I know all this is normal. In my mind I know in the larger picture they are still really good kids.

Whiny, complainy, non-listening, lazy around the house, good kids.

In my fantasy world, this Mother’s Day I go on strike. I leave the house for a whole day and do what I want instead of what everyone else needs. I actually know some people that do this. Mother’s Day is always a “Mom’s Day Off.” But the trick is our family has never done this before, and I think even though my kids are snarky on the outside, this strike would still really hurt their soft, sensitive little insides. Even though they will make me no necklace, they still want me around on Mother’s Day to snark at. Like snark is their new love language.

So what will I do this Mother’s Day?

After a lot of thought and fussing and griping at my kids about their attitudes, I have decided to take the high road. I will buy them a gift this Mother’s Day. Or really a gift for all of us.

You see we played this game with a friend recently called “Spontuneous.” The game requires you to sing out song lyrics containing a certain word as fast as you can. We all had a blast with this one as we all like to sing.

So come Mother’s Day evening we will gather around the table and I will sing out all the bad 80s songs I know as loud as I can and embarrass my children. And they will snark and complain through their laughter at me. And it will be like we are saying “I love you” except in this new coded way. Still together, still a family, but in a new way that none of us understands quite yet. But we’ll hold onto each other knowing that nothing can separate them from my love. Neither snark nor sass nor laziness nor not listening. I will always be their mother. Even when my arms fat is so jiggly it drags on the chair arm and they would crush my old bones by sitting in my lap. I will always love them.

But hey, a nice card never hurts.




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