Home is where your MOM is

“Home is where your Mom is” is on a cute little sign my oldest daughter gave me when she first went away to college.  I made chocolate chip cookies this week for Carrie’s final lacrosse game (because that’s a big part of my mom role!) and had them cooling on the counter in front of this little sign.  It made me smile to think of my oldest and also got me thinking about Mother’s Day and what I love about it.

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My oldest daughter, Hannah, and I were super close (fortunately, we still are!) and it was difficult beyond words for me to be 9 hours away from her when she started college.  When she went away, our family moved as well.  Our “home” as we knew it was no more.  It was a time filled with change, excitement, fear and adjustment.  I’d gone through this before with my own parents and this notion of “home” being associated with a house was lost.  What I realized, through Hannah, was love = home.

Growing up, I remember making little cards and gifts for my mom but, to be honest, nothing really sticks out for me about what we did for her for Mother’s Day.  When I became a mom, Mother’s Day was a day dedicated to spending time with my daughter.  I worked in a corporate marketing job and our days and weeks were busy with early morning and late night day care runs, working nights after she went to bed, and simply doing all the other things to get by as a single mom.   When Mother’s Day rolled around, I just wanted to be still and enjoy a full day of mommy/daughter time!

I started a Mother’s Day tradition with my daughter of going to a local greenhouse to buy flowers we could plant in pots to enjoy all summer long.   She and I would go to church, then head to the greenhouse and spend the day enjoying each other and planting flowers.  It was special to us and super low key.  We looked forward to it every year!  Eleven years later, when my second daughter came along, we continued the tradition for several years.  Mother’s Day has never felt high pressure to me.  I think I’ve always looked forward to it as a day to focus on my kids and take a day to not feel guilty for just being with them and savoring the entire day.  I take my Mother’s Day over the top by having them sleep with me the night before and all of us waking up in the same bed Mother’s Day morning!

My oldest lives in another state and my youngest is almost 13.  This Mother’s Day will be spent working on a big school project and that’s fine with me.  We’ll Facetime with Hannah, my mom, my mother-in-law and my stepmom throughout the day and soak in all the feelings of home.  Connecting, sharing stories from our week and seeing each other laugh and feel all the happy!

Being a mom is my favorite role.  It certainly has its fair share of the 3 Fs:  frustration, fatigue and failure.  Thankfully, it’s mostly full of joy, pride and love that I never knew before.  It’s the role in my life that fills me the most and causes me the most worry.  I adore my girls and love our close connection to each other.  I’m their biggest fan and love them more than they can ever know.  I always want to feel like home to them no matter how far apart we are or what day of the year it is.

For all the moms who are expecting, have newborns, toddlers, teens, kids in college, or kids who’ve become adults and left home to start their own lives, I wish you a Mother’s Day full of what makes you feel good! For all the moms who’ve experienced loss and find yourselves sad on this day, my hope for you is that you can surround yourself with people who love you and make you feel good because we all deserve that.   For all the people who are fortunate to have a mom around, I hope you find a feeling of home when you see or talk with her.

A Mother’s Day packed with dedicated time and love (and maybe cookies) is a day that sounds amazing to me!  Feel free to share your Mother’s Day traditions or, if it’s different every year, I’d love to hear all about it!

From the heart,
Shannon

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