A Single Mom’s Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day can be a difficult day for single moms. Traditionally, much of the planning of this day (e.g., taking the kids to buy a gift or encouraging them to make cards, making reservations for brunch or dinner) has been Dad’s job. But when Dad isn’t available, is no longer in the picture, or feels it is no longer his place to help his children honor their mother, who steps in to fill his role? Sometimes another family member or close friend does … but often the answer is “no one.”
Buying your own gift, although you’re sure to get something you like, isn’t quite the same thing as being surprised with a gift made or chosen with love. Julia’s post earlier this week and another one written by Barbara last year have got me thinking, though … Mother’s Day really isn’t about me (even though that is what our culture tells us); it’s about the gift God has given me in my children. And maybe what I really need to do is stop feeling sorry for myself for what I think I don’t have and revamp (or throw away) my expectations … again. I often find myself nodding in agreement when reading my fellow blogger Janel’s posts; this dying to self thing is not exactly easy.
This is what I wrote last year:
This will be my very first Mother’s Day as a single mom. I had so many expectations for my life, not just as a mother but for life in general. The older I get, though, the more I realize exactly how much I don’t know and how much I still need to learn.
I remember I was going to have the perfect pregnancy and a completely natural labor and delivery. In reality, both of my children were born via cesarean, the first one an emergency, and my pregnancies while uneventful were rather imperfect. I was going to nurse both my children for the first year. Because of complications, my daughter was completely bottle-fed. I was going to homeschool. My daughter is very smart, but she goes to public school. I was going to have a covenant marriage with a strong Christian man … yeah, that didn’t happen, either.
So this Mother’s Day will be different than I thought it would be a year ago. But that’s okay. I’m learning that different isn’t wrong; it’s just different. It doesn’t mean I have missed God’s best for me. It may not be what I thought was best for me or even what I wanted, but I am not God and I don’t know his plans for me. And I think that’s a good thing, really. If I knew exactly what was going to happen next, I might go hide under the covers and miss out on something really great, like waking up to a sleepy three-year-old smile two inches from my face.
So for all you moms out there who will wake up this Mother’s Day to something you never expected, I wish you peace and blessings, hugs and kisses from your kids, a day to enjoy just being Mom along with everything that word means … cause it’s a pretty awesome gig. And our children really are the gift we want most.