Why Mother’s Day is the Most Stressful Day of the Year for Men–and why it should be.

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Mother’s Day Picture Attempt from 2012. Classic.

 

I actually always feel a little bad for my husband on Mother’s Day.  Knowing him—I know he wants me to feel super special, spoiled, etc.  But what can he or any man for that matter, ever say or do to truly make us women feel like what we know we are worth?  Sure, we don’t feel like we are worth much many days as we plow through them, working—either at home or at an actual job.  Doing life, caring for our kids by feeding them, clothing them, doing endless laundry, packing lunches, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, prepping for spelling tests, signing folders, sending in snacks, reading with them every night, feeding them, playing with them, wiping them, cleaning up yet another spill, kissing another boo-boo, finding the oh so important missing accessory for a certain toy, brushing hair (BRUSHING HAIR!!!  If you have lots of girls like me—you totally get this!), comforting them after a bad dream, answering endless random questions, being the social coordinator for everyone, doctor visits–planned and sick visits, ER trips, refereeing “heated fellowship” between them, disciplining them, discipling  them, praying with and for them, bathing them, feeding them (not a typo–we are constantly feeding them!!), brushing their teeth, then, rocking and singing to them and tucking them in.  And then wake up to do all of that again.  Every.  Day.

I used to get frustrated often times watching baseball games.  If I ever saw a player not give his all for EVERY play, I would yell at him through my TV, telling him to HUSTLE!  “Come on!”  So aggravating as a former coach to see that.  But, I’ve eased up a bit.  Petersen used to play baseball.  He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and played in their farm league for two years, before he killed his shoulder and had to go to plan B and become an engineer.  And, he reminded me of just HOW many games they played. And that though they get paid A LOT of money, it is still A LOT of games.  Seriously—have you ever looked at a baseball schedule?  So, if a player didn’t lay out for EVERY play, I gave him a break.  Because my screams were really hurting their feelings…

But I think as Moms, we can get the same way.  We LOVE our jobs.  Best job in the world.  But, day after day, year after year, sometimes we can lose the pep in our step.  And it is OK.  And, I am sure glad I don’t have some crazy lady yelling at me—”Hustle up, would ya?  Hup hup hup!!  Mop that floor with some more pep!  Scrub that toilet like you mean it!!  Put your back into it!!  I don’t care if this is the best job ever—show it with some hustle and endless enthusiasm!!”

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The picture I wanted. From 2013. Only took 6 tries to get this.

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Here’s me losing it after a few attempts last year. Nice.

I loved seeing via Facebook the many different ways that my Mom friends celebrated their Mother’s Day.  So many were out and about at brunches, parks, dinner, movies, etc.  It put a HUGE smile on my face seeing them spoiled and loving every second.  Me?  Um, all I wanted to do was sleep.  Is that bad?  And, honestly, I just wanted to be alone.  If you know me at all—you know I ADORE my children.  ADORE them!!  But when, I ask you—other than Mother’s Day OR if you are having a baby in the hospital do you get a “Get out of doing anything/everything for one day” card?  …Maybe that is why we have five kids…for those two glorious days in the hospital of someone else taking care of me…hmmmm…

Ahhhh!  Back on track.  So, how can any husband make a Mom—either the Mother of their children or their Mom (now that they KNOW all that they did for them) feel like they should?  Serious pressure.  There is no breakfast that can make up for the hours and hours spent hovering over a toilet puking our guts out while we were pregnant.  No piece of jewelry that can EVER amount to the PAIN of childbirth.  What’s that—a 10 carat diamond?  Can I remind you that an ENTIRE baby came OUT of me!?!  Big bouquet of flowers?  Awwww, those are pretty, but they cannot make up for the buckets of tears that we Moms have cried over our children.  Either the agony of waiting while trying to get pregnant, the hormonal tears DURING pregnancy, the abundant tears of losing our baby while developing, the tears of joy at their birth, or the years and years of tears to come.  Either from realizing JUST how hard this job is—or crying with our kids when they are hurt.  Nothing.  There is NO THING in this world that can or could ever be an adequate gift for any Mom.  But, can I say.  We sure do appreciate your attempts.

Hearing the muffled giggles of my children Sunday morning was priceless and their squeals of delight when they “surprised” me with breakfast in bed were perfect.  Oooohing and aahhhhing over their homemade Mother’s Day creations brought ginormous smiles to their precious faces.  Telling me OVER and OVER how I didn’t have to help with ANYTHING was darling.  They were SO serious about that in fact—that they even opened my gifts for me.

So, no matter what your Mother’s Day looked like—either out and about, or more like mine (lots of sleeping and napping), I hope you were blessed and honored.  As I think we ALL know just how blessed we are to be called Mothers.

