When the kids were little, their worlds were small.  Their dad and I were the center of their universe.  Holidays, like Mother’s Day, were easy.

And then … as kids do, they grow up. Their worlds get bigger, they get their own lives including their own challenges.  The natural order of things,we raise our kids to grow up and yet we don’t always change our expectations of them.

Today is Mother’s Day.  I cried today.  I was indignant, frustrated and pissed off.

And then…

I had a talk with myself.

In my mind, the kids had not met my expectations. I was starting down that spiral of hurt and disappointment.

I realized my expectations were only a factor of a holiday that is great for selling flowers, cards and brunch.  It is a cold rainy miserable May day in Indiana.  The 437th day of cold and rain.  There’s no sun, there’s no stroll through the garden center and planting flowers with mom.

Both of my kids are working today, the girl is not feeling well, dude is dealing with some work and personal challenges and I’m exhausted from a couple of crazy weeks.

Context matters.


Rather than continuing the series of bitter, shame filled texts and comments.  I stopped. I sent them this……

“I love you both immensely.

You are amazing human beings 300 out of 365 days a year.

I mean, nobody’s perfect.

You just picked a bad weekend to both be checked out.

Oh well, just a Hallmark holiday screwing things up with external expectations of what good should be.

On to better days. “

Immediately my son responded with a long heartfelt apology for the crap we had been arguing about explaining some things he was dealing with personally and a beautiful thank you for being a great mom.

He was free.  Free to be himself without the unrealistic expectations of being 10 years old and picking me dandelions from the yard.  Seasons change, our expectations should change.

If it weren’t Mother’s Day, none of this day would have bothered me.  None of it.

Context matters.  Stand tall in your story without comparison.

Now I’m free to watch Wine Country on Netflix, drink a glass of wine and eat some Cheetos, happy to be a mom.  Happy to remind myself, this is just a day.  A rainy cold miserable day in May.

I hope you and your family are having the exact kind of day that you want and need for this season of your life without comparing yourself to others or to a Hallmark card version of greatness.

Now that we’ve all been released from unrealistic expectations that don’t fit our season, after the kids are done with work, we’ll have some dinner and be the people we are, imperfect.

In fact, their dad, even though no longer married to me, offered to buy steaks for our dinner.  Times change, seasons change and we can embrace all of who we are, imperfect with joy and perfect moments.

Isn’t that the best representation of motherhood?