Mom Confessional: Mother’s Day Means More than Cards Convey

Mom Confessional: Mother’s Day Means More than Cards Convey

You’ll have to read between the lines to see the true meaning of Mother’s Day.

By: Christa Melnyk Hines

Growing up, my brother and I loved surprising our mom on Mother’s Day with cards and small tokens of our affection. We’d even put aside our sibling differences to help bring a little peace to her day!

But I didn’t truly appreciate how much she did for us until I became a mom myself.

A few years ago, as I hunkered down in my bedroom closet in a desperate attempt to escape my two screaming youngsters for a few minutes, I called my mom in tears.

“What was I thinking? I don’t know how to be a mom! How did you put up with us? Motherhood is really hard!” I screamed to her on the other end of the line.

My mother laughed and reassured me I was doing just fine, and things would get better. Those simple words grounded me. I wasn’t alone. I felt better knowing my mom could empathize with my frustrations. And even though I was no longer a child, she was still there for support.

Sometimes we just need to be mothered, no matter how old we are.

My path to motherhood was challenging. After losing two pregnancies, I used to wonder if I’d ever have a child — a little someone who would sneak onto my lap, plant feathery kisses on my cheek and slip a homemade card onto my lap on Mother’s Day.

When my husband and I were finally blessed with our son, I spent my first Mother’s Day, and each one since, reflecting on how grateful I am to have been invited to join this swift-moving and often rocky ride.

Here are a few reasons why no Mother’s Day card could fully express the meaning of this day for me.


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Overwhelming Gratitude
My children teach me lessons of forgiveness, compassion and gratitude every day. I keep a gratitude journal to help me reflect on the positive when the day seems overwhelmingly crummy.

Supportive Community
Motherhood has opened doors for me in unexpected ways. Connecting with other moms has enriched my life with new friendships, humour and support. Thanks to my “mom community,” I’m more resilient and confident as a parent.

A Barrel of Laughs
My life is also bright with laughter! Kids are hilarious, which is why I also have a quote journal to record their amusing quips and observations. (Can you tell I like journals?) Sometimes the moment isn’t funny until you reflect on it later, like the time I discovered my son finger-painting his bedroom walls with petroleum jelly during naptime.

Forever Learning
Motherhood has given me the opportunity to help guide my children and learn right alongside them as they explore their interests and follow their passions.

A Second Chance at Childhood
Experiencing the world with spirited enthusiasm through a child’s eyes is like getting a second chance at childhood with the valuable perspective of age.

The goal of mothering is to raise thoughtful, independent citizens who will grace the planet with compassion, hope, respect and tolerance for others. That’s a lot of pressure! Mistakes happen. Sometimes we lose our tempers. Sometimes we make the wrong decisions. Apologize, forgive yourself and move on.

Unconditional Love
Motherhood has taught me how much comparison harms the spirit. Perfection is a facade. In reality, every mom has her own set of worries and struggles. One thing I know for sure: we love our kids unconditionally and our kids love us no matter what our talents –– or our shortcomings.

No, a card can’t possibly say all that. These life lessons are hidden in between the lines.

But yes, I’d still like that Mother’s Day card — I’ll cherish it and the lessons my family has taught me for years to come.

Read more all the pieces of our on-going Mom Confessional series here.

Christa is a freelance writer for numerous parenting publications around the U.S. and Canada. She resides in the heartland and is centred on her busy family, which includes her husband, two freewheeling sons and one exceptionally playful yellow dog. She is the author of Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life and a staff writer at Parenting Squad.

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