Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
This post is by Julianna W. Miner, who writes the blog Rants from Mommyland (recently named The Blog Most Likely to Make you Laugh by Parents Magazine). She has three kids, a long-suffering husband, a very naughty dog and a geriatric, ill-tempered cat. In addition to blogging, she teaches at a college she couldn’t have gotten into because she made bad choices in high school.
I love Mother’s Day, but I’m somewhat confused by it. I think it’s like New Year’s Eve; a combination of high expectations and inevitable disappointment. It always feels like there’s some ideal that only specials get to experience. I’m a regular, so it doesn’t happen to me.
I feel kind of stupid and whiny complaining about Mother’s Day. It’s not like my husband and kids ever got it wrong, per se. Or that I had really high expectations. Mostly I just wanted to sleep. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET ME SLEEP. But then someone would always get an ear infection. And I would forget to go to the grocery store the day before so my “special” breakfast would be comprised of an old Capri Sun and a crumbly granola bar fished out of the bottom of a school bag.
But here’s the problem: what I really wanted, they couldn’t give me. Because the only people who truly understood what I needed to hear on Mother’s Day were other moms. They get it. I needed someone to look at me and say: “Remember that time you showed up at preschool and you hadn’t slept all night and there was a booger stain on your shoulder and you were counting the minutes until you got back to your empty house so you could shower and possibly take a nap? But your kid was upset and needed you to stay and so you did? THAT WAS AWESOME OF YOU. High five.”
I needed someone to tell me that even though sometimes I yelled at my kids or let them watch too much TV, that I was still doing a good job. That making mistakes is part of it. That waking up every day and trying as hard as you can to be the best person you can be is enough. That you fall short. But you get up and start over. And that is what makes you a good mom. Not being perfect. Not being a person who never messes up. With the notable exception of Gwyneth Paltrow, those people don’t exist. Those imaginary perfect moms are like the idealized New Year’s Eve or the “Pretty In Pink” prom moment that none of us actually got.
Realizing all that made me feel better. It also gave me some much-needed perspective. I have a family who tries to make Mother’s Day special for me every year. I have friends who get it and who love me, even though I’m a big weirdo. I began thinking about all of the moms who have nothing. Who work twice as hard as I do with half the resources to support them. I began thinking about the women who struggled to provide a home for their kids. Or who were brave enough to leave bad situations to make a better life for their families. For those women, Mother’s Day is just another Sunday. Another day struggling and living in need.
What better way to acknowledge Mother’s Day (and give thanks for my own blessings) than to honor moms living in homeless and domestic violence shelters? So that’s what I decided to do. I enlisted my friends Courtney and Christine from Naughty Betty (the world’s most amazing gift and greeting card company) and together we designed a bunch of hilarious Mother’s Day eCards for the Real World. Then we found a sponsor. The folks from Sweet Relish.com stepped up and offered to donate up to $10,000 to Shelter House (an organization that helps families struggling with homelessness and domestic violence).
So here’s how you can help moms in need this mother’s day: check out our eCards, and if you like them, share them! The more they’re shared across the internet, the more money Sweet Relish will donate. We think the cards are pretty awesome on their own, but if you factor that they’re going help families who need it, we think they could go viral.