Blessings Sweet Mamas.

xo, Lori

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The only Mother’s Day picture I took this year. Our sweet blessing #5, Sarah Noelle. Sleepy baby and Happy Mommy.

 

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Can we PLEASE stop it Moms? Seriously, grow up.

Before I start,  I just want to say, this is by no means meant to hurt feelings, etc.  There are just a few things I’d like us all to consider before we roll our eyes, write a blog post, share a blog post or applaud a blog post that is dealing with this “over celebrating” issue. –Even saying that, I know I’m not going to make any friends with this post…

I wrote about this issue over a month ago, but it is sitting in my “draft” section because I know what a touchy subject it is.  But after I started seeing yet again sweet friends of mine applauding and hailing a recent rant by a Mom about “over celebrating,” alas,  I cannot wait any longer.  As with any post, I hope to convey my two cents in honest love.  If you are on any type of social media, I am sure you at least saw this latest blog post.  Basically, it is yet another Mom ranting about the over celebrating of holidays–especially made up ones or minor ones, like “100 days of school”, “Dr. Seuss’s birthday” and the latest, St. Patrick’s Day.  I hope to add just a little perspective here and maybe a little self reflection to follow.

As your children grow, you change as a Mom.  You may not think that you will, but I assure you, you will.  Many of you young Moms won’t understand this now, but in a few years, you will.  I know, because I was just like you.  Not condemning or belittling here, because again, I was the same way.  I have changed over the years as a Mom–hopefully a bit wiser.  And, now having 5 children–even things that I thought when I had 3 kids has changed.  Recent example:  I SWORE I would never use a pull-up to potty train a child and I would potty train them on MY TIME–not when they were ready.  Well, guess what?  I was VERY pregnant with my fifth child AND moving to another state when I “should’ve been potty training Lucy.”  Then the onslaught of our family’s fall birthdays happened–along with everything else that happens in the fall, and then we had our sweet Sarah Noelle on December 8th.

Our Lucy turned 2 on October 2.  And with our life right now, I knew it would make me a stressful lunatic to try and train her in big girl panties like I did with my other girls.  So, she was trained in pull-ups.  She’s still wearing them.  She has not had an accident in over 2 weeks, AND she has kept her diaper dry through the night for the past week.  We are about ready to ditch all diaper related things for her, as she’s clearly got this.  But, had this been a former child, there is NO WAY I would have done it this way.  Yay for me–I am growing wiser.  Because really, who cares?  I mean really.  I have a potty trained 2+ year old.  You do it your way if it works for you, I’ll do it mine.  And, so far, I’ve potty trained each child differently.  And all are thriving, happy kids who can all “wipe their own…”  If you’ve seen Big Daddy, insert proper ending.

All that to say, stop it.  Seriously Moms, stop it!  Good grief.  I am going out on a limb here–but to me, these Moms who are ranting about other Moms “over celebrating” holidays (made up or real) have some self evaluating to do.  They talk about pressure, expectations, being overwhelmed, and competition.  Um, who’s competing?  May I submit this is perhaps your own insecurity?  Listen, I have 5 children ages 7 and under–it is physically impossible for me to do everything all out.  So, guess what?  I DON’T!!  And, when I see other Moms going all out, I think “Aww that is super fun and cute!  Yay for you!!”  I don’t roll my eyes and make comments to discourage their efforts.

I have a few friends who are these Moms–they go all out for birthdays, etc.  And, sure, there are probably Moms out there who go all out to “show off,” but not the girls I know.  They are creative beauties at heart, and to them, big, all out parties are fun and it helps them express their creativity while celebrating their children.  And, may I be so bold to ask this pointed question?  Would you judge a Mom who went all out if their child was sick, like really sick?  Or, if their child was sick and was miraculously healed?  Somehow, I don’t think you would.  So, why can’t a Mom go all out in celebration over the precious child God has blessed them with and celebrate that they are healthy?

Our family suffered a devastating loss last year.  We lost our baby nephew Dalton to Mitochondrial disease.  If by some miracle he had survived, um, can I tell you, I myself would have called Mac Powell from Third Day to come sing at his next birthday party and if my sister-in-law would have allowed me–it would’ve been the biggest bash EVER!  One more pointed question–would you roll your eyes or judge someone’s efforts if it was a party for YOU?  “How dare you make this party so darling for ME!!  You just went too far–you crossed the line.  This baby shower is ridiculous, too much, you should not have made such a fuss.”  Yes, I am being extremely sarcastic, but I really want us to stop and think for a minute about this.  Who doesn’t want to feel like they are worth being fussed over?  Heaven knows there is enough darkness in this world, can’t a Mom or a teacher shine a little light or spread a little joy?  And, if you are a teacher and you don’t want to fuss–don’t!  My kid will be just fine.

