This weekend is mother’s day.
I remember a night when I was frustrated beyond myself and thought “now I know why people are willing to throw their kids against the wall.” I wasn’t going to do it, and the many people resources that surrounded me made my restraint easy – but I felt the feelings.
I’ve balanced the budget that seemed insurmountable with an impossible bottom-line trying to fill too many hungry mouths and thought “if I didn’t have to feed / clothe / educate / entertain these others this would be doable.” I didn’t regret my choice to have kids, and the solid job my spouse had made my dilemma simple – but I felt the feelings.
I’ve worn out a thermometer and struggled to get medicine down throats attached to wiggly bodies and thought “will I ever have a moment not ruled by sweaty feverish hands and a basin by the bed?” I knew it would end and I tried to control my whining, and the fact that my children’s illness wasn’t fatal or even long term made me seem like a wimp – but I felt the feelings.
The thing about motherhood is that it is full of feelings. Within the heart of a woman who has chosen to bear and raise children resides a myriad of feelings – all overridden by a since of responsibility. The truth is, even on her worst day a mom who is still in the game is still in the game. (and yes, I am obviously excepting those truly horrific situations – rare, that they are.)
So, here is my challenge to ya’ll today – this mother’s day. Let’s skip all the flowery nonsense and pay honor to those who mother without the many people resources some enjoy, without the solid jobbed spouses to partner with or under the terrible influence of a fatal diagnosis. Let’s look beyond the easy card and bless someone in a way that hurts us just a little – cause that pain means you’ve made a real difference.
How you ask? I know what it means to want to help but not know how – so here are my practical tips. If you have more to add – put them in the comments so we can all benefit. This isn’t a real defined goal, and it probably won’t be finish able this weekend – but oh, how great if it could start.
Look around your neighborhood, school, church or job and find a mom who could use some tangible help. Maybe she is single or married with a deployed spouse or maybe her partner or child is ill. Look around – this isn’t the time to reach out to your best friend, this is a challenge to meet someone new. Examine her life and offer something –not with a verbal ask, but with a showing up. Most people will blow you off if you ask if they need something – this isn’t asking but rather doing.
Here are some ideas:
- help with the rent or utilities
- gasoline, oil change or a detail for her car (a car if you are particularly blessed yourself)
- an afternoon or night or weekend of childcare
- a note telling her good she is doing
- a big bag of anonymous groceries
- a gift certificate for a haircut
- A mowed yard to meet her when she arrives home
- And invitation to dinner for her and the kids with lots of loving on them
Anyone else have ideas????