Mother's Day For The First Time
My birthday is May 10th. I was born on the Tuesday before my mom's first Mother's Day, so in my mind, I have always been her favourite Mother's Day gift.
Fast forward to today. Not only am I celebrating a birthday that feels like a fresh start and a gateway to an amazing time in life, but I'm also celebrating my first Mother's Day. I feel especially drawn to speaking to my fellow first-time celebrants of this day, so if that's you, grab your favourite beverage, kick your feet up, and read on.
It feels weird being on this side of things.
A few days ago, I was in a restaurant with Little Magician. A fellow patron complimented her on her chubby cheeks and fluffed-out afro, and asked me how old she was.
"She'll be one in June," I replied.
"And she's your first? Happy early Mother's Day!"
Though it was a few days shy of the main event, it was the first time anyone had ever said those words to me. I was no longer just the child making macaroni jewelry or the woman agonizing over where to take my picky (she'd say "particular") mom for brunch. I was now The Mother - and this role has stretched me in unimaginable ways.
We do our best.
I say that, because so often we think we're supposed to be doing THE best, and that's not fair. Everyday is a lesson in trial and error. Some days we find success by soothing that cry or earning that gummy smile. Other days we know we didn't get it right - but they're still alive, and we're still alive, and there's always tomorrow.
We do our best even though we don't know what we're doing.
Maybe you come from a generational line of amazing mothers, and you wonder how you can ever live up to their legacy. Maybe you didn't grow up with the best (or any) example of a mothering figure, and you feel a special burden of not knowing what the hell to do. Wherever you lie, comfort yourself with the understanding that we can all make motherhood our own. We recreate and reject notions and ideas as we see fit, all the while embracing this frightening freedom to define the role the way that best serves our children, our families, and ourselves.
We do our best, even amidst all the new curveballs life throws our way.
We are the mothers who give birth to the warrior princesses who become more familiar with a hospital room than we'd ever like. We are the mothers who finally realize we're not failures even when depression tries to convince us otherwise. We are the mothers who don't have the partners we expected or hoped we would, yet we still find our way. We are the mothers perfecting our bob-weave combo - we get hit sometimes, we fall to the mat sometimes, but we still get up and get in a few jabs, hooks, and knock-outs of our own. A determined mother, much like Wu Tang Clan, ain't nothing to fu*k with.
We do our best, and we need to celebrate our wins.
On your first Mother's Day, celebrate everything you've accomplished thus far. Our big and small wins have made an impact - and each one is part of a chain reaction that not only shapes us as mothers, but shapes our children as full human beings.
On your first Mother's Day, celebrate you. You've experienced things you've never experienced. You've done things you never thought you would or could do. You've loved harder than you could ever imagine. You've made it this far.
Happy first Mother's Day to you.