Mother’s Day is this Sunday and before we jump into weekend plans, brunch and family parties, I’d like to stop, pause and appreciate. I want to send a little reminder your way, letting you know how fabulous and important your role as a mother truly is. We all deserve a pat on the back, a hug and a smile for what we accomplish every day.
Sometimes we can get caught up in the idea of having to do everything bigger and better. That if we don’t get the best, or everything they want or ask for, then we let them down as parents. However, it’s the little things that count. The little things make the best moments.
I’d like to share a short story with you about making the little things count. It’s a story how I got my two boys, Bubb and Scout, to think I was the best mom ever.
About 10 years ago, my boys and I were in LA visiting and exploring the city when we found a man selling aquatic turtles outside a pet store downtown. Scout was 8 and Bubb was about 6 at the time. Because boys will be boys, and have to get their hands on every slimy, dirty creature they can find, we went home with two turtles that afternoon.
The boys had a great time playing with their new “friends” that week, but soon we’d have to fly back to Boulder, and getting their new friends home was going to be a little bit of a problem.
The morning we were set to leave, my boys kept saying, “Mom, Mom, what are we going to do? We HAVE to take our turtles!” Because no liquids were allowed through security, I knew our aquatic turtles were going to have to be land turtles for a few moments. We dumped out the water from their tiny tanks and in one swift, spontaneous (and clever) move, I placed the little turtles into my pockets.
I told the boys to go ahead of me through security and that I’d be close behind. Their faces were priceless as they thought, “What if Mom gets caught? What’s going to happen to our turtles? What’s going to happen to her?” I figured, “What’s there to lose?”…but deep down inside we were all sweating. What felt like five hours was only five minutes. All of a sudden I was through security without a single issue!
Soon the turtles were back in their filled tanks, tucked safely and soundly in backpacks. The turtles were happy, the kids were happy and I was happy. “You’re the best mom ever,” they shrieked as we continued to our gates. I could see in their eyes how special they felt. Their mom just did something pretty cool and made the day.
I love to tell that story because it’s such a good example of how the little things can make all the difference, especially to our kids. It’s not about taking them on an exotic vacation or buying them the newest cell phone. It’s about creating moments together. I’ve learned so much through parenting, but that’s one lesson I truly hold close.
I’ll never forget when Bubb insisted he needed a cell phone in middle school, even though he knew our family philosophy was he couldn’t get one until high school. “Everyone has a cell phone,” he’d say. “I’m the only one who doesn’t.” I told him, “That’s great! So, if you need to call me to pick you up, you can use any of your friends’ phones.”
I feel we have to do what’s right for our families. It’s not about what everyone else is doing because it might not be a good fit. We have to quiet the noise, center ourselves and learn what’s best for our own kids.
How many times do we get invited to endless parties, meet-ups or coffee dates? Our families have a lot going on and are being pulled in so many directions. We need to set boundaries and know when to turn down a few invitations. Maybe instead of attending that Friday night party at the neighbor’s, make it a movie night at home, instead. Order a pizza, watch a movie together as family and then tuck everyone in early. We’ll all feel better about where we are in the moment if we just stop and quiet the noise.
So, whatever you have planned this weekend, I hope you can appreciate the little moments with your family and quiet the noise a bit. Those are going to be the moments that matter the most to you and your family.
Enjoy your Mother’s Day, ladies. We appreciate you and everything you do, not just today, but every day.