Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Blues

Here I am again....wandering through my day with this controversial inner dialogue going through my mind. Do you ever have something you're thinking about, that you feel you need to get off your chest--that you want to post about, but you're afraid how people will take it? Afraid of what people will think of you once you openly admit to the feelings you're having?

That's my dilemma today. And it's all because of Mother's day.

I feel like talking about this may unleash the monster inside me. It's been awhile since I spoke up about depression on my blog. Mostly because I've been feeling pretty darn good lately, and haven't felt the need to discuss it.

But, yesterday, that pesky little bug crawled up and bit me when I wasn't looking. And I feel completely ridiculous.

It was a busy day. In addition to Mother's day, it was my brother's mission farewell. So, I slept in. Then woke up to a ginormous mess in my kitchen. No, my kids didn't make me breakfast in bed. It was just Saturday's dishes, papers, mail, and whatever sticky junk was all over the floor (plus the brownies that KJ decided to make at 9:30 on Saturday night). My first thought was where's my breakfast in bed? Then, I caught myself. I shouldn't be expecting any kind of special treatment. So, I cleaned up the kitchen, while my kids turned the bathtub into a swimming pool (diving board included), and my husband relaxed in the living room with his book.
Then, I made the salad I promised for the farewell. Meanwhile, my loving hubby, got the kids ready for church (minus hairdos).
I was playing a song in sacrament meeting with my brother, so the plan was to get there early to practice. We finally made it to my Mom's house by 12:40. Just in time to put the food in the fridge and head over to the church. No practice time.

Then, we sat in Sacrament meeting, shushing kids, and listening the the speakers rave about how wonderful their mother's and wives are, reminding me just exactly what I am lacking, and should be doing as a mother. Why do these meetings always leave me feeling incredibly guilty?

The musical number when well, considering how much we were winging it. Spencer wrote an arrangement of Sweet Hour of Prayer with a hint of Bach Cello Suite. It was beautiful, despite our well-covered-up mistakes. We received a lot of compliments. We might have to revisit it for our concert next week.

So, to make short story long (sorry, I'm good at that), we spent a few hours at my Mom's, then spent a few hours at C's Mom's, all the time, I'm growing increasingly bitter. Especially after C's brother asked me what I got for Mother's day, and I sat there, trying to think of a way to make C and the kids look good, while telling him that I didn't get squat. In C's defense, at 8:00 on Saturday night, C decided he was going to go out and go Mother's day shopping for me, and I told him not to go. I did go shopping on Friday night, and bought myself some things, so I supposed that's my Mother's day present.

At the end of the day, I was left feeling guilty, bitter, under appreciated, and even more guilty for even expecting anything. I really actually enjoy honoring my mother. I love that part of Mother's day.
But, I don't like the expectation that comes with the day in which I'm supposed to be the one who's being honored. I don't like feeling like I'm not worthy of being honored, and at the same time, feeling disappointed that I got exactly what I deserved. It's a strange conundrum, and to be honest, I'm really worried about the effect this post will have once my husband reads it.

Because I feel like an ingrate. I should appreciate the little things he does. Like spending 5 hours at my parent's without complaint, when he really wanted to go home and watch basketball. Or getting the kids dressed for church, even if the dress he picked for Peter was too small (I guess that's my fault for not cleaning out the closet more often), or explaining to KJ when she offered to walk on my back at the end of the day, why she should do it just out of the kindness of her heart, and not because she thinks she'll get paid in chocolate afterwards.

I don't know what this post will accomplish, other than getting off my chest something I probably should never admit to.


Kristen said...

I am so with you and feel your anguish. We spent Mother's Day in the car for 5 hours because the in-laws expect us to be present for every event, even if it's not convenient or what my kids want to do. My husband did his best and wasn't happy about it either. He did make dinner when we got home and bought me some perfume.
I guess it's not until the kids are older and on their own that they truly appreciate their Mothers. Maybe we have that to look forward to and our time will come!

Kristina P. said...

It always makes me so sad when I hear that mothers have been forgotten. I really don't think it's too much to expect that C help the kids make you a card. That costs nothing. Or breakfast.

I struggle with feeling about my mother, but I realized yesterday that she does have a lot of good qualities, and until 15 years ago, was a great mother.

I know you do an amazing job.

