Mother's Day...Dreaded or Beloved?

For me being pregnant on Mother's Day makes the celebration more palatable. Thanks to Jay and so many around me, I really enjoyed this Mother's Day.

Although I traded Jay places mid sacrament
so as to not have any children next to me.
This was awesomely made known to the rest of the
congregation as Jacob was crying, saying I want to sit
by mom and it was obvious we weren't letting him.
I just couldn't take the acrobatics going on inside
of my belly along with elbows and knees from Jacob on
the outside. And after the 10th time of him
stepping on my sunburned feet, I had to move....

Friday morning I read this and particularly #5 stood out to me.

I have to take care of myself. And not in the mani-pedi ridiculous way we are told to. That never lasts long…I can snap right back in that bad mood no matter how long that spa treatment lasts. I mean the way that requires self-awareness and self-evaluation: Knowing myself, and my limits. Really it’s about little things…knowing how to schedule a day that will make it smooth vs. stressful, knowing when to say no and not feeling guilty about it, knowing what makes me be a good, present, consistent, cheerful mom. Stressed out, rushing, impatient, crabby-I have to pay attention to myself when I feel this way, and ask what I can do different the next time around. For me, it’s about running around as little as possible. It’s about maintaining a sense of order in my household, staying home with my younger ones, and bringing a sense of accomplishment to my day and theirs also. I have to accept my limitations, accept my differences, accept what I can handle day-to-day, vs. what it seems like every other mother seems to do gracefully.

This was read hastily as I was preparing to leave on a quick mother's day get away but I kept thinking about it...
At first I told Jay I was too pregnant to go. I wanted like to stay home for the good weather and work in the yard. He insisted that I go. And I then I realized that I probably wouldn't be much help in the yard. Oh, and this was planned in part by him and his friends to allow themselves to take their annual summer golf trip guilt free... He didn't even bat an eye when I told him he would have 4 hours of the girls dance rehearsals with Jacob?!?

When it was time to go I gave myself enough time to take Jacob into Jay at work but he was already waiting for me near the freeway. And he even let me take his car. No swagger wagon for me :)

We met in Park City at Massage Envy. And I had the echoes of the above excerpt going through my head...
No matter how long the spa treatment last, you can snap right back in that bad mood.
So I made sure I enjoyed every minute of relief on these poor bruised ribs, sore lower back, feet and achy skin. It felt so good. We made a quick stop next door to TJ Maxx then off to dinner and a movie.
It was late when we finally reached the house we were staying in but that didn't keep us from staying up into the wee hours of the morning laughing and talking. We have been friends pretty much by default for 15 years so reminiscing was fun. It was perfect that one of the others girls was pregnant, due just 2 weeks after me. We could understand each others pains... soon to be labor pains.

We didn't do much the next day but enjoy the sun and head back to SLC where we ended the short trip with a (too long) mani pedi. Again the echoes of what I had read was in my head and in all reality a manicure or pedicure doesn't last much longer than the dishes or yard work the next day.
What does last are the friendships strengthened, the feelings felt and the realization of 'I can do this'. I do have to take care of myself. And it is not always going to be done in a 28 hour trip away from the craze of life. But knowing myself and my limits. Taking a break when I am about to break. And knowing what makes me a good, present, consistent, cheerful mom.

Mother's SunDay came and it was wonderful.
On a side note, our ward has the tradition of the men
taking over all the callings so the women can enjoy a
short message, a wonderful spread of food and visit
through the last hour of church.
After seeing the primary room, hearing the kids' stories
and Jay's expression and exhaustion I have decided it would
be way more entertaining if they would just link a camera
into the Relief Society Room for all of us to watch.

Jay had the yard beautiful, a hanging basket of gorgeous geraniums, the necklace I had hinted at, the school made gifts from the kids and dinner. It was a perfect Mother's Day Weekend....

BUT! The story doesn't end here...

Sunday night Jay left to AZ for recruiting...

I was good, refreshed and ready for this week.

Monday came and man was I smacked right back into reality.
All this mumbo jumbo of taking care of myself and knowing my limits and myself was about to be tested.
I had prepped myself, planned and was ready for the marathon of dance recital day. Alayna's hair had been put in sponge curlers, I put Jacob down for a nap, I was ready as the girls got home from school....
It had rained all day so Alayna
was devastated her curls had melted
and then as she was putting on
her tights of course
she gets a hole...
with a run....
where everyone could see....

