Yesterday was Mother's Day, and I had somewhat of a victory over myself, which might be worthwhile to chronicle. I found myself feeling left out of the loop with my family and that is an uncomfortable feeling, but there is good reason for it. Even though I am a grandmother of 31, and great-grandmother of 12 beautiful "greats", I am still a MOTHER, and I like to be recognized as such.
Because four of our seven children are now grandparents themselves, they are in that stage of life when the demands on their time are even more than when they just had young children at home. Now, besides having children still at home, they have married children to keep in touch with and grandchildren to do things for and with, and five out of the seven daughters and daughter-in-laws also have jobs outside the home. Even though they are not full-time jobs, they are nonetheless challenging for a mother, and these mothers are also involved in their children's education and activities. Our sons, and sons-in-law all have demanding jobs which take a lot out of them and two of them have to travel and are away from home a lot which means more of the responsibility falls on the wives.
All this adds up to very little time or energy to spend with the "older generation" (that is US--their parents.) It isn't because they don't TRY. They really would like to spend more time with us, but the truth of the matter is that we are busy, too and with their schedules and ours, it is really, really difficult to find times when we can be together.
Such was the case on Mother's Day. None of our daughters or daughter-in-laws was free to come to our home because their families were doing things for them, which is as it should be. However, three of our daughters invited us to their homes for dinner, but Jana and I decided it would be too long of a day for us to go clear to Layton and back after church , and Loree and I decided we had been to their home for the past two holidays, so it was Holly's TURN to have us to her house. Holly's house was also the closest, so that would work out well, but we weren't due there until 6:00 p.m.
Since our church doesn't start until 1:00, and I woke up at 6:00 a.m. I had a long lonely morning to look forward to, and I was feeling very sad not to be with any of my family. When I realized I had a choice, I could spend the morning feeling lonely and left out, OR I could think of someone else and do something creative to let them know I was thinking of them. I got the idea to write a letter and poem to the mothers of young children in my neighborhood and ward and in my family and let them know I thought they were doing a great job and that I noticed and empathized with them for the hard job they were doing.
Then Gary prepared a lovely breakfast for me, and surprised me with a very thoughtful gift, which delighted me . I was really pleased with his gift because it was the perfect gift for me right now--an outdoor reclining chair that I can sit in comfortably outside and read or rest, or just be near Gary while he works in the garden or yard. His thoughtfulness lifted my spirits considerably, and then writing the Mother's Day letter and poem, and giving it to some lovely young mothers before church, during church and after church really made the difference for me.I had a lovely day because of changing my focus.
I also e-mailed the letter and poem to my daughters and granddaughters who have young children at home and got some sweet feedback from them, which showed me yet again that I am loved and looked up to, and I know they would spend time with me if they could. And I should mention that I heard from every one of my children during the day or the day before, and received some very nice gifts, as well!
Nonetheless, this is, indeed, a difficult time in my life because I am so used to being an integral part of my children's lives, and yet it just isn't possible anymore, and as I have mentioned in other blogs, this is a big transition for me. I am constantly needing to change my focus and learn how to find my happiness in other things that are possible right now.
My next post will explore some of the ways I am trying to do that. But yesterday I did good!