Erin said...

Sher, I love you. And not in a weird, freaky sort of way. Thanks for sharing your true feelings with us.

Melissa said...

I feel ya sistah! I think I will lose several followers after my Mother's day rant. Including my own mother......
Today is a new day right?

Heidi Ashworth said...

Back when I was your age, I felt a lot the way you do. I think it is pretty common, actually, so I suspect you will have a lot of readers who feel the same way you do. Over the years, (cause I'm old!) I have just taken things into my own hands--I buy tasty but easy to prepare food for dinner that I love so if I end up making it myself, no big. If no one else likes it, tough! I give my husband an idea or two of what he can get me (or buy it myself) and just don't worry about it. I used to think the homemade stuff the kids made at school or in primary was dullsville but now I appreciate it a lot more. In other words, I expect very little and am generally pleased with everything. Not that long ago, Mother's Day didn't even exist--it really isn't an accurate measure of how your husband and kids feel about you. I'm sure they love and adore you!

Me said...

I admire you for sharing your feelings. There are many who experience the same feelings..myself included. Mother's Day can be a lot of hype with a huge let-down. And I have gone to putting my energy into honoring my mother, in hopes that when I am her age, my kids will be honoring me.

wonder woman said...

I've had similar feelings in the past. Mostly the resentment at not being appreciated. Superman's finally getting the picture. In 5 years, this was the first time I had what I would call a "good" mother's day. Mostly I just have to tell him exactly what I expect. Takes a lot of the romance out it, but at least I'm happy.

I've also had similar feelings with wanting to post something, but worrying about the repurcussions. But I love that you keep it real. And you have to know that you're not alone in feeling some guilt on mother's day. BTW, did you see my post? I shared the song "She" by Cherie Call. I think you'd appreciate it.

And I'm glad that your duet went well. Good luck with your concert!!

~The Robin's Nest~ said...

Hey Sher,
I really feel it gets better as the kids get older. My girls are the best about remembering me on Mother's day! Good thing you have two girls!!!! :)

Have a great week,

tiburon said...

I am sorry you had such a crap day!! :(

Andrea said...

So, seeing as how on the "What kind of mother are you?" post, we already determined that you ARE a VERY GREAT mom, I should say that you totally deserve to be pampered. You are just lucky that you weren't in RS when someone gets up and tells us all that moms who say they don't like Mother's day for one reason or another only say that because of their own insecurieties. I for one was offended by that statement. There is a WHOLE lot more to it than just insecurieties and it is not a stupid feeling.

Annette Lyon said...

No worries--we've all be there. And then some.

I did get a MD gift a few days early, but the day itself consisted of me doing everything because my husband was lying on the couch in pain with a tooth infection. SO FUN.

It happens. It doesn't make you any less worthy of admiration or deserving of pampering--even if you don't get pampered.

Xazmin said...

I think that it's normal to expect some sort of recognition on the day set aside specifically for honoring mothers. We all like to pretend that it's no big deal, but secretly we want to feel loved and appreciated.

I'm sorry you had a bad day, and I think men are mostly just dense when it comes to this kind of stuff!

Lara said...

First of all, you are a wonderful mother. And I know I've never met you, and when people that I've never met say such things on my blog I tend to not believe them. BUT, I can tell. I can tell by many of the things you write about your kids and about being a mom that you are doing a fabulous job.

Sure, you have weaknesses. So does every mother. Every last one of us. Yet, we all have different weaknesses. Don't feel guilty because your weakness happens to be another mother's strength. Especially if that mother is being honored in Sacrament Mtg! I can guarantee that your children think you are the best mother in the entire world, just as my children do me, despite all my shortcomings.

And that's all that matters.

And I hope that next year your husband makes a bigger deal. You deserve it.

Jillene said...

First of all I am so glad that you are honest. I think that blogging doesn't have to be all about the good times and fun things. I like to keep it real on mine and I am happy to see that you do the same.

I kind of felt the same way as you. I got up and poured myself a bowl of Raisin Bran. I got myself and the girls ready (my sone is big enough to get hiself ready). Went to church and sat on the uncomforatble bench. Came home and fixed lunch. Went to my mom's house for dinner. Came home and crashed on the couch.

