For the past few years on Mother’s Day, I’ve sent my dearest mommy-friends a CD, filled with inspirational, uplifting, and sometimes tear-jerking songs to celebrate us, the Mommies of the world. It was my version of a mixed-tape, an ode to my girls, to give them a little pep or remind them that yes, our kids may suck sometimes, but we’ve got this and those kiddos are pretty amazing too. I would labor over the song selection, collecting, purchasing, and organizing them into the perfect playlist. Now, I’ve finally joined the rest of civilization in realizing no one listens to CDs anymore, even if they are the bomb, if I do say so myself.
So this year, I decided to salute my besties and all the other moms, (lots of dads, aunties, grandmas, and other caregivers too) of the world, with a thank you for all of the lessons and gifts you have given me.
- To the Perfectly Put Together moms whose kids are always also impeccably dressed and coiffed, spotless and tidy, thank you for showing me that it IS possible to have clean kids at times other than when bathing or swimming.
- To the Whimsical Moms who let their kids go crazy with paint, play dough, chalk, glitter, beads and stickers, thank you for proving that it’s all good; the mess can be cleaned up, and if it isn’t, a little glitter goes a long way in disguising the dust bunnies around the house.
- To the Always-There-in-a-Pinch Moms, thank you for getting my back, my kids, my dogs, a loaf of bread, or whatever I was sending smoke signals for. To have friends, acquaintances, MOMS, who are there to help you and your littles, makes the difference between full-on insanity and keeping it together.
- To the Organizer Moms, thank you for carrying the load for the rest of us. For pulling us together and giving us clues and cues as to how to volunteer, donate, participate, and belong in the community of schools, friendships, clubs, teams, and neighborhoods.
- To the Play-Like-You’re-a-Kid Moms, thank you for showing me the joy of playing, and being in the moment with your kids. There’s nothing like seeing you giggle and be silly, competitive, or artsy with your children. It makes me want to join in the fun and cease my chorus of, “Not right now” and “As soon as I…”
- To the Informed Moms, thank you for sharing your smarts with me. I’d have no idea what was happening in world news, food safety, fashion trends, school events, or the Real Housewives of Anywhere if it weren’t for you. I would, however, know about Adam Levine’s latest hairstyle, because some things are just that important.
- To the Life of the Party Moms, thank you for showing me it’s okay to treat myself to some fun. Your outgoing personality and joie de vivre are contagious and help make the Mommy blues fade away.
- To the Chill Moms, thanks for helping me to see and believe that I don’t have to worry about everything. I admire how you can let your kids play out of earshot and eyesight, with faith that they are fine. I’m in awe of your cool attitude even though you’re running 15 minutes late or your kid just toppled off the slide. My shoulders are relaxing a bit just thinking about you.
- To the Be-Everywhere-at-Once Moms, thank you for showing me that it is possible to work all day, serve as PTO President, get three kids to three separate fields in different areas of town all at the same time, while having dinner made, and then hosting bunco later that night. Now, I need to learn HOW you can do that.
- To the Always-Smiling mom, thank you for brightening the day of all who encounter you. It’s so true that a smile is contagious. Just look at the trail of happiness that shines behind you. Thank you for always finding and focusing on the light, the love, and joy even when there may be a dark cloud lingering.
- To the Juggler Mom, thank you for being a real-life version of a super hero: working; mothering; and being present at athletic events, schools, and in your kids’ lives. Moms who work outside of the home seem to have superpowers in organization and endless backup batteries.
- To the Calm, Nurturing Moms, thank you for your warmth and sharing your energy with not only your children, but all the souls around you, including the mommies who are still trying to find our own zen.
- To the Always in a Tizzy Moms, thank you for being you and showing me that I am not alone.
There are so many roles that we all play and fill, just like a good, old mixed tape. This list barely touches it; more categories are popping into my head as I type… Athletic, New, Cheerleader, Prego…but I’ve got to draw the line because I am one Tired Mom. Thus, I’ll say—to all the moms (and dads who play both roles)— thank you for all that you do. Being “Mom” is indescribably challenging, exhausting, fulfilling, and wonderful all at the same time. Every day launches new obstacles, lessons, and rewards at all of us. Every year flies by faster than the last. And, more often than not, all that we do goes seemingly unnoticed. Just know that how you mother—mistakes, successes, trials, and celebrations—do inspire and reassure the rest of us.
In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I’m going to throw a few of my fave tunes your way. You can make your own CD or playlist. If you’re in need of some upbeat, let loose, fun, check out “My House,” by Flo Rida; Meghan Trainor’s, “NO;” “Stressed Out,” by twenty one pilots; or the Biebs crooning “Sorry.” Be prepared for the urge to sing along and maybe do a little chair dancing. To relax, James Morrison’s cover of “Man in The Mirror” is sublime; Matt Nathanson’s “All We Are” is another solid choice; and just about anything by Joshua Radin will help you mellow out. And, for when you are at the end of your rope, hanging on by a thread and asking why you ever jumped on the crazy motherhood train, dial up “Love of My Life” by Carly Simon and “You & Me” by Frances England. You may need a box of tissues, but at least you’ll be safely off the cliff.
Happy Mother’s Day!