MOTHER’S DAY – Lowering our Expectations

Hi!  I’m Melina, a homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2.

First of all, I want to say how much I LOVE being a grandmother.  If you’re not one yet, it is something very special to look forward to.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am crazy about babies, and strangers are tolerant of you talking to their children, but what I really want to do is hold the child – and as Grandmelina I get to do that.  Nine days – that’s how old my youngest grandchild is.  I got to hold her when she was just hours old.  I got to smell that newborn smell, look in awe at her perfect features, and hold her close to my heart.  Already I can’t wait for the next one!  But I am happy to enjoy the 2 I have so far.

Now on to a lesson I learned earlier on.  I say earlier on because it did take quite a few years (and quite a few children) before I learned this lesson.  Now I enjoy Mother’s Day so much more!

I had 4 or 5 kids at the time.  I remember standing in the kitchen crying.  It was Mother’s Day in the evening, and I was standing by myself washing dishes – and crying.  I had prepared the dinner, served it, and now I was cleaning up by myself listening to my husband and young kids having a lot of fun in the living room.  There was lots of laughter.

Of course, I was having a pity party for one.  There were no dollar store gifts.  There were no homemade cards.  No one made me dinner or spoiled me.  No one was insisting that I sit while they cleaned up the kitchen. This was my single worst Mother’s Day ever, but I learned an important lesson.

As I stood there with the tears pouring down my face, God gently reminded me that I was a MOTHER.  What did being a mother mean to me?  In part it meant preparing meals that we could sit and enjoy as a family, taking the time to visit with one another and to enjoy each other’s company.  It meant guiding the older ones in service, helping the younger ones, serving my husband and leading by example.  It meant serving my family joyfully, every day, without exception – including Mother’s Day.

I realized that the best way to celebrate Mother’s Day was by being a mother – the best mother that I could be.  To be joyful, and content, and peaceful.  Suddenly the laughter from the other room no longer meant that I was forgotten or excluded, but that my family was happy and healthy and enjoying each other.

I also learned to announce to the kids that Mother’s Day was coming up and that I expected them each to come up with something to give or to do.  It is now a tradition that I get breakfast in bed. Sometimes each child insists on contributing to the tray.  One year I even got raw cabbage because they tried to have 10 different items on that tray and that’s all they could come up with.  The men at church cook lunch for the ladies.  Supper is take out on disposable plates.  No food prep.  No dishes.  Just time spent together and me treating myself.

Contentment and planning – 2 key elements to a successful and joy filled Mother’s Day.  I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow will bring 🙂


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