I took myself and my mom for a pedicure. I bought myself 3 new shirts. My husband worked on the bathroom. I felt a little neglected I will have to say. So now you know that you are not alone. And for what it's worth I think that you are AMAZING and I KNOW that you are a GREAT mom!!

DeNae said...

I have a student in 3 minutes. Please do NOT take this post down until I've had a chance to come back and comment. I mean it Sherrie. I'm totally wearing my bossy face here.

Rachel said...

Yes. Yes. Yes yes. I could have written this. Except I was too scared to.

Motherboard said...

First, did they really, Andrea, say that if you hate mother's day, you're insecure?

I'm totally glad I wasn't there. I would have piped off something nasty.

Mother's Day blows. Why do so many people think that this made up holiday is so important? I would rather have my kids and spouse honor me randomly. Meaning: I don't want the obligation honor. I want the "you are a damn good woman/mother and I'm glad you're mine" on some random Tuesday afternoon. Not on a Sunday at church when everyone is pretending that their lives, their kids lives and their marriages are PERFECT.

Hallmark can take this holiday and shove it. I think its dumb. Let my kids and spouse tell me, unprompted how they feel about me. That means more.

(wanna know how I really feel??)

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Just so you know... I'm the EXACT same way. I tell my guy not to worry about it or get me anything... and then I feel bad when he doesn't... I get mad and bitter... One big not so good cycle!

Sarah said...

I had almost the exact same day (without the music part) I was very frustrated all day. The highlight of my day was sitting in sacrament meeting and listening to this absolutely beautiful woman playing an absolutely beautiful piano piece. OH... wait that was you! Sorry I didn't get a chance to say hi!

debilyn said...

I'm sending you HUGE hugs and hoping that the blues pass soon...

I'm learning that many more moms struggle with this holiday than I ever would have suspected. I've also learned that lowering my expectations has REALLY helped. ;)

DeNae said...

OK, I'm back. First, I really wish Motherboard would stop sugar coating things and just tell us how she really feels! (tee hee)

Now, as for the rest of it: I made it 22 Mother's Days without hating the day's everloving guts. But this year I nearly went WMD on the whole thing. Why? Because being a mother right now is insanely hard. All four of my kids are struggling with things (not bad, just life stuff) and I'm the sounding board / punching bag / crystal ball-gazer -- and guess what? I don't have any answers for them. So church this time was just one big fingernail on the chalkboard of my soul. I shoulda stayed home and played internet poker with MB!

HOWEVER, I'm a real believer that we teach people how to treat us. And honestly, as much as we wish it were otherwise, we have to train our husbands, our kids, and even the moms and MILs how to help make the day work for us. Want a gift? Say, "I WANT A GIFT." Don't want to spend the day cooking? Make it clear that someone ELSE will be catering dinner that day. My husband has been great the last five years or so, but considering I've been the mother in this house for 22 years, well, you can see it takes a fair amount of training. And NO sulking!! It gets you nowhere! Men NEVER get the martyr thing; it just ticks them off. And kids are big emotional Hoovers; don't expect any understanding from them for another couple of decades or so!

Moms can be taken to lunch, called, gifted, whatever, on other days of the week. If you spend 5 hours on Mother's Day at your MIL's house it's because you let someone else make that decision for you. Very kindly announce to all parties involved - starting with yourself - that next year will be different. And then lay out a plan and stick to your guns.

Love you, Sher!

2busy said...

You are falling into Satan's trap. He likes to undermine our feelings of self worth and thus forgetting our divinity. We are all unique mothers and daughters of God who have something different to bring to every relationship and every home. I'm not saying that I don't fall for his snare's but sometimes it helps to have it pointed out.

On another note, maybe you shouldn't focus on what you didn't get this one day but focus on what your kids and C do for you throughout the year. We aren't big on the special days in our home like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentines Day or even anniversaries. We try to focus on the love and service we do for each other all year long.

Cheer up! We love you!

Terresa said...

I like what DeNae posted -- If you want it (gifts, the day off, a special meal cooked, etc), you gotta ask for it, sometimes again & again. It's a hard lesson to learn.

This year I kindly "planted" ideas in my husband's brain the day before, like, "Hmmm, a roast would sure be nice tomorrow. Could you make me one?" and "I'd love some Godiva chocolates this year. What do you think?"

