(Before bedtime selfie of me and the girls, Mother’s Day 2015)
In case you hadn’t heard, today was Mother’s Day!
Mr. M had to work – he always has to work on Saturday and Sunday when DWTS is filming. My family lives in Indiana – so, these holidays are always just me alone with the girls. I used to feel sorry for myself a little but now I don’t! I know it sounds silly, but I just made a decision to be happy on these holidays no matter what.
I wrote about that on Easter in a blog post where I mentioned my formula for enjoying (any) holiday:
1) Low expectations
2) Let go of guilt
3) Stay away from social media
That means for Mother’s Day, I did not expect breakfast in bed, or a big gift, or a massage, or anything like that. I let go of any expectations I had for the day. I decided to just be in the moment – and enjoy every second I have with my children while they are here with me. I also took a mental moment to thank Mr. M for going to work and supporting our family so that I can have this day at home with our children. That is more than gift enough!
I always think of this Rumi passage in relation to my family – and today on Mother’s Day, it was especially on my heart:
I took a moment first thing this morning to say a prayer/meditation for hurting mothers in the world – those who have had a child (or children) die, those who long to be mothers but can’t due to infertility or other reasons, for women who have aborted children, for grieving birthmoms who have placed children for adoption, for those who are missing their moms, and for those who have a broken relationships with their children.
I prayed a prayer of healing that they might know love and happiness in spite of their heartache… Life is complicated and messy sometimes, right?
In the past, I have missed my Vivian and Annemarie so much on this day – and wished that they could be here on Earth with me. Some days that grief was crippling, and I didn’t know how to be happy anymore. It’s been six years of re-learning how to access joy again. It’s very hard to want someone here so badly and feel the sting of what cannot be in this lifetime.
For awhile, I felt guilt for learning how to be happy again – but that’s not freedom, and I know God (and my girls in Heaven) want me to be free. I know that.
So, I let go of guilt – guilt about why I have been able to have more children when others cannot. And I am learning how to let go of guilt for moving forward in my life without my twin angels by my side. Well, they are by my side always (in spirit) but you know what I mean. I didn’t fix them breakfast this morning or anything and I never will.
But even so, I can still choose to be happy. I know this is true.
I stayed away from Social Media today. No scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. When I look at those sites too much, I find myself comparing my insides to other people’s outsides. And not even their real outsides – the highly edited, and selectively marketed version of their outsides.
Some days, I can handle it, but not today. I have too much reality going on here to miss a moment gazing across my fence into someone else’s backyard. I want to be present in my life!
So back to Mother’s Day 2015:
My mom came to visit me today! It’s the first time she’s met Ellie and it’s also the first Mother’s Day we have seen each other since probably 1995 (yes, 20 years).
This is my mom holding Ellie for the first time:
My mom and I don’t have a typical mother/daughter relationship. It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore.
I love my mom and I am grateful to her for the relationship we have – not the relationship we might have if we were different people. She accepts me for who I am, and I accept her for who she is. I am glad when I get to see her (like today!) – and grateful for the gift of life she gave me at a time when she could have chosen otherwise.
She was only 20 years old when I was born – and she was separated from my dad by the time I was 10 months old (yes, that’s 10 months, not years). Can you imagine how brave she must have been?
I am also very grateful to my Grandma – who is like a mom to me – and who I love with all my heart! And I am grateful to my Aunt Laura, who has always been so supportive and loving to me from the time I was a little baby girl. I am lucky to have these women in my life who lift me up and inspire me…I really don’t say it enough how much they mean to me!
My Grandma with Violet in 2012:
I am also so grateful to Nana Nancy, my step-mom – who is just the coolest woman, and a great role model of a mother to me. My only wish is that my dad had married her sooner! We are so lucky to have her in our family…
Nancy (with my dad and Violet in 2012):
So today, I got to be with my mom and my girls – which was just a beautiful gift. The sun was shining, and we walked up to our little neighborhood park for the afternoon.
I felt so much gratitude in this moment and just stopped to breathe in and think to myself: This is a happy moment right here.
Mostly, this Mother’s Day, I felt so grateful that I have been able to live out my purpose in this life. It is such a gift when your passion and your purpose actually happen for you.
I know some people are meant to be rock stars, and some are meant to travel the world, some are meant to be Senators – and some people are meant to live quiet lives raising children. Motherhood is not a lesser calling than being a Senator or even President – and it’s also not a greater calling. I have to think that all the callings God gives us in our lives are equally valuable to Him. Not every calling gets its own special day like Mother’s Day – but I am glad that for it, nonetheless.
I know that my mission is to raise these girls, and I love it more than I can describe. It’s my passion and my calling – and I do believe it is a gift from God. That’s why I never take it for granted, and especially on a day like today – it’s really all the thanks I need. I actually don’t feel like I need to be thanked for it at all. I feel like I am the one who should be saying thanks. 🙂