When your Mother’s Day isn’t the greatest …

I knew, going in, that this Mother’s Day wasn’t going to be particularly great.

I had scheduled a sleepover at my mom’s for the night before, but it wasn’t the jammies-and-popcorn watching Clueless and Mean Girls, kind of sleepover that I like. It was “Let’s stay over so we can get as much work done as possible” sleepover.

Mom is preparing to put her house on the market, so Little Sis and I have been traveling to her place a lot to prime, paint, declutter, install curtain rods, move furniture, declutter, clean, declutter you name it. Manual labour, ahoy. Did I mention declutter?

We worked from 3 p.m. on Saturday until 10:30 at night, and then again on Sunday morning until almost 5 p.m. We froze our buns off on Saturday as we painted the front door on a particularly frigid May day/night, and then sweated to death on Sunday — merely 12 hours later — because it was 25C. Seriously, Nova Scotia? What are you on?

We made Mom breakfast in bed, of course, as is tradition. She opened her presents after eating, and then we hustled to work as much as we could before Darling Husband dropped off the kids on his way to work.

The yard work crew

By the time I piled the kids into the van, and began the long drive back home, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Preparing to go to market with a house your single parent has lived in for 23 years is not for the faint of heart.

I tossed bags of mini-Oreos at the kids, gave them each a beepy-boopy tablet for the drive, and numbly drove us all home.

When we arrived, I spent 10 minutes dragging all of the bags out of the van, and the (very, very grimy) kids ran around in the backyard. It was after 6 p.m., and we had zero options for supper. I buttered three rolls, stirred two cups of chocolate milk, grabbed my water bottle, and we ate a very pathetic “picnic” in the sandbox.

After a bit of outside play, I hauled them upstairs, put them in the tub, ran around the upstairs level wrangling (very, very dirty) clothes and tidying up. I washed two heads of hair. Brushed two sets of teeth. Clipped four sets of nails. Slathered a different moisurizer on each kid. Struggled two sets of pyjamas over two half-wet little bodies.

It wasn’t over yet. Stories. Prayers. Shutting down squabbles. No, really, it’s bedtime. No, REALLY, guys. Guys! GUYS!

When they were each tucked into their own beds (for the second time, because, you know … why should they stay in their beds after just one tuck-in?), I put on a load of laundry. I typed up the Board of Directors AGM minutes that I need to have ready by the next morning.

That left about an hour, hour and a half maybe, to actually not be “working” on Mother’s Day. I dried and curled my neglected hair, watched a show, and crawled wearily into my bed. End scene.

I could try to sound really noble here, and pretend like I’m just so grateful to be a mother (that part is true) and to be able to help my own mother (also true) that I don’t care that my Mother’s Day kind of sucked. I know, truly, that today is a really hard day for a lot of families.

But I’m going to be honest: part of me is disappointed and feels like I “wasted” one of the two days a year (Mother’s Day and my birthday) when I’m supposed to be spoiled and adored. There. I said it.

Darling Husband did make me breakfast in bed on Saturday, which was really sweet.

HFXHEATHER on Instagram

I just missed out on the REST of the ideal Mother’s Day, a.k.a. not having to prepare a single meal, not having to wash dishes or clean anything, getting time to spend all alone doing exactly what you want (in my case, that would have been sewing), maybe getting taken out for a meal, etc.

Although my Facebook feed is currently fill of gorgeous brunch pictures (“Brunch! I could have been having brunch instead of priming a set of closet doors?!”) and home-cooked dinner pictures (“My dinner was A ROLL AND NOTHING ELSE OMG!”) and adorable family pictures (“Crap! We didn’t take one of those because I was in sloppy painting clothes all day!”) that are making me twitchy, I have to remind myself of what’s important.

I have wonderful, amazing, special, sweet, kind-hearted kids.

I have a mom, a step-mom, and a mother-in-law who all love me (and my kids).

I have a fantastic husband who made me breakfast during the couple of hours this weekend when I actually saw him (and got me an Atlantic Fabrics gift certificate for fabriccccccc a.k.a. my love language).

Yeah, Mother’s Day itself kind of blew, this year. But in the end, it’s just a day on the calendar.

Besides, Little Sis and I told Mom she’d better have the house sold by next Mother’s Day, so we can celebrate at the spa instead.


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