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A Mom’s Real Mother’s Day

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Written by Guest blogger

Shelle Lenssen

I know Mother’s Day is just around the corner because my first-grader is getting tight-lipped about the big project she’s working on in art class. She’s also nonchalantly asked if my favorite color is regular pink, light pink, or bright pink, and if I have ever eaten breakfast in bed. Likely my future contains a lovely pink handmade gift and my bed covered in spilled pancakes and orange juice. This reality of what my upcoming Mother’s Day will look like is a far cry from what I visualized before I actually had any kids.

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Before children were in the picture, I imagined my future Mother’s Days would be filled with fancy brunches, pampering, extravagant gifts, and lots of love and adoration from my husband and kids. Now that I’ve got 7 Mother’s Days under my belt, I can say my real version of Mother’s Day is a far cry from the fantasy. We tried going out to brunch one year, but the crowds were overwhelming to the kids, and what was supposed to be a leisurely meal was actually rushed and uncomfortable. While my husband has surprised me with some very extravagant gifts, in recent years, they’ve become much more practical. Last year, for example, we decided a repaired air conditioner was a better use of funds over a new pair of designer boots.

Since my oldest daughter started attending preschool, she’s made me many fabulous gifts and cards that she’s presented to me with much gusto and enthusiasm. Over the years she’s given me handpicked flowers, macaroni jewelry, handprint art, a decorated picture frame, and a lovely “coupon book” filled with sweet intentions. My two-year daughter old isn’t quite up to speed on Mother’s Day, although I’m sure she’ll finger paint a project with lots of zeal and passion. Whatever gifts these two offer on that special Sunday morning, I will receive them gratefully and love on these two babies that bring me more joy than I can possibly contain. I’ll do my best to spend some individual time with each of them, and make sure they know I get to be celebrated because the two of them made me a mother.

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The most pleasant and enjoyable Mother’s Days have been the ones where I kept my expectations in check and therefore didn’t get disappointed when things weren’t perfect. Grilling steaks, eating out on the patio, and laughing at the toddler gnawing on a T-bone were the highlights of last Mother’s Day. If this year’s celebration is just as simple and lovely as last year’s, I’ll be more than satisfied. I enjoy my family more when we’re low-key and casual, and they like me best when I’m not stressing about unrealistic expectations, and having a loving, happy family really is the best Mother’s Day gift I could ever hope for.