Holidays | Parenting

Not According to Plan (Thoughts on Mother’s Day)

I woke up this morning feeling light-headed, dizzy and nauseous.  After I took my first few steps, my legs gave out and I ran into the dresser. Not long after that I vomited. Then I repeated the throw up cycle two more times.

This was not exactly how I wanted to spend Mother’s Day. As my kids handed me their sweet, homemade cards, drawings and gifts, I felt weak and like I could barely hold it together.

Later this morning I felt like I had morning sickness, almost like being pregnant all over again. How ironic to think and feel this way on Mother’s day. But no, I assure you I’m not pregnant (nor do I want to be again). Yet those feelings I had this morning took me back to over five and ten years ago when I was.

I had wanted to have a nice family breakfast outing today. No way was that going to happen!

I had wanted to spend my time differently than laying in bed and feeling faint until mid-afternoon.

So much about today was not according to the plan.

And isn’t that just the best way to describe motherhood in general? The adventures of being a mom never quite go according to plan.

We, or at least me, have these expectations. We have visions of what we want and how it is going to be near perfect. Yet often I am way off base.

Like dressing up my kids to take professional photos and one of them refuses to smile and whines or cries the entire time.

Like enjoying a few sweet moments of everyone getting along and then one child catches a sudden bad attitude and causes tension and resentment among the rest of the crew.

Like yelling and arguing, even when I know I shouldn’t, and then later feeling tired and scared of my own thoughts and decisions, all within an hour.

That’s a part of motherhood too. But one that isn’t always talked about or revealed honestly.

But yes, there are incredible moments too. Amazing surprises that also take your breath away in a good way…

Like the snuggles, hugs, laughter and silliness that occurs and far more often than I ever imagined.

Like the need to encourage, protect, love, support and inspire my girls in ways I cannot describe.

And like learning to appreciate the ordinary, small things about family…like catching my girls smiling when they don’t know I’m looking…watching them gaze up at the sky to notice birds…hearing them sing and talk while on the swing together…listening to them imaginary role play in their rooms with dolls. And surprisingly, catching myself humming happily while folding their underwear or socks because I’m simply blessed enough to have their clothes to fold.

Who could have planned this? Who would have known this could be the way it is?

I certainly had no clue how I could bend, flex, rip apart and be mended whole again on a daily basis thanks to being a mom.

The ideas, the notion and the sketches of motherhood I had in my head were pretty good. Yet they didn’t measure up to reality, my current actuality.

This real thing I’m in and experiencing is me not knowing what I’m doing. It’s me failing and trying and doing my best. It’s me figuring it out or making it up as I go along without a plan, a manual or often a clue.

That’s quite the plan indeed.

Not one I designed or can take full credit for but one I’m navigating and detouring and changing frequently.

It’s also the one I’m grateful to have or not have. The plan, the non-plan…whatever happens on this journey.

So I spent most of today at home and more than half of it in bed feeling like crap. I had a loving husband to take care of me. A crazy man who five minutes after I vomited, was holding my hand and telling me I looked beautiful and that he loves me.

While I was resting, my girls played together and made their own fun. I caught them playing with dolls and laughing in their room. I don’t think I even heard them argue once this morning and that says a lot among sisters.

So today wasn’t what I hoped for or planned. Yet somehow it still turned out to be a terrific day.
And that was my mother’s day.  In fact, I wouldn’t even mind if this was my every day.

I had what I needed and who I needed.

Lucky, lucky me.

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