A Day for Mamas

Been busy today– making mulberry/strawberry jam, fixing the bike trailer, unpacking, cleaning, and writing for the zine. Lord! What you can get done in just half a day when yer all by yer lonesome!

No time to fit in a Mother’s Day post though, almost forgot about it altogether. But, here’s a re-post from last year.
It’s good. You’ll like it.


from Open House for Butterflies by Marice Sendak and Ruth Krauss

My first mother’s day was a revelation.

As in– the heavens opened up, Somebody came through, and slapped my ass into line. Old testament style.

I had been looking forward to it as a day of rest and indulgence. A day off from all my hard mama work. A queen-for-the-day celebration of MeMeMe and all my amazing-ness. I thought I would lie down my Renaissance curves on the couch and someone would feed me grapes all day (or preferably coffee and chocolate.)

Yeah, I was asking for it.

My mom called early in the day, after I had finished up a morning alone in bed with coffee and a magazine, to wish me happy mother’s day. After we had both congratulated each other, and done all the catching up, she said,

“Well, enjoy your day with your beautiful little girl. You are so lucky to be a mama.”

And I was knocked flat.

Oh. Right. Mother’s day. Not a day to escape being a mother. A celebration of motherhood– all that I give, and all that I am given.

An old friend visited recently. She knows me about as good as anybody. On her last night in town, as I was finishing up a mama-bitch session, she asked whether there were any parts of mothering that I enjoyed.


Apparently I have not learned my lesson.

All I can say is, parenting is like nothing else. Nothing. It all starts with birth, and carries forth on a similarly mind-blowing level. It is so far beyond the hardest thing I ever imagined, and so far beyond the most joyful. It is truly intoxicating. To seed and grow new souls into the world– what greater privilege could there possibly be? What headier work?

Some days are blissful. My babies are vibrant budding souls and I am the model mama, mindful and nurturing.

Some days are the depths of hell. I writhe in confusion/disillusion/resentment/guilt/self-loathing until I have to go back to bed and pull the covers over my weeping eyes.

And we must take it all, like communion, with bowed head and downcast eyes. We are humbled before our babies, and ourselves; our gratitude and our responsibility. Humbled before our own power.

A couple of weeks ago, we were all standing in the kitchen, doing something utterly banal, I think I was pouring the Toddler juice. She looked up at me, and said, “You are a gate mama!” then turned to My Man and said, “You are a gate papa!”

Happy Mama Day to all you beautiful, hard-working, earnest-hearted mamas out there. In between the grapes, let us give thanks for the babies (and the papas) who make us what we are.

6 thoughts on “A Day for Mamas

  1. Can I first of all say – what BEAUTiful photos of your little one(s?)

    And Happy Mothers Day to you.

    I forgot about it this morning. My youngest had woken me before dawn and wrestled and tickled (and annoyed) me for about two hours when my eldest came in with a crown she’d gotten up and made and handed it to me saying ‘Happy Mothers Day.’ THAT was a present in myself, to have my child remember it when I hadn’t.

    I considered being annoyed that it was me who’d been awake for so long whilst my man was sleeping in the spare room – the final configuration of our nightly bed-hopping – on this, MY special day. And then I thought… who am I kidding. It was then that I realised that I’d well and truly buried the ‘grapes in the bathtub’ dream (finally.) I requested a ten minute pretend sleep-in and brekky and cup-of-tea in bed, and then it was back to the real world. And I am absolutely okay with that.

  2. And once you become a mother, you totally gain perspective on what your own mother went through, but at the same time, when Mothers Day rolls around, I am so busy helping my husband and my kids look after me, I forget I am to celebrate my own mother!! Luckily the kids are good at making spontaneous cards!

  3. Hallelujah to all that. Man I love the way you string those words together. I just want to say’ What she said’ …ad infinitum.

    Can you email me at rachaelmogan@gmail.com if you get time? I sent a msg to your listed email but am not sure if it made it to you. Happy Mothers Day, CJ. You’re doing a fine job on those two little people of yours- but you’re enhancing and articulating the experinec of other mothers too. So, well freaking done.

  4. Oh… yes as said over many times it is nothing like we ever imagined… Even when they get to 12 years old – I am still taken over by the changes and needs and etc. At least the youngest (22 mths) I have been there a few times I kinda know what I am in for – though it is so easy to forget the full on energy!!!

  5. yes I decided to make mother’s day a time to really just be totally with my daughter. We went swimming at the Y just the two of us, and played a lot. It was great. Sometimes I want the whole day to myself thingie but it just doesn’;t seem realistic. As she gets older this may change but not right now, and I’m glad I spent the time with her to really see these changes and interact without other chores diverting my attention.

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