Two years ago I celebrated my first official “Mother’s Day”.
I had a baby girl just over 4 months old, and I was completely smitten with motherhood.
On my very first Mother’s Day, I taught a Pilates class, and then I trained two of my clients. I got a few “Happy Mother’s Day” greetings from my clients and some of the beautiful souls that take my Pilates class, and then I went home. I snuggled my baby girl and fed her in our favorite rocking chair, overlooking our beautiful pine tree landscape.
I did not get breakfast in bed.
I did not get a gift.
I did not get a massage or a spa day.
I did not get a dinner on the town, or a fancy brunch.
I did not get pampered.
I didn’t even get a card.
Of course, my family did not completely forget Mother’s Day, as we exchanged all the familiar greetings and calls that typically happen for all the moms in our lives. And, to be honest, I wouldn’t have thought much more of the day, until I spent too much time scrolling Instagram and Facebook and seeing all of the grand gifts and gestures displayed on social media. For a moment that evening, I felt like I deserved more. I literally remember thinking, “I will never have a ‘first Mother’s Day’ again, and this was it?” “It’s all over?”
Lord, have mercy.
The next morning we had to be somewhere quickly, and when we were finally packed into our van, I remember taking note of a few things…
My diaper bag was packed.
My breastfeeding cover-up was laid neatly on top.
My water bottle was filled and put next to my seat.
My baby girl was tucked into her carseat, that I hadn’t adjusted and smiling away with a book, I hadn’t given.
In my rush to get out of the house, I had not done any of these things, and in that moment I realized that I may not get pampered and lifted onto a pedestal on “Mother’s Day”, but I am supported, loved, and cherished so incredibly well, every single day of the year. My husband makes a HUGE effort to be present for our family, and to keep our marriage strong and always centered on Christ. He makes motherhood an absolute joy. His forethought and his attention to detail, gives me the opportunity to be present in every moment, time to cuddle with my babies, and the ability to pursue dreams and goals of my own. He is the wind under my wings. But giving gifts for holidays, or planning surprise outings and vacations, well, he isn’t so adept in that. 😉
And while this isn’t the way everyone does things, or even the way everyone wants things, I wanted to share our experience for the purpose of saying this:
Love is expressed in many ways. Luckily, my husband and I both rate gift-giving very low on our “love language” list. But even if gift-giving is high on your list, and you are horrified by my gift-less Mother’s Day, I am asking you to take a deep breath and consider other ways that love and appreciation might be expressed.
A helping hand?
A moment of shared gratitude?
A daily schedule of constant support?
A physical hug?
A sweet message of encouragement?
God is teaching me to be more aware of His love and His guidance. I’m learning to find joy and love everywhere I look. No, you may not get a glamorous, fairy-tale surprise gift for every birthday, anniversary, or Mother’s Day, but I challenge you to take a look at the other 364 days of the year…are there displays of love and gratitude in those days?
What if we all took the time to be more aware of the good in our lives, and the good in each other!?
When I look around at the way my husband supports my motherhood journey, I realize I am so blessed. No, he has never shown up on Mother’s Day with a beautiful flower arrangement or a fancy brunch, but almost nightly he fills a mason jar with water and puts it by my bed, or happily entertains the kiddos so that I can run to CrossFit or take a bath. Sure these acts of service aren’t as glamorous in our picture-perfect-Pinterest world, but I am so so grateful for his love language. I would choose the steady everyday gestures over single acts of extravagance, any day. The displays of his love and genuine care in my life, are immense.
So, I am writing this today to those who don’t speak “gift giving”, or creative “words of affirmation” and sometimes feel a little lackluster around this time of year. Your heartfelt consistency and authentic dependability are deeply appreciated, and a “Happy Mother’s Day” can be more than “enough”.
You are seen.
You are amazing.
Thank you for lifting up the women in your life on a daily basis!