I vividly remember being overdue with Violet - I had planned to work up until my due date, (naively) never expecting that she wouldn't make her arrival by then. That day came and went - I handed over the reigns of my classroom to my former student teacher and went home to wait. I thought it would be nice to be off of my feet and to have a few days to rest up and nest around the house before she came, but the days went by oh so slowly. I was too uncomfortable to clean and too tired to wash baby clothes for the gazillionth time. I started to dwell on giving birth and for the first time began to feel really anxious and afraid. In all of that growing negativity, I tried to look at the positive - my baby was healthy inside of me, I was lucky to have been able to carry her to full term (and beyond), and thought that it might be fun if she was born on Mother's Day.
Well, Mother's Day came and with it, still no signs of labor. Kevin decided it would be best to get me out of the house (smart man), so we headed out to our local Mother's Day street fair. It was a very cold, blustery May day and I hadn't quite dressed for the cool temperatures, so we walked very quickly to keep warm. I remember thinking, I can't remember the last time I walked (waddled) this fast, and decided that I was going to walk the baby out. We walked until my legs practically felt like they were going to fall off before finally heading back home. That night I went into labor. Violet wasn't born on Mother's Day, but she was with us that day, walking the streets of our little town just waiting to make her arrival.
I remember that I was so excited to become a mother - to experience that one-of-a-kind love that you feel for your children - and it's true, there's nothing more amazing in all of the world. But one thing I didn't realize was how much all of that love can make you feel an equal amount of fear and guilt and worry. I didn't know how difficult it would be to watch your kids go through those tough times of sickness or pain. When Violet was born she suffered meconium aspiration and had to be rushed off to the NICU. That was my first taste of the scary feelings that are equally a part of motherhood. Seeing her laying in the bassinet with all of those tubes and wires hooked up to her tiny body I never felt more helpless in all of my life.
I remember being sick as a child and my own mom saying to me that she wished that she could take all of my bad feelings away. That she wished she was the sick one instead. Now I know how she felt and that she really, truly meant what she said, because I feel the same way about my own little girls. This past week both of them have been very sick - Violet has an ear infection, a horrible cold, and a stomach bug, and Lucy has had a cold for the past week which has now turned into croup. I've spent a lot of sleepless nights with them lately and it's definitely taking its toll. But the worst part isn't even the lack of sleep - it's the constant worry.
It's really made me appreciate my own mom more than ever. She worked full time, then came home to us and was basically a single parent, as my dad worked second shift so that we didn't have to be in daycare. They didn't see each other much and I just now as an adult and a mother can really appreciate the sacrifices that they made. She was always there when we were sick, hurt, or worried to make us feel better. And now, here I am as a mother myself and she's still there for me. She took off of work yesterday to come and help me at home with the girls. There are other people that I could have called to help me out, but sometimes, even as an adult, you still just want your mom.
So to all of the moms and mothers-to-be out there, you truly have the most difficult job in the world - a job that is 24 hours a day, seven days a week full of the most powerful and wonderful and crazy emotions and feelings that you can imagine - here's to you. I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day full of love and laughter (and healthy children). And a big thank you to my mom - the strongest most selfless, hardest working person I know - thanks for always being there for me.
And while it feels like there's truly no gift big enough or expensive enough or meaningful enough that you can give to a mother to truly say thank you for everything that she does, I've rounded up a few lovely things that are sure to make the mother in your life feel a little extra special on Mother's Day.
For the new mom or mom-to-be in your life:
Milestone Baby Cards
2. Baby Book by Yasmeen Ismail
3. Twelve Wishes for Baby Book
4. Milk and Cookies Rattles
5. Wooden Fish Rattle
6. Custom My Quotable Kid Book
7. Lion Booties
And gifts for your own mother or grandmother (inspired by my mother and mother-in-law, who are both amazing cooks and show their love by feeding everyone mountains of delicious home-cooked food!):
Spice and Vegetables Windowsill Planters
2. Dessert and Baking Salts
3. Slate Cheese Boards with Soapstone Chalk
4. Seed Keeper Gardening Book
5. Hidden Animal Mugs
6. Slate Heart Server
7. Green Herbal Tea Kit
I'd love to hear about how you're planning to make the mom in your life feel extra special this Mother's Day! Are you getting a gift, taking her out to dinner, or perhaps just pampering her a little bit?
This post was kindly sponsored by Uncommon Goods. They currently have a lovely Mother's Day Collection with beautiful gifts for the special mother in your life. The content and opinions shared in this post are my own.