I was feeling a bit sorry for myself yesterday.
You see, my ideal Mother's Day involves a big, fancy breakfast, maybe a bouquet of spring flowers, children working hard to get along all day, others cleaning my house for me, and either family time or Mommy time.
My Mother's Day reality looked a little more like this:
- The children wake me at 6:30 with their bickering over what to watch on TV.
- My hard-working husband stumbles, bleary-eyed into the house at 7am after a night shift.
- Everyone says the obligatory "Happy Mother's Day."
- Pat tries to get everyone to list the things they love about me; they ignore him.
- Sleepy man heads to bed. Mommy gets kids ready for church.
- Half an hour before we need to leave, two children engage in an all-out blow-out, screaming "I hate you"s at one another and going to their rooms until we left.
- Church. Home. Make lunch. Kids fight. Kids are disciplined. Repeat...
Granted, I did get a nice, little nap on the couch. And when Pat woke up he took the kids and dog to the playground to let me continue my nap in peace.
I know I don't have it all that bad. I wasn't ignored on Mother's Day. I wasn't treated badly. I wasn't alone. But when reality doesn't quite line up with fantasy, disappointment still comes.
Once the kiddos were in bed and my man was back at work, I decided to release my pent-up tears by watching a good chick flick. The thing is, as I tried to let them flow, the tears tasted bitter. Selfish. Self-centred. Ridiculous.
So I hung out on Facebook instead. As I read through status updates, I noticed a couple friends in my list who probably hadn't had a very good Mother's Day either. They're single Moms, working hard to fill the roles of two parents each day. Few have actual, practical support. Some don't even receive financial support. And I can't imagine how lonely these kinds of days must feel to them.
I couldn't let the day go by without each one of them feeling a small bit of appreciation and recognition for the work they do, tirelessly, day in and day out, on their own.
As I poured through my list of friends, praying that not one would be overlooked, I discovered that out of more than 300 people (probably 200 or so women), thirteen of them are single Moms. Nearly 7% of the women I know on Facebook are raising their kids alone.
My little pity party ended with a healthy dose of shame at my attitude. And as I worked through that list of thirteen, jotting words of love and encouragement on their walls, I forgot all about my ideal Mother's Day. I have my Mother's Day dream all year round.
Do you sometimes feel sorry for yourself when you know it's not really justified?
What do you do to get over it?
Is there someone in your life that could use an encouraging word today?
Related: Why be you, when you can be me?