A Better Way to Mother’s Day

Because Mother’s Day has been fraught with difficult emotions for me for a solid decade, I tend to dread it. Today went pretty well though, all things considered.

I didn’t feel my chest imploding and my eyes weeping when the Primary children sang to the congregation in Sacrament Meeting.

My two primary-aged boys were a) at home with a respite sitter (yes, this is a new, fabulous thing) and b) hiding facedown on my lap, too fearful of being in front of a crowd to join in the tribute to moms.

This time I didn’t see the children’s medley as something we will never be able to participate in, something beyond our reach. I saw it as something separate that other kids do. It was sweet to watch and totally outside our sphere. It had no negative effect on me.

It’s true that I am beyond blessed to have children. It is also true that raising the children I have is the challenge of my life.

Thinking about my daunting, endless task as the mom of kids with disabilities makes me tired and crabby. Hence, my general dislike of a day devoted to pondering motherhood.

But today was better. Instead of mulling my ongoing difficulties as a mom, I decided to think about Shirley and Joyce, my mom and MIL respectively. Instead of feeling underwater in the parenting department, I felt appreciative of the women who brought Dutch and I into the world.

I transposed all my Mother’s Day angst into reflection on my mothers. It was infinitely better.

Here Little Dutch grabs at Joyce’s mortarboard at her PhD hooding. Circa 1976. I heart Joyce’s cool hairdo.

Shirley, in her bridal finery. She made that wedding dress. Also, she had ombré hair before it was even cool, which makes her avant garde. July 1969.

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