Being a victim, even on Mother’s Day, is a choice. When my twin daughters were three, Mother’s Day found me as an exhausted, bewildered mom. I wondered…where was my Mother’s Day? Where was the recognition? Where were the flowers? Three year olds are too young to do this job themselves. They need the help of their father! If you read The Competitor in Me, you know the answers to those questions. Married to a mostly absentee parent, the short answer that day was, “it ain’t happening.”
Most of the time, I was too busy with my twins to notice the neglect. On Mother’s Day, it was painfully obvious. After a morning giving my Mom the attention and love she deserved, I spent the rest of the afternoon alone, playing with my twins. Somewhere close to dinner it hit me: I could be a victim of this day or I could turn it around and do something about it. Beyond my growth, I needed to lead by example, and show my girls how I was personally accountable for my happiness.
I called the Elm Grove Inn, a fun little place that no longer exists, and asked if they could do a special carry out dinner for me and my three year old twins. They didn’t normally offer carry out meals, but given my request “absolutely we can make your Mother’s Day dinner!” I hesitated for a moment when the man asked what I would like for dinner. This was one of the first moments I allowed myself to be rewarded. I indulged in a delightful shrimp entrée. This moment is the best Mother’s Day memory I have.
Getting my own quality dinner that I didn’t have to cook was the first step in a giant leap to owning my reaction to life circumstances. In the years to come, I found ways to, um, improve my circumstances (you can also read about that in The Competitor in Me). Yet the most meaningful growth was in being personally accountable for my happiness, no matter the day on the calendar. Life is too short to sit around being a victim. I waited and waited…it was time to stop waiting. It isn’t easy to break away, as our brains love this sort of pain, but the champion heart inside each of us won’t stand for it. The champion inside each of us knows there is abundance in every day, especially in the days of being a mother to adorable twins.
Now, Mother’s Day is still a day to give love and attention to my amazing mother, but also a day I am personally accountable for having a good time. Over the years, I am imprinting this mindset on my three daughter’s, which I see as the ultimate gift from me to them. I make a list of the things I would like to do for Mother’s Day. Yes, a list. As expected, the first time I busted out my list, the family was scared. Then they saw what was on the list, and relaxed a bit.
1. Picture of all three children together.
2. Long run.
3. Carry out Indian for dinner.
4. One kick butt game of Scrabble or Monopoly.
Another Mother’s Day is upon us. You can romanticize about what should be, or you can do something to make it what you want it. Take time now to think about how you can have a personally accountable Mother’s Day. Give your heart a chance to speak up. You won’t be disappointed. And, you most certainly won’t be a victim.
- Freedom Friday!
- When no one is Looking