Surviving Mother’s Day is a gift in itself

So I’ve survived another Mother’s Day. I say survived, because sometimes it’s a little intense, all that pressure to do nothing and be spoilt. I’m not joking, sadly.

When it comes to Mother’s Day, I’ve had a taste of everything. The traditional, the fuss, the no fuss, the day out, the day in, the handmade, the store bought. Even a kitchen sink. Seriously.

My first Mother’s day, I was presented with slippers and a fluffy dressing gown. Both in shades of pink to match the rosy cheeks of my little baby girl. Very traditional.

I’ve had the picnics in the park, the lunches with my mother and grandmother and breakfasts in bed.

For two years in a row, I had a trip to Bunnings – the first year to buy a kitchen sink for the house reno. That was the sum total of my Mother’s Day that year. No breakfast in bed, no cuddles, no present. Just a kitchen sink.

We went to Bunnings the next year too.

But I had a new Thomas Sabo necklace around my neck. They’re fast learners my lot.

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My lot. Not Mother’s Day, a wedding day. Love them …

Last year I insisted I didn’t want a store bought gift. So the kids presented me with a collection of handmade … stuff.  Cut up pieces of paper, a dozen pages of drawings – stuff. All good. Amusing and confusing, but all good.

Presents are nice and all but really, I don’t need anything in terms of material goods.

A day off would be nice. But the kids seem to be of the belief that Mother’s Day means we have to spend the day together. If that’s the case, every day is Mother’s Day. So how about we make it Father’s Day and I go soak in a bath, sit outside in the sun and read books all on my lonesome?

So they all try and make a fuss, which is lovely, really awesome, but makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

I haven’t yet learned to accept and soak up appreciation and love with grace and ease. I still self deprecate, play down the whole occasion, and insist my role in our day-to-day life is ‘really nothing’.

Which is of course a load of bull. Everyone, including me, knows I run the joint. Yet I still struggle to let my family acknowledge it in a loving and generous manner. Stupid.

It stems from that long-held fear that I am somehow failing as a mother. That perfectionist bitchy part of me that I haven’t yet completely conquered, that says I’m not good enough, not doing a good enough job, getting it wrong, could do better and certainly doesn’t deserve praise and reward for a job well done.

So when my family try and show their gratitude, I am still learning to simply accept it. I need to stop denying it, stop saying it’s not a big deal. Because it does matter, it is a big deal. If I down play it – and if you do the same – it’s sending the message to everyone else that what we do, the efforts we make and the love we give, isn’t a big deal.

It’s not the gifts given but the gratitude shown that is the real present. Accepting it is a gift you and I can give to ourselves.

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