Mother’s Day was yesterday. Jess, from A Diary of a Mom, wrote an absolutely lovely and moving testament to motherhood that NEEDS to be shared. I sniffled when I read it. I wish I had written it. I wish that I could have written SOMETHING about how life-changing it was to become a mother. How my life has purpose and direction and meaning that I could not have even fathomed 9 1/2 years ago. How the relationship with my husband changed so fundamentally when he became the father of my children. How the labels of autism and giftedness and ADHD and Tourette’s have both defined me and my family- and how, yet, we are so much, more than the sum of those labels.
But I’m so wiped out.
Mother’s Day is also the end of the semester- a weekend where two of the biggest roles in my life clash and clang against each other. When the two-foot high stack of papers to be graded RIGHT NOW sits there, brooding, relentless in its never-changing size, and my children demand that I accept their wonderful gifts and that I be “there” for them. When my husband, who also works at the university in an administrative role, is closing down the year from the College’s point of view and can’t pick up the slack. When I have to attend the College’s graduation, which involves finding my academic robes, missing soccer games- and takes away from grading time. When decisions about my children’s schooling for next year have to be made. When I’m supposed to be appreciating their teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. When I have to be thinking about my own mother and my grandmother and my mother-in-law- and shopping and ordering and mailing. When students are emailing me in a panic about their grades, or complaining about the grades I gave others.
When I turned in my grades this morning at 10:00, and the semester came to a screeching halt, I turned and realized all that I did not get done. My To-Do list for my life is HUGE! The list includes:
- The pediatrician’s appointment for Elizabeth’s annual check up- 2 months overdue
- A doctor’s appointment for me- 8 months overdue
- The letter of recommendation for a colleague- 1 month overdue
- The 20 pounds I lost last year- and gained back this year.
- Arrange summer care and look at summer camp possibilities- or lack thereof.
- The mess in the garage still there from when we moved in- last July
- The menu for the month- and it’s already May 10th
- The oil change for the car- 1500 miles overdue
- The Teacher’s Guide for the Children with High Functioning Autism book that I haven’t started yet and is due soon…
But I can also check off the things that I DID get done…
- Spent Mother’s Day at the beach with the children and James-
- Kept my daughter sunburn-free, which left me with the speckles of sunscreen left over, so I have very red knees now
- Grilled steaks on a perfect day last night
- Set up and monitored a play date for both children on Friday
- And graded. Not well, not a lot of feedback, but fair. I even responded to all of the emails.
I’m glad that Mother’s Day is a holiday. I’m glad that there is a special day to remind children and ourselves about what a wonderful and completely mutually-defining relationship there is between a mother and a child.
But I would like to formally request that we have Mother’s Day NEXT week, ok? And while I’m at it, perhaps we can move Christmas too? I have this same pressure in December. I’ll be in a much better place where I can reflect, and not react. A place where I can look ahead and behind and not just at what’s in front of me. Where the end of the semester doesn’t come crashing down on me in its immediacy at the same time as a holiday that requires significant family involvement. Where there is balance…
After all, everyday is Mother’s Day, right? I wonder if I can ask for flowers NEXT week?