The Best Mother’s Day Gift: My Children

Yesterday was my son’s  7th birthday. Seven years ago, one week before Mother’s Day, he made me a mother.

Four years later, one week after Mother’s Day, I became a mother again. This time, to a daughter.

Best Mother's Day Gift My ChildrenI was gifted with two amazing little people.

There are some ways that bringing my babies into the world was not the most pleasant experience. When Ben was born he had some sort of bizarre vomiting and choking issue that awarded him three days in the NICU.  When Genevieve was born, my husband’s somewhat estranged mother sent hateful, accusatory, and demanding emails to me when I was still in the hospital.

In spite of the worry and upset associated with their births, nothing could take away that amazing feeling I had after giving birth. The hormones, freeing your body, and seeing that new little person you created, combines into the greatest cocktail of your life. It makes you feel light and airy. Energized. Deliriously happy. I’m sure there is a drug out there somewhere that makes you feel the same. I have often mentioned I wish I could bottle the post-birth euphoria, but without that sweet little baby, it just wouldn’t be the same.

There are some ways that being a mother is not the most pleasant experience. The hormones subside. The fatigue kicks in and never really goes away. New worries pop up. Maybe you allow them to dictate what kind of mother you will be. The kind of mother who is filled with self-doubt, stress, and worry. Maybe you don’t ever become the mother you thought you would be.

Motherhood is hard and overwhelming.  I’m sure fatherhood is too, but in my home, as in many others, I am the default. I do the lion’s share of the loving, the planning, the breaking up of fights, the discipline, the handing out disappointment.  It’s tumultuous, and many times I don’t know if I am coming or going.

It’s truly draining.

Motherhood is also glorious. On my children’s birthdays, I am almost able to recall that hormone cocktail feeling, when I recount to them their birth stories. I look at them and see their tiny infant faces, which I can still see through their growing kid faces. Everything stands still, and nothing else matters.

It’s truly refreshing.

The best gift I ever received for Mother’s Day was my children, and they never fail to give to me every day.

They give me eyes to see myself.

They give me love when I cannot love myself.

They give me pause to forget the stress and see the beauty and humor in every day.

They give me their trust, that I will love them and care for them unconditionally.

I often feel like I am not the mother I wanted to be. I am impatient. I’m overwhelmed. I’m annoyed. I yell. I am not always in the moment. The list could go on.

Yet, they continue to love me unconditionally, because I am their mother. And I them, because they are my babies.

That is the greatest gift of all.

*This post has been submitted to NerdWallet’s Mother’s Day Your Way Contest.

About Laine

Elaine GriffinElaine Griffin (a.k.a. Laine) is a freelance WordPress designer, content creator, and speaker. She brings her background as a sociologist, advocate, and educator, to her work and her writing, which has been featured on BlogHer and The SITS Girls. On The Laine List she spills her guts about life, motherhood, and balancing work and family. She also sprinkles in some fun recipe and cocktail posts. On Elaine Griffin Designs, she writes easy to follow tutorials about WordPress, social media, SEO, and blogging.
Working from her home office in Finger Lakes Region of NY, Elaine, a wine lover, also enjoys the beauty of living in wine country!

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  1. elaine plummer says

    Thank you for reminding me of the joy of young children from a young mother’s perspective. Now, 40 years later, I feel the same and more!!!! This is a fabulous Mother’s Day tribute and you, my dear, are a fabulous mother. You care so much and you love even more. All good, for sure!!
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Elaine Griffin says

      Oh, thank you so much Elaine! It’s wonderful to have such a supportive community of women to stand behind me! :)

  2. says

    I was nodding as I read this. You’ve written it so well. There is a lot I don’t like about motherhood, and a whole hell of a lot more that I never expected to love as much as I do. My kids surprise me, every day. They make me stronger and remind me that I’m brave, and drive me with their presence to work harder, laugh harder and get up when I fall down. Nope. No greater gift, Laine. You speak truth, lady!
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    • Elaine Griffin says

      Thank you Desi. I really appreciate your words, as I really admire you as a person and a mother to similarly aged children. I hope you had a wonderful day!

  3. says

    Your kids are adorable! I don’t think any mother feels she is always in the moment or perfect at it…but you’re right- those kids love us to pieces….and as long as they know that we requite that right back at them, we’re doing alright. So, you’re doing alright. :)
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  4. says

    It’s been way too long (as in embarrassingly long) since I browsed your website. Boy, have I been missing some great stuff. Your Mother’s Day post is just lovely. The sentiments. The insights. The honesty. The beautiful way you string sentences together. Your kids are lucky to have you as their Mom.

    Same goes for your derby posts. Glad to see you got your arse (if I may use the term here — and why not, everyone else does!) down to the rink. Reading about how you overcame your doubts is inspiring. Makes me question how much of that quality — Courage — I’ve got within myself.

    Keep up the great writing.
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