Why do we go to birthday parties?  To celebrate life.  Think it is wasteful?  Look in the Old Testament.  Talk about festivals!!  Our God is OK with celebrating!  If you don’t have time to go all out–or simply don’t want to, it is OK!!  Your child will love whatever you do.  You know your child the best, do what they want.  Sometimes I go all out–because I LOVE it.  But remember, I am a girl who loves to scrapbook (never does anymore, because I have no time to) and I love hosting parties.  So, for me, it is win win. I get to spoil and celebrate my precious child and make them feel super special AND love on and serve my family and friends.  Do I do this for every birthday?  NO.  As with every season in life, sometimes I can do it, other times, it is just too much and we go store bought.  Thank you Party City.  Either way, my kids feel special and the friends I have don’t care.  Hopefully, they are there to celebrate with me the joy of children, just like when I attend their kids’ party.  I am there for them, not judging their party décor.  Sheesh, how did we get so judgmental and self absorbed as Moms?

Moving on.  School stuff.  Again, you might not get this until your children are in school and are old enough to get excited about these little celebrations.  But, mine are–some of them.  I have a 2nd grader and a Kindergartener. We just recently celebrated the 100th day of school, Dr. Seuss’s birthday and yes, St. Patrick’s Day.  They came home telling me silly stories of what their leprechaun did in their classroom with such giggles, it melted my heart.  What did I do for St. Patrick’s Day?  Um, nothing.  I didn’t even wear green. *gasp* Thankfully Petersen remembered the morning of to have them change their shirts to have something green on.  But that’s it.  No leprechaun trap, no Lucky Charms–shoot, we had to drop off our car to be fixed and eat at Moe’s for dinner.  No corned beef and cabbage here–happy early Cinco de Mayo!  Ha!  Did I stress out and feel like an awful Mom because I didn’t do all that stuff?  NO.  Not. Even. A Little.  Grow up people, seriously.  Sorry, I am really not trying to offend or be mean, but seriously, grow up.

The only competition is self inflicted.  Nobody cares what you do or don’t do with your kid–so back off the Moms who want to go all out.  Our kids are little for a short time, and if seeing them giggle in delight over green eggs and ham, a little green glitter on the floor from their naughty leprechaun fills them with joy–let them!  Applaud them.  Doing stuff like this for your kids should not be overwhelming or a burden; if it is, don’t do it.  If I feel like doing fun extra “over-achieving” stuff, I do.  If I don’t, I don’t.  If my kids whine that I didn’t “do something” (which they have not), I will tell them oh so sweetly, “Oh wow Honey!  Your friend’s Mom did what?  That is super fun.”  And, we move on.

Having some fun at school is great–even welcomed by me!  I did not have homework in Kindergarten, mine son does.  These kids work hard at school.  I HATE, yes HATE that they have homework.  I want them outside playing when they get home from school, not doing more school work!  Didn’t they do enough in the 6+ hours that they were there?  So again, for me, I appreciate my kids’ teachers and the little bits of fun they sneak in every month.

Whew, sorry…but this whole Moms judging Moms thing REALLY BUGS ME!  Can we just stop it?  Accept who we are or who we are not?  Build each other up and encourage each other in what we are gifted or talented in?  Bottom line…LOVE one another.

Blessings Friends.

*In case you are looking to go all out or just some simple, custom things, check out two of my friends’ Holly and Marcy’s Etsy sites:

www.etsy.com/shop/PreppyLaneBoutique

http://www.etsy.com/shop/magicbymarcy

So, you think you are a hot mess? Well, you probably are, but you are in good company.

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Here is our third child Bethany and Mommy, one week before our fifth child, Sarah Noelle was born.

This one is for a friend of mine who is pregnant right now with her first baby who recently mentioned the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy, and how hard it can be to handle. (Insert a big collective awwwwwww from all of the Mommy’s who have gone before you).  For the record:  We Mommys LOVE seeing pregnant women—because you are so CUTE!  AND, because it is you and not us!  Ha!  One of my dearest friends said to me not too long ago, “You must love being pregnant.”  I think I spit out my drink.  Um, no.  Definitely not. Nope.  I like it during months 3 through 6–and that’s being generous.  Puking, feeling like I constantly want to eat an entire chicken in one sitting, watching the scale go up and UP, crying over EVERYTHING, feeling like I live on the toilet and heartburn–oh the heartburn–I could go on and on…

I am not the skinny, no pregnancy symptoms and just DARLING preggers.  I have always, and STILL to this day have to watch EVERYTHING I eat.  Petite has never been, nor will it ever be an adjective used to describe me.  I was 10 lbs. 6 oz. when I was born for heaven’s sake.  And, if I can ever buy a size 4, it is because it is miss marked.  In which case I will absolutely buy it.

