I have to remember to lower my expectations for holidays. When my expectations are low and things go wrong, the expectations are met, and I am satisfied. When things go right, I am surprised and happy. High expectations of things beyond my control breed dissatisfaction.
Part of the problem with Mother’s Day this year was that I couldn’t really decide what I wanted from the day. For the weeks leading up to the day, I dreamed of several hours to myself – to go out hiking with the dog or at least to the fabric store to get fabric for a new quilt. I wanted recognition for my hard work and long hours as a mom and recognition that I had once had a life separate from child and job.
As the weekend approached, I changed my mind and decided that Mother’s Day should be about appreciating my relationship with my child. I wanted to, with finals behind me, be able to play with her and be fully present in the moment, not worrying about tomorrow’s lecture. I wanted lots of hugs and snuggles and giggles. And, I reminded myself, I could still take the dog for a short walk and enjoy a couple of hours to myself during her naptime. I planned to use that time to update Minnow’s blog with photos and video from the last two months. That way I could revel in my daughter’s cuteness *and* have at least a lame present for her grandmas to enjoy at the end of the day.
The day started out well enough. A late Saturday night allowed a lazy Sunday morning and breakfast at a greasy spoon. The weather was threatening, so after we got back from breakfast I took the dog out for a walk in the neighborhood. When I got back 30 minutes later, Minnow was asleep in Fish’s lap (so cute!). I started to upload the videos.
And five minutes later Minnow woke up. And refused to go back to sleep. Instead she spent the afternoon, alternately fussing, playing, throwing food, begging to nurse, and refusing to sleep. When she was happy, I’d ask Fish what he wanted to do with the afternoon, and he’d ignore me. He didn’t encourage me to go out on my own and he didn’t want to do anything as a family. So I got crabby. I spent a while reading blogs, a while playing with Minnow, a while doing laundry…basically just wasting the day.
After a couple of hours, Minnow decided to play outside, and I went to push her on the swing. When we got back in, Fish was busy reading a cookbook and then got to work in the kitchen — completely ignoring Minnow and I. He’d decided to cook dinner, which is sweet, but would have been sweeter with a little better communication. At 5:30 dinner was ready, and Minnow had a melt-down. Finally she did take a nap for 45 minutes. More miscommunication between Fish and I followed until bedtime and when he went to put her to bed (= 30 minutes of full-on screaming) I collapsed into bed as well – just eager for the miserable day to be over.
Anyways, it was a pretty crappy day. I didn’t get any substantive time to myself, I didn’t get the giggles with Minnow, because she was mostly over-tired and cranky, and I didn’t even get a clean house, any work done, or any food in the fridge to get us through the week.
I’m not anxious for next Mother’s Day to roll around – thank goodness it’s 52 weeks ago. Until then, I’ll try to enjoy plain ol’ weekends, when I put Minnow down for her naps and bedtime, and, more importantly, when my expectations are almost non-existent.