Yesterday was Mother's Day.
It's a holiday that I have mixed feelings about.
I don't want a specific day where my kids try extra hard to be good or give me extra affection. Ideally, that would be every day.
But I do like the idea of a day set aside to at least show appreciation and acknowledge the things our mothers have done and continue to do for us.
Same deal for Father's Day.
I also recognize that there is a world filled with brokenness out there. And that these kinds of holidays can be reminders of pain and grief and shame and mourning.
Yesterday, as my kids seemed to miss that dose of Mother's Day fairy magic that makes all the children behave like perfect angels, I found myself just watching other moms. We went out to breakfast, we went out to run errands, we went to church - moms everywhere.
I saw new moms, holding their babies, glowing. I remember that feeling. I remember holding Teagan on that very first Mother's Day. She was just a couple of months old at that point. I was proud of giving birth, of holding this baby, of breastfeeding, of changing diapers, of all those mom things. I had entered the Mom Club. I had found this indescribable level of love that I had never known existed. And I'm sure I glowed. Even in my exhaustion - little gestures of kindness on that first Mother's Day truly made me feel like a queen.
I saw older moms. The ones who have "made it." They are being honored at a meal out. Their kids come home to visit - their adult children who now have children of their own. These moms seem to have this joy and peace that just flows from them. I'm not saying they don't have problems. But on Mother's Day, I enjoyed seeing some of those women who had their children around them, their grandkids, who could see the success of their years of hard work.
And I saw moms just like me.
Moms that are tired. Frustrated. Angrier than we'd like to be. Short on patience. Loving our kids. Not trading this job for anything. But we're in the trenches. We're fighting battles every day. I saw moms just like me - moms who had been told off by their daughter that morning, moms who had a son who was angry with them, moms with toddlers throwing tantrums in the restaurant, moms with a sullen teenager that they long to connect with but also feel resentment towards.
In the trenches, but we make eye contact, we know we're in it together.
We know the joy of the first timers and we know what is ahead of them. We long for that day in the future when we see and know that all of this hard work has helped develop real people.
We know there are moms who are hurting, who are mourning, who are wanting,who are longing, who are lonely...
As moms, no matter where we are in these stages, we are connected to one another. We feel each other's pain. We know each other's struggles.
We are in the trenches together. Even if my path is different than yours, my struggles are different than yours.
Maybe next year, I will find a way to celebrate Mother's Day with a focus on the sisterhood of motherhood - the connection that women share. Whether we are first time moms, moms who mourn, women who long, women who struggle, moms who have made it, moms who are watching adult children struggle.... no matter the journey of motherhood, we are in it together.