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Mother’s Day: Hindsight 2020

Three generations of moms and daughters: my daughter, my mother-in-law, and me in our woods.

I kind of loved this Mother’s Day, maybe more than any other. For starters, my kiddos were mine, all mine, and bouquets were from our garden and woods this year. My boys gifted me creative songs made with some cool computer app, and my daughter made me amazing GF chocolate chip cookies. I awoke to snuggles from my beloved Chocolate Labs after sleeping until 7:30am (#momgoals), and then watched Michaela ride her horse before coming home for lunch and carefully wrapped, gifted candles from my hubby (which I had actually picked myself at Whole Foods the day prior). And I got some truly decadent organic jammies which felt like a real luxury as we work hard to save money these days. I hiked and sat around a fire with our quarantine cluster while enjoying an afternoon Old Fashioned, and enjoyed a Sunday roast that evening. 

Nothing was fancy or over the top but cozy and perfect in every way.

There were moments when my children drove me absolutely bananas, and moments where everyone just left me alone for a bit. There were moments when all the creatures were piled around and on me in claustrophobic bliss. But what I loved most was the simplicity and time of this past Sunday, relative to how busy our weekends have been in past years on Mother’s Day.  This year, I felt extra mom-like, surrounded by my brood of human and fur babies all day long, alongside and grateful for the adults who help me raise them, and, as ever, extremely appreciative of our homey haven in the woods where my family has spent nearly every waking moment for eight weeks.  

Like every Mother’s Day, I missed my own mom very much. To the moms doing this without and grieving their own deceased moms, I see you. My heart hurts with yours. This year allowed me time to just feel that grief and hurt a little. And that felt really good. And bad. But goodly bad.

Jeni & Judy Spear, Mother’s Day 1981 

Finally, I spoke to my most recent birth client for a long time by phone and felt so proud of her, her husband, and their four-day old human for doing this so gracefully, without the hands-on family and community love and support everyone deserves with a newborn. And I heard from so many others of you who have welcomed me into their birth rooms and homes before, during, and after babies were born over the last several years.

I am in awe of my clients celebrating their first days, weeks, and months as mothers during these bizarre times. (I pinky promise it gets easier.)

My beloved clients (Baby Phoenix and her parents) arriving home from her birth, just in time for Mother’s Day!

So to them and to all of you — all of us — we’re crushing it. Keep doing what you’re doing. If you have a crappy day where you sort of stink at momming, enjoy the unique beauty of this Groundhog Day cadence, wake up, and try again the next day. If you mommed like a boss, get after it again tomorrow, and call that friend you can always brag to (hi @kjmarkin!) and tell them each glorious moment of your parenting win. 

For now, I leave you with some pics and anecdotes from our Baby Botanica community, abundant with spectacular moms who make me proud to be a mom too. Enjoy!

Mother’s Day is full of creative, one-of-a-kind gifts!

“Ella, my nine-year-old, made this supermom picture for me. She spent a lot of time on it and was really proud to give it to me. It meant a lot to me!”

“My three-year-old drew different sized circles. When I asked her what the picture was supposed to be, she said ‘that’s you and that’s me,’ and my heart melted.”

“High: kids created a pretend high-end restaurant at home (Chez Maman), made a beautiful menu, dressed up as waiters, and served me and my mom dinner.  Low: the massive fight that erupted among the kids over who got to say ‘Welcome to Chez Maman, may I take your coat?”

“I received a personal DJ gig with 80’s hits.”

“My boys cleaned bathrooms… seriously…. best day ever.”

Amidst the sweetness and outdoor beauty,
some missteps, meltdowns, and even dark humor. 
All is fair in motherhood and Mother’s Day

“Mother’s Day was the first day in two months that we have left our neighborhood. We parked at a trailhead and walked a carriage trail into the Redwoods. We kept it simple and walked about a mile until finding a spot next to a creek. We sat and ate sandwiches as our Rosie played in the creek collecting stones, observing bugs, and splashing in the water. The day was a much-needed respite from the day-to-day monotony. It has not been easy having two babies under two during this time, away from family and friends and unable to socialize in the familiar ways. Things are starting to get easier here as we slowly and cautiously reopen. I’m still feeling the glow from Mother’s Day and holding on tightly to the feeling of peace that I felt in the woods.”

“Daughter: My mom tried to break into a closed park during quarantine and climb a fence…. we got caught, and I had to pretend we didn’t know it was closed while mom just smiled. Just to clarify that is both a high and a low of the day. Mom: Ha! Ha! [Pic taken] right before we got busted! ❤️ It was a beautiful day. “

“We took Moses [the dog] out for a family walk. He took off and was gone for two hours. My kids, mother, brother, sister-in-law, nieces, nephew, and David scoured the woods until we found him limping and scratched. They kept saying ‘Moses can’t die on Mother’s Day!’”

“Highlight is a toss up between sensory bin fun and Patrick greeting me with ‘why do you keep coming in here every day?’ when I got him out of bed in the morning. (I appreciate a good burn.)”

All in all, it’s about both showing appreciation to all of the moms in our life, and about being surrounded by whom you love, regardless of the circumstances. 
(And maybe, if you’re lucky, taking a moment for yourself too.)

“Social distancing with BFFs whose daughters grew up to be my BFFs in my driveway!”

“High: we got in matching robes and cuddled. Low: the bribery and negotiation it took to get this picture!”

“Since none of our kids still live at home, we celebrated by a long walk in our neighborhood.”

“A virtual Mother’s Day race and a hike on a new trail with no complaining allowed.”

“Declan and I (and Brian) took two long walks. This one was on a secluded wooded trail by our house. It was so nice to be outside with my two favorite humans! “

“This was my second Mother’s Day.  Last year Jack was too tiny for us to leave the house so I was saddened to still be in quarantine this year. I was sad to not go out and celebrate my own mother either. It is a tough time for mothers. Talking to many of my friends and family members, we are all so worn out, and it was nice to look forward to the one day where we can be taken care of. Don’t get me wrong. I understand people are dying, people are saying goodbye to loved ones via video, nurses and doctors see horrible things every day, and I never want to take away from that and cry out ‘woe is me’ but Mother’s Day was tough. My husband did everything he could to make me feel happy and loved. I can not deny that.”

From my family to your family, a belated and heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day!

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