I am thankful that we women get to become pregnant and carry these precious gifts INSIDE of ourselves.  I love going to every ultrasound and seeing this little lima bean size baby grow into an alien-like looking thing, then into a baby—a real little person.  I cry every time.  With every baby; it never gets old.

BUT, I would like it if my husband could experience the hormones–just for a little while.  Not to make him miserable, but just to understand.  Like, really understand.  Now, don’t get me wrong, he has always been very understanding and EXTREMELY patient with me.  But, when I am sobbing and sobbing and trying to explain to him WHY I am crying—I probably sound like I am speaking in tongues—because there is no distinguishing what I am actually saying.

And then one time I saw it– the look in his eyes that screamed:  “Ooooh my goodness she is a psycho…is it safe to say something…no, just remain silent and keep hugging her…are the children safe with her…should I call a doctor to see if this is normal…um, what? yes, uh-huh, I know Honey…yes, you are beautiful…yes, she has lost it completely…”  But the worst part about it, was that I REALLY didn’t think I was that out of control—emotionally, until someone said to him, in FRONT of me, “how was she pregnant?”  I will never forget the look on his face…his eyes went wide and he was motionless…knowing it really wouldn’t be wise to actually say something, buuuut wanting to let them know “She was CRAZY!!!!  Yes, that girl right there—bona-fide loony!!”

I can laugh about it now, and I laughed about it then—because I was no longer pregnant.  So, pregnant Mommy, it is normal, VERY normal to feel like a hormonal hot MESS!  And, I want to prepare you too, for after birth.  You will most likely be hormonal for a few months after…and it is ok, very ok.  You will possibly feel isolated and alone.  And though I never experienced full-blown postpartum depression, I was for sure very emotional and sad at times.  Some days will be better than others.

This can be a great time for friends and family to pitch in–and not just physically with meals, laundry, etc.  But emotionally.  Call us, text us, write us a note offering kindness, concern and encouragement.  Yes, we want you to ask about the baby, of course.  But ask us about us, too.  I am not sure I would have made it through five pregnancies with out the incredible support of friends and family that I am so blessed with.  Because, more than ever, we need extra love, attention and help. It is amazing how the littlest of things can brighten our day.  We promise we won’t always be so needy; but pregnant and post pregnancy seasons are hard.  We are thankful for the season, but it is still hard.  This is where honest to goodness agape love is required–because we won’t be able to give back equally.  We want to, but for a season, we simply cannot.

So, enjoy the good days and know that the sun will come up tomorrow on the rougher days.  Just don’t think you are alone–that you are the only one.  You are not.  Reach out.  Pray, read His Word and be reminded of His goodness and faithfulness and that He cares about you, and your emotions.  Don’t feel guilty that your older children are watching tv all the time or movie after movie because you are too tired to play, read or do anything that requires physical effort.  It is just a season.  They will be fine–and most likely nominate you for ‘Mother of the Year’ for allowing them to watch so much.  It’s a win-win.

And give yourself time. Give your body time.  It took 9 months to create this precious baby, it will take your body time to heal and return to normal.  I tried to explain pregnancy hunger to my husband—but there’s just no explaining it.  Starving.  All. The. Time.  I remember being pregnant with Hannah and becoming depressed about what the scale was showing and really struggling with it.  I started to complain about it.  Then The LORD gave me a spiritual spanking that I needed. He said, “Well, if this is just too much for you, and it is making you SO miserable, I can take all that away, you know.” His gentle, but pointed reprimand was just what I needed.  How awful and vain of me.  Here I had this precious gift of life inside me and all I could think about was my weight.  Ugh.  Never again.

Sure, I do my best to eat healthy and exercise while I am pregnant, but after that moment, I refused to dwell on the number.  And with my last pregnancy I asked Petersen to hide the scale so I couldn’t obsess about it.  Wow did I enjoy this pregnancy so much more and really embrace this beautiful season in my life.  Because after all, I am not guaranteed another pregnancy.

So hang in there pregnant Momma!!  And husbands, just love them.  Hold them.  Don’t try to “fix them.”  There’s no fixing us.  Just love us. We always say that when we are pregnant, it is a family sacrifice for a year.  Because Mommy/Wife is only able to function at about 15%–and that’s being generous…But it is worth it, oh so worth it.  Pregnancy after pregnancy, so VERY worth it.

Blessings Friends.

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And THIS is why it is all worth it…these moments are on the horizon!!