Just another Mother’s Day?

Every year I ask for the same thing for Mother’s Day, and I never get it—that is, until today. Each year, I desperately want a day off. I mean, is it selfish of me to want a day off from motherhood—a day when no one is asking me to get them something to eat or drink, a day when I am not there to hear the arguments over the television’s volume, and especially a day when I am not on anyone else’s schedule? Okay, maybe it is selfish, but I don’t know of any mom who would begrudge me a few hours of freedom.

This day was especially rewarding as it began with a hot yoga class taken with one of my closest friends. Hot yoga is something that is both frightening—it is 90 minutes of yoga set in a 105 degree room—and exhillerating because when it is over, your body is completely limber and the feel of fresh air from outside the room is like a rush of pure pleasure after the suffocating heat of the studio. The best part of the morning, besides the yoga, was leaving the house while everyone was still asleep—no one was awake to ask me where I was going, no one was there to beg me not to leave, and most importantly no one was awake to ask me when I’d be back. The day was starting out to be truly my own.

From there, my friend and I had a well-deserved cup of coffee, a bite to eat, and some much-needed conversation. I must say that even with all the chaos that is my life at times, I have always made spending time with my friends a priority. Whenever one of them tries to arrange a time to meet, I never say no if I can help it. Fortunately for me, I have a very understanding husband who never questions this need—and almost always keeps the kids so I can go out. Today was similar in that he kept the kids while I was out, but it was even better than that since it didn’t involve a few hours for dinner in the evening—it was a whole day to myself! We shopped, we talked, we tried on dresses, we spent more than five minutes running through D.S.W. looking for a well-deserved pair of sandals—it was wonderful. And throughout it all, I only received a single call from home from my daughter asking me if she could buy a book online—not asking me to come home or complaining about being bored—just a simple question which I happily responded “yes.”

So, now I am home, seven hours after I left, and I am doing the last thing that I asked for this Mother’s Day—time to sit and write. I feel calm and relaxed in a way that I haven’t in a long time. I am rejuvenated. I am happy. I am ready to face the questions about dinner, the fights over the television, and the complaints that there isn’t any food in the house since I didn’t go food shopping today (oh, well, what can you do?).

My advice to my daughter is simple—take time for yourself. As you get older, the demands on your time will only intensify—you will have more homework, which will give you less free time to watch television or read a book, and you’ll have more after school and weekend activities which will give you even less time with your friends—and almost no time for yourself. Be selfish with your time when you know that it will make you a happier, calmer person—like me, on the best Mother’s Day ever.

Published by Erin Rehill

A few years ago, my then eight-year-old daughter told me that she wished I could write down all the things I told her so that she wouldn’t forget them when she got older. In that moment, my daughter gave me such a sense of validation, something I hadn’t really experienced in that way. As parents, we don’t often receive confirmation from our children that we are doing a good job, or that we even know what we are talking about. Since that time, I’ve started to pay more attention to the things I tell her, often thinking to myself “Will she remember this when she is older?” So, this is for her, my words of advice to be read, thought about, laughed at, and maybe even used, when she is older.

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