[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to welcome author Alli Frank to the site today! She’s talking all things Mother’s Day. Take it away, Alli!]
I just finished Glennon Doyle’s Untamed like half the women in America. There were many wise nuggets to consider when navel gazing at one’s life, but the one that has continued to haunt me long after the acknowledgements is the martyrdom of the modern mama. There was a time when a child was born, child came home, mom popped a Tab after aerobics, called her friends and the kids gathered to play nerf wars in a backyard, a basement or a park somewhere. And people turned out okay. But now we parent for perfection, wholly giving our lives over to our children the minute we spy two faint pink lines. Or at least I thought we did until this March, the Coronavirus and the advent of social-distancing and sheltering in place. We have moved into a new era of parenting for protection. Protecting the health and well-being of our individual family members so we may hold equally essential the safety of everyone else in our community.
Mother’s Day 2020 is one we will never forget. Now, behind the moniker of mother and martyr we have earned the right, unwittingly, to add teacher, coach, librarian, chef, gardener, CEO, CFO, CWTFO, personal trainer, housekeeper, laundress, psychologist, warden and superwoman. If I could, I would send every mama out there a cape to sport with her transitional nighttime to daywear pajamas. Right now we are doing hard things on levels and in ways we never imagined.
So on the eve of Mother’s Day, otherwise known as Saturday night, when we are dining for the 932nd meal at Chez Mom, I’m going to present my family with two pieces of paper. One will state how I WANT to celebrate my motherhood when this pandemic nightmare is over, and I have shaved. Call it Mother’s Day 2.0. And my statement will read like a car going in for its 75,000-mile tune-up at a luxury dealership. I want to be washed, waxed, varnished, touched up and have a few things under the hood checked out after months of sequestration. The spa may have to keep me overnight. My spouse can pick me up in the morning when the work has been completed. I’ll be parked outside looking shiny and new.
My other list, my immediate list (we’ll call it Mother’s Day 1.0), will be what I need from the first cracked eyelid on Sunday morning after sheltering in place with my family for almost two months. Sleeping in won’t do. Breakfast in bed, not going to cut it this year. Homemade cards? This year my desires require more action, less sentiment. Don’t get me wrong, next year feel free to shower me with lukewarm scrambled eggs and misspelled love notes, but this year, I present you with a list of my needs on this MOTHER of all Mother’s Days.
-I NEED to not make one meal today, not even my own. Actually, I’m taking it up a notch, I need to not hear one person mention food, thirst or hunger, real or fake.
-I NEED to have a whole day not having to figure out a platform, website or piece of technology to further my child’s education or entertainment. I now know more about things I care nothing about than I ever thought I would have to contemplate (BTW Zoom was my favorite T.V. show growing up, so I guess this is where childhood and adulthood collide).
-Speaking of technology, I NEED a whole day not hearing anything ping, ding, chime, buzz, or talk to me if you go by the name Alexa.
-I NEED to hear “thank you”, “I love you”, “We wouldn’t be alive in this house without you”.
-I NEED 24 hours no tears. All smiles people, all smiles.
-I NEED evidence that others in the family know how to use a Swiffer.
-I NEED to call my mother and have an uninterrupted conversation. And then I need to call the other ride or die mothers in my tribe.
-I NEED to not pretend that LEGO Masters is a riveting family show.
-I NEED to read more than 3.25 pages before I have to set my desire for peace and quiet aside for someone else’s meltdown.
-I NEED to not step on a wayward Monopoly hotel.
-I NEED to have a drink for lunch without judgement. Yes, I said for, not with.
-I NEED the dog fed without me asking. And her poop picked up.
-I NEED my laundry washed, folded and stacked nicely on my dresser. And everyone else’s dressers too.
-I NEED the house to not be a disaster tomorrow from your efforts today.
-I NEED no one to NEED me.
-I NEED my NEEDS to come first.
-I NEED love.
-And by love, I mean I NEED a break.
If my family could deliver on even half of the above, then this really would be the MOTHER of all Mother’s Days. Other than that Superwoman cape (I promise to keep working on that for you) what do YOU NEED on May 10? Shoot for the stars, or really anything your family can do for you in the confines of four walls. Remember, beautiful things do come in smaller packages.
About the Author:
Alli Frank has worked in education for over twenty years, from an overcrowded, cacophonous public high school to a pristine private girl’s school. A graduate of Cornell and Stanford University, Alli lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and two daughters
Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans, out now!
All’s fair in love and kindergarten admissions.
At thirty-nine, Josie Bordelon’s modeling career as the “it” black beauty of the ’90s is far behind her. Now director of admissions at San Francisco’s most sought after private school, she’s chic, single, and determined to keep her seventeen-year-old daughter, Etta, from making the same mistakes she did.
But Etta has plans of her own–and their beloved matriarch, Aunt Viv, has Etta’s back. If only Josie could manage Etta’s future as well as she manages the shenanigans of the over-anxious, over-eager parents at school–or her best friend’s attempts to coax Josie out of her sex sabbatical and back onto the dating scene.
As admissions season heats up, Josie discovers that when it comes to matters of the heart–and the office–the biggest surprises lie closest to home.