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Putting the Happy in Happy Mother's Day

Yesterday marked my fifth Mother’s Day as a mom. I was delivered breakfast in bed -- my favorite, berry yogurt parfait -- with a side of snuggles and sweet voices saying “Happy Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!” Then I was left to return to soul-satisfying sleep until my eyes popped open three hours later. Ahhhhhh! This is the one day a year I can hit snooze and pull the covers way up without a moment of guilt.

This was my happiest Mother’s Day ever -- and the first one that didn’t leave me feeling a little let down at the end of the day.

Maybe it was that my expectations were lowered from years of not experiencing what I thought I should experience on Mother’s Day -- lavish gifts and pure adoration while being gracefully shuttled from one ultimate food and/or relaxation destination to another, none of which I had any involvement in planning or even requesting. Or perhaps it was just the fact that I slept in until 10 am? Okay, it was probably the sleep.

But I’d like to believe that this year was different because I’m different. This year, I was content to just be. To be in the day, in the moment, with my family. To just be in awe in the lives I get to be a part of. To enjoy how they chose to express their appreciation -- not based on what I wanted, but based on what they were giving: their time, their hugs and cuddles, their laughter. It didn’t need to be wrapped in a box, it was right there in front of me.


Rewind to my 7 am breakfast-in-bed surprise. My husband asked what I wanted to do today (nope, no formal plans made), and I responded that I wanted to clean out our bedroom corner, which is a serious mess.

It's hard not to judge myself here, I am working on being more kind to myself, but really? Come on. You have the whole day with no plans or commitments with four adoring faces looking at you and you say you want to spend the day cleaning your bedroom?

After going back to sleep, I awoke to the sound of my children’s laughter from down the hall as they played “you can’t catch me” with their dad. I felt called -- compelled -- to join them.

My Mother’s Day pot of gold wasn’t waiting for me at the end of a day filled with perfect was waiting for me at the end of the hallway.

All I wanted in that moment was to be with them. To experience their joy, experience time with my family with no pressures and no expectations -- the opposite of my first four Mother’s Days. A lot of expectations, which resulted in a lot of pressures, mostly on others.

The last few years of digging deep, self-helping and learning about my own issues ... finally paid off yesterday. I was able to pause and notice the call, the true and pure desire to just BE. And then, I followed it! I didn’t talk myself out of it, get distracted by the pile next to my bed that needs to be dealt with, that still needs to be dealt with, I just went to what felt right in that moment, with no agenda.

And that was my Mother’s Day miracle.

Turns out I didn’t need those fancy presents or elaborate gestures after all. I could just sit in the magnificence of these beings in front of me without wanting anything more. I didn’t need to depend on anyone else to prove their admiration or make me feel fulfilled. I could just love myself enough to receive the love of others, no strings attached. And that’s the amazing Mother’s Day gift that’s accessible to all of us always.

While I spend many hours a day working and being productive, I absolutely can always find 10 minutes (if not 10 hours, like yesterday) to just be in awe and acceptance of the little miracles in front of me. To just be. Fine, those who have mastered life a bit more fully can just BE all the time, every damn day. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it.

Whatever your Mother’s Day was like, I hope you find a moment, today, to just BE. To sit in the experience that is motherhood, appreciating yourself for all you do and marveling at the wonder of these little creations blossoming before your eyes. Soak up their wonder and the light in their eyes and experience your own little miracle.

Happy Mother's Day.

The flowers I picked for myself on our family walk.

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