Mother’s Day arrived the Sunday after a heinous week with my daughters. They had been mouthy and disrespectful. I had told them that I knew they wouldn’t always like me but at the least, they had to be respectful. Usually it’s one or the other of them who is not so nice, but this time it was both of them at once.
One had argued with me about everything. She was in a surly mood all week, and everything I said was either wrong or stupid. The other one got in the car and acted like she was doing me a big favor by letting me drive her around to all her activities. I pointed out their disrespect towards me several times. I also knew that they didn’t treat their friends’ parents like this; it was just me. By the end of the week I was tired of my daughters’ behavior and attitude.
So, when they asked what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day, I told them I wanted to be left ALONE for the entire day.
I was hurt and I wanted my space. In fact, I actually enjoyed my day alone reading books in a quiet house.
By dinnertime, my girls were in tears and full of apologies for the way they had treated me all week. My husband acted as their spokesman and asked if they could join me for dinner. I said that I was ready to spend time with our daughters. They apologized for their behavior and we talked about why I was feeling hurt and disrespected.
Mother’s Day ended with a lovely family dinner.
And everyone was on their best behavior!
As I look back on that Mother’s Day, I realize that being a parent is hard and sometimes painful. There were probably better strategies I could have used, but I was hurt and angry and just needed to be left alone. If it had been any other Sunday, I don’t think it would have been so impactful. Sometimes you have to take care of yourself first; as trite as that sounds, we are used to putting our children first. My girls were hurt by my request of being left alone, but with the way I was feeling that day, I knew I couldn’t be the mother they needed me to be nor the mother I wanted to be.