No big deal, I run to the dance store grab another pair and am back to get the melted curls back in place, makeup on and out the door...just a few minutes late.

We make it in and there are no seats so Jacob and I sit on the floor where we can barely see, but we had packed a bag of quiet toys for Jacob so he was well entertained.
As soon as the girls had danced I had 25 minutes to run out grab flowers and dinner and be back to save ourselves some seats.
We sat down to a quiet table away from the craziness and ate our McD's.
I was settling into severe exhaustion.
Pregnancy takes it all out of you,
I could have fallen asleep right there
on the table...
maybe that was part of the problem??
It was almost too perfect. Jacob opened his chicken nuggets...CHICKEN NUGGETS and ate everyone with out me having to say a word or a threat, then finished all his apples. He got his toy. Just then an old friend from our student ward stopped to say hi. I had told her how I had seen her so many times at these dance things, but am always trying keep tabs on my monkeys so I never have said hi......
And that is when I see Jacob is gone....GONE. I look all around in the controlled, dancers corral for him. Back and forth he is gone. I go and check the lobby area, the auditorium, the hall then it has been too long. I know I need more eyes. I tell the director to make an announcement and she has me waiting in the auditorium. Nothing...I am panicking. It has been what seemed to have been an eternity. I can't just wait for someone to find him, that is when as I am walking out I see Wendy walking out. There was such a HUGE sense of relief, someone is helping me. She didn't see me or say anything, I just knew she was going to help and I knew that it was going to be ok. I went the opposite way and as soon as I was in the hall to see if maybe he had gone to find Ashtyn, Wendy called. She had him. He had gone outside and told Wendy he was going home...
Jay keeps reminding me that nothing happened but the whatifs are killing me...Bawling with every one.
I have been a mess ever since. If I can't keep track of 3 how in the WORLD am I going to do it with 4?!?
Jacob and I have had at least a dozen talks since then
about never leaving mommy and staying close,
holding my hand and asking to go.
BUT then he tells me he is going to ride his bike
to dance all by himself. Or ride his bike somewhere else all by himself.
We have another talk.
Then he runs out of his swimming lesson and
almost to the front door before I can even get 2 feet from the pool.
We have another talk.
O.K. mommy then runs to the car passing it
by 30 yards before realizing he has left me AGAIN.

That is when the serendipity of my mothers day weekend was annihilated...
Right now I don't know how I am going to do 4 kids? If I can do 4 kids....


I do know I have amazing people around me. Friends whose company lifts me up. Friends that know it is not a spa treatment that gets us through, but it is nice to get one every once in a while. Friends who find my kid. Friends who know what to say. Friends who remind me of the things I forget. Friends that support me.

I can't do this all by myself (a hard thing for me to admit). I have to accept my limitations and graciously accept what others can give. And one day make sure to return the favor


snakeriverwalton said...

You are a great mom and your 4th will actually balance things out for you. Jacob will likely want to stay by your side and be the helper for the baby, and you will give him important jobs and it will work!

My beef with mothers day is understanding too well the perception my kids have of me. I should blog about this. They all filled out their papers with My mom likes to.... do dishes, do laundry, drive to the pool. really? I don't like those things. I just have to do them all the time anyway. Where did the real me go?

Wendy said...

I'm with Amy! You can do four! You already play a "zone" defense. You had to give up "man to man" after Jacob was born. So, what's one more?
I always feel a bit guilty on Mothers Day. You hear all those inspirational stories - like the mother that wore her hair long all her life because she donated her ears to her son born without ears - and I think "Wow. I'm nothing like that!"
But I am living proof that children get easier. Not less busy but easier. Or at least you get to sleep more or let your guard down more. I had four under eight and I remember being tired ALL THE TIME. It does get better. They do grow up. They do start bathing themselves, entertaining themselves and planning their life themselves. Then you realize just how much control and power you had and that you'll never get it back!
I really didn't find Jacob but I sure know that panicky feeling of a lost child. (Austin use to wander off before he was potty trained to go poop in private! I have looked for that kid in almost every store imaginable!)
Hang in there. We've been there done that and we know you and know your incredible strength, wisdom and determination. You'll be just fine!

katie t said...

i'm always here...