Mother’s Day 2011: Moving On
Mother’s Day 2011. Caught me totally off guard. I thought it would be just another Mother’s Day. The day has been bittersweet for me since I lost my own mother 25 years ago. But having my three children certainly added meaning back into the day. And as time passed, the sting of not having a living mother on Mother’s Day lessened. But this year was different. And I didn’t realize it until I got to the day. There were some inklings. I was finding it difficult to post about To Mama With Love. I had committed to tweeting and posting on Facebook but I just couldn’t seem to embrace those tasks. Finally, when I posted an old photograph of my mother, (she was probably around 18) and the comments started rolling in, it hit me. This Mother’s Day is a loaded one for me. I mean, it is loaded every year when you lose your mother. But this year is my last year as a mom with my children living at home with me. This fall, my twins will be leaving for college. It is a time I have lived for. I truly adore my children. I love spending time with them. I genuinely like them as people. But after being a single mom for really all of their lives, I am ready to take care of me. It was in that mindset that I approached this annual celebration of mothers. When I posted my mother’s picture on Facebook, I mentioned that, after 25 years, I still missed her. Almost immediately people started posting about how beautiful she was and how she was watching over me. And so in the grocery store, reading those comments, I started to cry. Because as much as I am tired and ready to take care of me, I have loved being a mom. There is nothing in this world I ever wanted to be as badly as I wanted to be a mom. And it has been a very sweet ride. In spite of the fights and the exhaustion and the many, many, many thankless hours of never ending tasks, I wouldn’t give it up for anything else. Being a mom has added meaning to my life in ways nothing and no one else could. So, although I am ready for this next stage of my life to begin, I am feeling a little sadness about the end of this amazing and monumental stage of my life. I can’t wait to eat cereal for dinner and go to 5 night time meetings in one week and not feel guilty about not being home cooking and emotionally available to my kids. But for just this moment, I will be a little sad about what is ending and will acknowledge how lucky I am to have been able to be a mom and follow in the footsteps of a long line of proud, loving and strong women.
I’m so sorry about your Mom, Heidi. I know how hard loss can be – so many years after losing my brother, the grief is still there, a less frequently tapped endless fountain that still sometimes has tears to pour. I can’t even imagine being on the advent of having your own children leave home – such a mix of emotions.
I love this post so much, though.
You have no idea how much telling the whole truth allows other people to do the same – and what a difference it makes in the world when we all live with hearts wide open. We give permission to one another to tell the truth when we tell our own.
I turned 37 last week, and I want a baby more than anything in the world. Mother’s Day has that same rawness for me, so this year, I viewed it as a day of prayer and reflection, and posted this as my “heartspace”: http://www.tomamawithlove.org/heartspaces/3678
so much love to you,
One of my most favorite things about you is that you have taken the pain in your life and converted it to a reason to give to others. I have profound respect for you. For what you do and for the wisdom you express so often. I treasure knowing you and feel so blessed that you are in the world. Your time as a mom will come. And how lucky those creatures will be to be able to call you mom! (Can’t wait to read your post.)
Awwww, ya made me cry.
You can do what I did – and have more. I mean, if Elton John can do it, why can’t you?
Seriously, as someone who has raised and sent two on their way, know that your job is far from over. They’ll be back. They always are.
And when you get lonely, I’ll send Lucy & Lola over!!!
Yeah, I made me cry too. I grew up just like your twins…the next youngest is 7 years older. But I am done. It isn’t about wanted to prolong or extend. It is about moving on. I know they aren’t really disappearing totally…but it is different. However, I take great comfort knowing that people like you are in my life offering sage words of wisdom, constant support and some really great chuckles as well. Just a new stage of life, and one I intend to fully embrace. And know that I may take you up on sending the girls over…missing those days of pink-dom!
My girls are 9 and 13, and all I want to do lately is – stop time. Sad really, that I want to keep them from the world and keep them here for me, but its the truth … that time marching on, ack, who needs it. I see time marching on every time I look in the mirror, I know its happening … but still I want to stop time 😉
Thanks so much for your comment. I know lots of people who would agree with you! But I’m tired. And I see such potential for my kids to have an impact on their world. I am excited to see the “fruit of my labors.” See them take what they have learned from me and go out into the world. Your girls are still young. You have lots of time to enjoy them. And let’s remember, they never really do leave totally.
Beautiful post Heidi.
I also felt bittersweet with my son in full teenage bloom and just feeling the sadness of the end of mothering a child. And knowing how quick high school goes (as you and other mom’s have told me). On the other hand-I was happy as single mom to have the afternoon off to take care of myself while he was off with his friends-something he wouldn’t have done when he was younger on Mother’s Day.
Thanks Abby. Motherhood is filled with those contrasts, isn’t it. Glad you had some time to yourself. And when he goes off to college, we will get together and celebrate our freedom and another successful launch 🙂
Beautiful post, Heidi,
Got me all choked up. I too miss my mom so I really relate to your grocery store cry. That too bursts out of me at unforeseeable random moments. Yes- your mom is beautiful..such a sweet attentive look about here face…
Thanks for your lovely comments. I had more surprise feelings early on…not as much as of late. However, I am sure this milestone of becoming an empty nester has stirred stuff up for me. Nice to have a community of people who get what I am talking about and share some of the same feelings and experiences.
Thanks mum! I LOVE YOU! (Im tearing up) <3 <3 <3 xoxoxoxox
You are the inspiration for this post. Well, one of 3 inspirations 🙂 I am so enjoying watching you and Eli embark on this next stage of your lives too. And I love those times when you come home and we all get to enjoy each other again-Eli eating ice cream and watching Bill Cosby. Jeremy retiring to his room, and you either out running/hanging with friends or home chatting with me. I love you forever!
How did I ever miss this? This is beautiful, Heidi. I see a lot of myself in this post, or more how I will be when my kids are about to leave my nest =) I didn’t realize you had lost your mom when you were so young. That has got to be hard. But it has probably helped even more to shape how strong and courageous you are. Life can be short. Live it up and live every day like it is your last! (Happy belated Mother’s Day!)