Mother’s Day, The Conflicted Holiday

Mother’s Day is literally around the corner. Maybe you are the type of person who has had plans for a month now and cannot wait for the plans to come to fruition. Or maybe you are in a panic or have great anxiety about this upcoming holiday. Or you could possibly think about the holiday with good intention and then just feel tired about the entire situation and procrastinate doing anything except to continue to think about it and still not actually do anything. Lastly, you could be the person who waits till the last minute and then goes to the local stores the day before. I think every mother on the planet has thoughts about this holiday. Since becoming a mother I can tell you my thoughts have certainly been on a roller coaster ride pertaining to Mother’s Day. My first thought was when did Mother’s Day start and what was the cause. I did some googling and found this on Wikipedia: 

Mother’s Day is an annual holiday celebrated in the United States on the second Sunday in May. Mother’s Day recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well as their positive contributions to their families and society. It was established by Anna Jarvis, with the first official Mother’s Day celebrated through a service of worship at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908.[2] Popular observances include holiday card and gift giving, churchgoing often accompanied by the distribution of carnations, and family dinners.[1] 

Britannica said this: Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, whose mother had organized women’s groups to promote friendship and health, originated Mother’s Day. On May 12, 1907, she held a memorial service at her late mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia. Within five years virtually every state was observing the day. 

So there you go. You can do some more digging if you like, but you can get the idea of what the origin of Mother’s Day looks like; a mix of friendship, health, and how mother’s contribute to their family.  

As a child, I remember Mother’s Day being very special.  We would wear our Sunday best, our church would pass out carnation’s for the mothers and all the mothers would get recognized in the service at some point with a round of applause. We would get my mom cards and write special notes in them telling her how much we love her and what she meant to us. To be honest we did not buy presents because my mother’s birthday is May 10. So, her birthday and Mother’s Day always coincide in some shape, form or fashion. Sometimes it was the same day and we would celebrate both. We would make the Sunday lunch and clean up. The day was all about my mom and we wanted to do whatever she wanted whether it was plant flowers or just be together. I don’t recall her having the same thoughts that I have about Mother’s Day today, but maybe she did and just didn’t voice them, or I was just too young to even know. 

Since becoming a mother x 4 over the last 8 years, I have gotten to experience several Mother’s Days. To be honest, when the kids are little like mine, you get the classic, cutsie, cheesy mother’s day cards that are adorable. All the work goes on the Father to make the day happen. My husband has attempted several breakfasts in bed, more importantly with my coffee in the Ember mug (see blog post here). The girls get so excited about treating me in bed which is cute, but typically ends in some form of a meltdown or a spill. The normal still happens on holidays. Unfortunately, there is not a magical button to push so everyone behaves perfectly with no meltdowns and all niceties. I am also an indecisive person so when asked what I want to do for “my” day also makes my head spin with decision fatigue. My conflicting thoughts are this…I fully want to be recognized as a mother and love the doting and care for this particular day, but then another part of me just wants to be alone somewhere quiet with no cares in the world. I would love nothing more than to go browse the aisles of Whole Foods looking at all the fun products that I will never buy or leisurely walk at a local park and chat with my girlfriends about how their mother’s day is going and how we all feel conflicted. We want gifts, but then again we don’t want anything. We want to be with family, yet we also want solitude. We want the sweet cards, but we also don’t want something to be forced. I have had many talks with my girlfriends over the years and I know I am not alone in my thoughts. I don’t have much wisdom on the conflicting thoughts other than that they are real. And I truly think it’s ok. At the end of the day, we as mother’s do what we always do and take the day in stride, enjoy the sweet moments, relish the quiet moments, and pull on our patient pants to mediate the tough moments. 

Recently, as some of us were talking about mother’s day, the most memorable story came out. This particular mother had sent multiple links to her husband about gift ideas. The husband in true husband fashion denoted the job to their nine year old daughter. Her task was to order a skirt from Lululemon. The daughter was elated to be in charge of this task. Being sneaky one day, she casually asked her mom what her pant size was. The mom responded with size 27. That makes it easy because 27 is standard like a man’s pant. Mother’s day arrived and this mom was opening her gifts. Her daughter was excited but also a little nervous in the face as she watched her mother open the gift. The mom held up this skirt and to her surprise it was huge! The daughter immediately started explaining herself and said she knew the skirt would be big but she was so confused because the sizing in Lululemon did not have a size 27 and the closest was like an 18 or 20. We all died laughing and tears were clouding our vision. The mom went to return the item and of course the item purchased was on clearance which was not eligible for returns. So the mom wrote to the company and explained the situation. She got a favorable response and at least got a giftcard out of it. What a hoot! Just the best giggle about all things Mother’s Day. 

To wrap up, we do want to honor you as mothers. All you moms out there are doing a great job. We have such different circumstances that have molded and shaped our motherhood stories. As we reflect on our journey of motherhood may we hold loosely to the role we play as a mother and know we are ultimately daughters of the King. We can all rest in the fact that the Lord has us in His hands as we try to mother our children. You have been chosen to be the mother of your children and you are right where you belong.  As one of my favorite podcasts hosts always says, “while you’re washing dirty dishes at your kitchen sink, while you’re driving to and from work, while you’re feeding that baby late into the night, while you’re cleaning sticky floors, God promises to be with you.”

So cheers to another Mother’s Day coming! May you be pleasantly surprised by the mercy of a new day awaiting you. 







Mother’s Day, The Conflicted Holiday

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