A Mother’s Day Story: Sometimes Motherhood is Hard

Because sometimes, our cup feels empty.

I knew that Mother’s Day this year wouldn’t be fantastic. My husband had a really high fever the Friday before, so I called our good friends and asked if they could please come over to stay with our kids while I took him to Urgent Care. Turned out he had the beginnings of pneumonia, so it was a good thing we went in.

Fast-forward to Saturday evening: I’ve been battling an upper-respiratory thing for a couple of weeks, and he’s not feeling too well, so we decide to stay home from church the next day, to try to rest and get better. Hubby called our pastor to be sure that the areas of ministry we help with would be covered, then we explain to the kids that we aren’t feeling well and would be staying home on Sunday.

I woke up this morning and started doing dishes that had fallen to the wayside while we were both sick the last couple of days. Hubby and I discussed getting donuts (I kinda wanted them as a Mother’s Day treat, though I didn’t say that; I probably should have been more straightforward), but he didn’t want to because our oldest is grounded and the line between donuts and dessert (a no-no when you’re grounded) is thin and blurry in our minds. So not feeling the least twinge of guilt, I took the last of the granola a co-worker made for me for Administrative Assistants Day (which, incidentally, was much yummier than what I usually make, even though she used my recipe). We all ate cereal or yogurt for breakfast, and I read my Bible without the time-constraints usually associated with Mom’s Breakfast Devotion Time. When the fifteen-year-old, though, started his usual back-talking, disrespectful diatribe toward the end of breakfast, I felt the hollow sadness start seeping in even as I read God’s Word. By the time he finished eating, and I finished the chapter, it was hard to hold back the tears.

[Note: We were given guardianship just five years ago, and the first ten years of life are so formative, so it’s difficult in a different aspect than a lot of teens. Diagnosed with low-on-the-spectrum Autism, he has very poor impulse control and has yet to learn how to keep rude comments to himself. But we’re working on it with him.]

After everyone else left the table, I went into my bathroom, shut the door, and had (I’m ashamed to say) a short pity-party. I typed “I hate mother’s day” into my phone, but all that turned up was  stuff written by less-than-stellar mothers. Mine is great; she’s a wonderful example of service to others, loving discipline, and generosity pouring forth in word and action. I tried searching “I got nothing for mother’s day” (which isn’t true because my husband has been making plans for a few days, but the pneumonia derailed the execution of his plans, and my father sent a gift, and my kids all made me something. But, as I already said, I was having a pity party.). The awesome thing about this search? The top link was to this article, entitled “How to Have a Happy Mother’s Day (even when you get nothing)”. The first half of it was a little intense in it’s lambasting moms who might be complaining that they didn’t get everything they wanted, or that the day didn’t live up to the media’s projected expectation of what Mother’s Day should be. However, the second half was what really spoke to me. Yes, as a mother, I’ve signed up for the hard and heartbreaking and hairy stuff as well as the happy and hilarious (like my alliteration there?). But what the writer of the article said was that Mother’s Day is what you make it. Be a mother. Do what you love with your family and get over the need to do whatever you think you should get to do.

I don’t really like being served anyway; it makes me uncomfortable.

So, I dried my tears, marched out to the family room to announce that in one hour, we’d be watching a movie of my choice and eating popcorn, because that’s what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day. I then went to finish washing the dishes before sitting down to write this post. As I type, the kiddos are picking up and vacuuming the family room so we can cuddle with blankets and pillows on the floor. It’s going to be a great day.

So. Why did I share all this? Because I know I’m not the only one. I’m not the only mom who’s tired and sick and not quite where she’d thought she’d be on Mother’s Day. Because I want to encourage you, tired and sick and lonely mamas, that you’re not alone. We have an Advocate, Who’s been there. Not as a mom, but as much more. He gets it.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.   ~ 2 Corinthians 8:9

And aren’t we poor, as tired and sick and lonely and stretched-too-thin mamas? Yet He was poor first, and He did it for us. Let’s rally behind Him, draw strength from Him, and follow Him in to the battle that is motherhood. Because we love the little ones (or bigger ones) that He’s given us to raise. Because we want to share, to sprinkle, to pour His love on them, and on all those around us. So get up, dry your tears, and get back into the fray!

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One thought on “A Mother’s Day Story: Sometimes Motherhood is Hard

  1. Praying for a quick recovery for you and your husband!
    Several years on Thanksgiving day, my grandfather was planning on cooking us turkey in the afternoon but we got a call that he had suffered a heart attack while at church. Instead of a nice Thanksgiving meal we made visits to the ICU.

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