Episode 69: Thoughts on Mother’s Day

This Sunday is Mother’s Day in the United States, and I felt inspired to share some thoughts and rants on the holiday.

When I recorded this episode two days ago, Nathan was scheduled to spend the weekend in Las Vegas with his best friend. A few people were horrified that I would let him “abandon me” on Mother’s Day, but I did not feel that way for many reasons.

  1. Nathan supports me throughout the year. He makes sure I get plenty of Me Time on the weekend so I can write and get massages. I take a spa day at least every other month (but really, it’s becoming more of a monthly tradition.)
  2. I don’t think Mother’s Day is the sort of holiday that needs to be confined to a single day. Last weekend, I got a pedicure and massage. Sometime later this month, I’ll take some more relaxation time. The spirit of Mother’s Day will be honored.
  3. I don’t need cards or expensive bouquets. I’d much rather buy myself a house plant and get cute handmade gifts from preschool.
  4. I’m playing the long game. Nathan and I take turns taking mini-vacations. He went to Vegas last summer. I went to Manhattan with my sister two weeks ago. Once Nathan goes to Vegas, I’ll have credit to take another trip in 2018. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but just the prospect energizes me.

But since recording the episode, things have changed. Pippa has pneumonia. So far, she has been a trooper. But yeah, as much as I want Nathan to get the chance to recharge his batteries in Vegas, I’m not comfortable with him taking that trip while our daughter has pneumonia.

Pippa’s pneumonia guarantees that Mother’s Day will not be about me. I’m not rushing off to a spa while my 5 year old has pneumonia. And I’m okay with that. Instead of wallowing in negatives – “woe is me, pneumonia on Mother’s Day!” – I’m focusing on the positives. Pippa had a mystery fever for several days. Of all the possible diagnoses in the world, pneumonia is not so bad. It’s 2018, we live in Pasadena, and have access to excellent medical care. She’s taking antibiotics and will make a full recovery. That is what matters.

On my first Mother’s Day as a mama five years ago, I was in the darkness of postpartum depression. If Pippa had had a cold, I would have been overwhelmed. Now, I’m able to look at pneumonia as a blessing! I’m so grateful that I made my mental health a priority and got myself to this place.