On Mother’s Day, I’d Like to Pretend I’m Not a Mother


I love my family, and I happily spend a lot of time with them, which is a good thing because that’s primarily what I do. I’m with my kids all day, every day except for the few hours a week they’re in preschool. During that time, I do laundry, grocery shopping, clean, run errands, write, and edit articles.

When the kids are around, I still have to do all of those things, plus cart them to ballet, swim class, gymnastics, speech therapy, and the playground. I don’t get regular manicures, pedicures, or massages, and my workouts are relegated to thirty minutes in the living room while the kids hover over me. On the weekends, we’re together as a family. We hang with our friends, and we steal nights away for good cocktails and dinner.

I have so much – except time to myself. Really, I don’t mind this 364 days of the year. I am fulfilled. I feel balanced, and I am happy. But along comes Mother’s Day, and my husband asks me how I want to celebrate. My gut instinct is to shout, “I just want to be left alone!”

I don’t want to be startled from my slumber at 2:23 AM to fix blankets, fetch water, or change wet sheets. I don’t want requests for milk, breakfast, and entertainment to begin before I’ve even had a chance to open my eyes. I don’t want to step over toys to get to the kitchen. I don’t want to hear, “I’m hungry,” two minutes after we’ve finished a meal. I don’t want to think about anyone but myself. 

There – I said it.

On Mother’s Day, I’d like to pretend that I’m not a mother, at least for a few hours. I’d like to do what I want to do without consideration for the rest of my family. I don’t need to celebrate that I’m a mom. I do that every single day for myself. I see the big picture through the laundry piles and know I have it good. I don’t need a special day to remind me of that.

Instead, for a little while, I’d like to lighten the mental load of my To Do list, and I’d like to do it without the guilty feeling that I should be letting my family plan my special day. I know they love me. I see the little drawings my kids make for me. I understand that their barrage of requests reflects how important I am in their lives. I feel my husband’s appreciation for what I do. It’s always nice to hear, “Thank you,” and “I love you,” but “What can I do for you,” is even better.

The answer: give me some space. 

This year, that means I’m making plans with some like-minded girlfriends for a mimosa-fueled lunch. Next year, it might mean something totally different. It does NOT mean that I’m ungrateful or unappreciative of my life. I don’t want to escape; I just want a break.


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