It's work (what *isn't* in marriage & family life), but at least I create the expectation, vocalize it, and then do a little follow through to help them get there.

Meddling and a little conniving? Probably...but in the end, I get what I want, usually, at least for that one day each year.

PS: I also shopped the week before & got myself plenty of mother's day goodies (a new shirt & some sweet black heels), just in case, but my husband doesn't know that! ;)

Mikki said...

You know I had this thought along the same lines yeserday, something to the effect of..."crappy moms get crappy mother's days", now in my case that may be true, but I totally know it's not true for you. You're an awesome momma.
Men just don't get it I think. It's a rare gem that actually thinks out a gift anytime in advance. Most of 'em are in 7-11 at 9:00 the day of, looking for something they can pass of as a gift. Just smack him upside the head and tell he owes you one, (and it better be good)!
Hope things look up this week.

SO said...

I have been right there with you on past Mother's Days. Right there. I so understand. This year was one of the first that I've felt really, really appreciated as a mother. My husband does try but usually I'm the one who buys my Mother's Day present (And the presents for both of our mothers and grandmothers). I'm not sure why this year was different but it was. And it's not just that he bought me a new camera, really it's not. :)

Brooke said...

I absolutely understand. It looks like we were feeling similar feelings on Sunday. It sucks. I cried all day. My problem was that I felt like no one thought I was important enough to celebrate. That really hurts. My husband worked all day, and surprisingly I did receive a "happy mother's day", but that's it. I didn't want to have high expectations, because last year I didn't even get that, but for some reason, this day comes with expectations. My kids were naughtier than they have been in months (maybe years) and they chose that one day to act out. I'm sorry your day was so hard.

Love Fam said...

I had the exact kind of day, at least you didn't have a breakdown bauling when your in-laws asked you what you got and how your mothers day was like I did. I just started crying right in front of everyone. I guess some Mothers Days are better than others right!!!

Jo said...

Been there with you. Some mother's days are like that. I do think you need to be kinder to yourself. The Sheri I know is doing her very best, and I think if she could see how hard is working, she might be a bit more charitable to herself.
I do think admitting it, talking about it helps. By recognizing what is going on, you can help yourself in the long run. BIG HUGS, cause you deserve breakfast in bed, EVERY day.
Once my mom said most people don't get what they deserve. She then told me if I got what I deserved, I would live in a huge house on a hill, with servants waiting on me hand and foot. I haven't ever forgotten that.

Cadance said...

now I feel bad that I was depressed when I was left to clean up the dishes for the Mother's day breakfast that Sean and the boys mad for me....I rude they didn't stick around and clean up the dishes with me....but I'mover it now! I hope you are feeling better now too!

Nick and Stacey said...

I second Krestas...I didn't cry, but I was pretty close!

Rebecca said...

Gotta love the guilt trip talks on mothers day about the mothers we all ought to be. There's a reason why my grandmother-in-law refuses to go to church on Mother's Day.

Jan the crazy lady said...

Hope you are having a better day today.

Everyone really said some great things. I hope it helped. I just learned early on that I don't treat it like a special day. I have very low expectations. So anything I get, is just a little bonus for the day.

I so understand the disappointment feelings attached.

Story about a friend of mine. She was got upset because her husband gave her a Wii fit. Man, I want that.

Danielle said...

So this is my first time commenting...

This year was my second year as a mom. It kinda sucked. Well, just at church. I know that sounds awful, but listening to one of the speakers especially, talk about his wife, and how she is such a hard worker, and such an amazing mom, and just goes and goes and gives and gives. And I thought, my husband probably wouldn't say that about me (even though he would argue differently, obviously). It made me feel like crap.

Anyway, you're not alone! I don't know what the answer is, but I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

Your blog is great - thanks for sharing!

Famous Amos said...

This was a great post. SO many of us feel the same way and it is good to hear ideas and things that have worked for other people. Hope you're feeling better.

Motherboard said...

:-> Look at all these comments! You are amazing!

Tink said...

I always love it when you share that side of you. You say what I think many of us think and feel but are too shy to share. So kudos to you, my friend. I had a hard Mother's Day myself and have been wanting to blog about it, but haven't had the time. I guess I could do it now, but I'm having such fun reading everyone else's. I hope things only went up from there for you!