Mother’s Day for me, this year, has been weird. I started off with the odd thought that I am tired of being a mother. This is a feeling I’ve NEVER had before in my life—and I’ve been “mothering” for fifty years… more if you count pregnancy as my oldest will be 50 in September.
In some ways it’s actually harder to mother adult children than younger children and it’s certainly often less fun. And, no, I’m not really tired of it. As a matter of fact, my kids are wonderful kids and incredibly sweet. First thing, my oldest called me and wished me happy mom’s day on her way to work—poor kid is actually spending her Mother’s Day working a double shift, but at least she’s working it with her daughter. My middle, came by after church with her family and brought my husband and me a Starbucks, and my youngest came by with his wife and brought a card. They’re loving and kind and good human beings. My problem is I fret over displeasing them. I’m always worried about if what I’m doing or buying or planning will be something they don’t like or won’t approve of or if they’ll be disappointed if I don’t do this or that. I stress myself out with it. It’s not like they’ve asked me to do whatever it is that I’m stressing myself out about.
An example is this: My son sent me a text letting me know that a band I like is coming to town in June. Now, he had seen this band in concert and I had never heard of them. He had shared this with me a couple years ago (before Covid) and I said I thought they were really good and I’d like to see them. Well, now they’re coming. When he sent the text, I felt like I HAD to go even though I don’t want to go to a concert because of Covid AND I don’t want to spend $31 on a ticket because I’m trying to save money, plus if I go, my husband’s going to want to go to, so that will be $62 not counting whatever the service fee will be and parking, so now we’re talking probably a $100 evening. But I started stressing that my son would be upset with me or disappointed if I don’t go. But I’m not even going to church because of Covid fears… I don’t want to be in a big mass of people who are all singing and mostly unmasked—which is why I’m not going to church. I was afraid he would be mad because I went with my daughters to go see Josh Gates talk in Milwaukee, but it was really spaced out, most people were wearing masks, and nobody was singing (because Josh Gates was just talking).
I finally convinced myself to just deal with it… deal with it if he was upset. After all, I’m 69 years old. I should be living life for ME, not my kids, right? So, I wrote back, explained it all to him and he responded: “That’s fair…” What a relief! See? I have a feeling I make up my own problems. I imagine that people will be upset with me when they won’t and, even if they would be, maybe I should be doing what I WANT to do, what I think would be best regardless of their upsettedness. I have a feeling I would not choose to do anything really wrong or truly hurtful. I don’t want to be a selfish person, but I don’t want to be needlessly sacrificial… a ridiculous martyr—so that I end up waking on Mother’s Day and have the fleeting thought, “I’m tired of being a mother.” Because I’m really not tired of it—I’m tired of not being authentically me.