My Mother’s Day Wish Is for One Day Without Planning Every Freaking Thing for My Family
One day is all I ask, people. Is that really too much to ask, do you think? For Mother's Day, or really just as a sanity-saving-day? I racked my mind to think of what I really wanted this year for Mother's Day–which, yet again, happens to fall conveniently near my birthday, granting my husband a cool two-for-one–and all I could come up with was one thing. I mean, sure, a massage would be lovely, coffee is always appreciated, and I'll never turn down breakfast (although the whole breakfast in bed idea seems more impractical than inspiring, but again, it's food).
But aside from all of the Mother's Day cliches, there is just about one thing and one thing only that would make me feel absolutely and totally refreshed: A day off from planning anything for our family.
Do I sound like a monster? Totally selfish? A mother you just can't understand? That's cool. Maybe I am all of those things. But on the other hand, I think deep down, you all know a little bit about what I'm talking about here–the fact that no matter how much “help” we get from other people, our partners included, at the end of the day, it all kinda sorta feels like the weight of our family rests on our tired shoulders, doesn't it?
It's not even necessarily about the physical work of parenting, although that certainly gets exhausting. It's more like I feel like I visualize our family on this ship and I'm the one responsible for navigating it safely and making sure 1) we don't crash 2) we get where we need to go and 3) everyone stays happy and healthy and well-adjusted on the ship 4) no one gets scurvy.
But seriously, you know what I mean? On most days, I just handle it all. I don't question how it got to be this way or if this is the best way or why on earth no one can fully explain this part of motherhood to you ahead of time, I just do it. Most every mom I know does it, so who am I to complain? But every now and then, I just wish I could put down my load–for real–for just one day.
I wish that, for just one day, I could hand off the decision making. The big decision making that plagues me (is our oldest doing okay approaching the teen years? Is the middle feeling left out? What school should we go to in the fall? Is our marriage healthy? Do I need a date night and omg, that means getting a sitter and I still haven't found one to replace the one who graduated …) and the small, like that birthday party RSVP my husband swore he would handle “for me” and just didn't do, despite my repeated requests for him to do it, despite me leaving the invite for him on his phone, despite me explaining to him that he was being extremely rude by just not responding at all (and why should I have to explain that a 33-year-old man in the first place??) and what we should have for dinner and do my kids all have spring shoes and is that mole something I need to get checked out?
Listen, I have just about the most hands-on husband you could ask for.
Just this week, my pregnant self blissfully slept through our middle child puking his guts out all night while my husband handled it all. He had just walked in from working his second job at approximately 3 AM to hear our son start barfing–so he took care of him, cleaned the bed, the floor, and the bathroom, got him settled back down, then turned right around to head to his day job as a teacher to make lesson plans to prepare for the day because our youngest had two medical appointments and he knew I couldn't handle a puking kid and make it to the appointments and work. He powered through the day with no sleep and didn't complain about it once and yes, I felt like the biggest jerk in the world.
But for me, right now, it's not even about the hands-on parts. It's about the hands-off parts. I am pregnant and tired. Tired of planning the birthdays and the date nights and the meals and the outfits and the cleaning and the shopping and the school schedules and the vacations and the bill paying and literally almost every single aspect of our lives. I'm just tired.
I know I sound whiny and probably ungrateful and I will grant you that, but I also think that moms everywhere are allowed to admit when they are tired, just for one day. We will handle it all and get back to regular life, but today, I'm allowing myself 10 minutes to just wish I could stop thinking of everything that needs to be planned. Today, I wish I had one day, where no decisions had to be made for anyone else.
Because you know that come Mother's Day, I will get one question and one question only:
What do you want for Mother's Day?
Little does he know that the greatest gift would be never having to answer that in the first place.