Sunday is Mother’s Day. To all the moms (and dads who fill that role) out there, I wish you a happy day and offer gratitude for what you do.
Being a mother is often a thankless job. Setting aside one day a year to honor all that moms do is just not enough — but it’s a start.
There is so much to being a mother. It’s a 24-hour-a-day job that involves being a caretaker, doctor, cook, housekeeper, teacher/tutor, activities director, taxi driver and more.
Sometimes we also have to take on the role of veterinarian to help with injured animals our little ones bring home, or funeral director when the goldfish they won at the school carnival dies.
We must also be advice counselors, fashion consultants and fortune tellers.
For many of us, these tasks come on top of having a job outside of the home.
Nothing prepares you for what it means to be a mom. Babysitting isn’t the same, nor is caring for a younger sibling.
I became a stepmother before I had children of my own. Even that isn’t quite the same.
And once you become a mother, it’s a role that continues long past the time your kids are grown and have moved out of the house. Mothers worry about their children. It doesn’t matter how old they are or even if they have children of their own. Mothers just worry.
As with many things linked closely with one’s emotions, I have a love-hate relationship with Mother’s Day.
I am grateful for my mother and all the wisdom she has imparted, and continues to impart. I am grateful for her love of my husband and our children, and for the friendship we developed once I became an adult.
Though I try to let her know year-round how glad I am she is in my life and how thankful I am for all that she did and does. I’m happy to give her special attention on the second Sunday in May.
When it comes to my own role as a mother, that’s when it starts to get tricky.
There have been days that made happy memories I will treasure for the rest of my life and there have been days that bring me to tears when I think of them. There are days when I love and like my children and am glad they came into my life. And there are days when I really dislike my children and would like to end this role called parenthood.
I would guess I’m not alone in those feelings and Mother’s Day just magnifies them.
Long before I became a mother, I longed to be a mom. It was a hard and arduous journey, full of extreme highs and lows. I know about the struggles of infertility and feel immense sympathy for those facing those issues.
I understand the pain that comes with miscarriage and the dreams it dashes.
I know that designating a day, even if it is just one day a year, to celebrate motherhood inflicts deep wounds in those who have yet to experience motherhood or those who cannot experience it. The day serves as a heartbreaking reminder of what could be.
The day may also bring feelings of guilt for those who chose not to follow traditional lifestyles, knowing that parenthood was not something they wanted in their lives. Or it could serve as a day that reaffirms those decisions.
For those who have lost their mothers, it brings sad and happy memories.
Just as the role of mother seems simple at first glance but gets more complicated as you look at all it entails, so does the day to celebrate moms.
The weather forecasters are predicting a beautiful, sunny day, so however you choose to celebrate or not celebrate, I hope you can make it special. It will make your mom proud.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.