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Personal Essay on the Best Present For Mother's Day

The Best Present Anyone Could Give Me on Mother's Day

Photographer: Maria del RioProduct Credit: Left - Everlane sweatshirt / Right - Marigot PJ shirt, J Brand tank topRestrictions: Editorial and internal use only. No advertising, no print.

Every Mother's Day that I've been fortunate to experience as a mother to my son, I get asked what I want. The problem is, what I want can not be purchased. Sure, some flowers or a mimosa would be nice, but what I really want is to not be stressed by the simple act of getting out of the house or planning a meal. That's why, this Mother's Day what I really want is time, the kind I used to take for granted.

Keep in mind, I'm not asking for time away from my kid. I genuinely feel like I get enough of that throughout the year, and my husband and I make a concerted effort to give each other personal space. While a little bit of privacy on my Mother's Day sounds great — maybe I can actually use the bathroom in peace for once — it's not what I'm talking about when I say I want more time. What I really want is for time to slow its roll and to stop feeling stressed and anxious about getting places and doing things. You know, the same kind of leisurely approach to activities that people without kids get to experience.

Weekends in my 20s were largely spent sleeping in, going to breakfast, and letting the day dictate the pace. Some Sundays would be more active than others, but largely, I had the freedom to go as fast or as slow as I wanted. I brunched, I ran, I napped, and I hung out, enjoying the sunshine and enjoying my time.

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The obvious difference, of course, is that in my 20s I was child-free, and I was my own boss. Now, my day is largely controlled by my almost 3 year old, which is how it should be. As a stay-at-home mom, every day I plan events for him, trying to navigate the need for bathroom breaks, educational functions, and ways for him to get his sillies out. Before, I would just get my own butt in gear if I wanted to leave by a certain time, but with a child, I know have to plan at least an extra half hour to get him packed up, dressed, pottied, and out the door. It's stressful and often makes me feel like I have no control of time. When this happens, it's hard to remember that these days with my young one are precious.

I realize that what I'm asking for is impossible. There is no slowing of time, unless my husband has been secretly working on a time machine in our basement, but I feel like I would have heard something at this point. No, there is no way to slow time, and there isn't any way to return to the way things once were, nor would I want to. I love my life, my family, and all of those crazy moments.

So maybe it's not time that needs to slow on Mother's Day, but me. Leisurely moments can be had with a kid, where the day determines what we do, and I'm not a ball of stress trying to leave the house for any particular event. Who cares if it takes longer than I would have liked to wrestle my toddler to get his shoes on. After all, these daily struggles are part of the memories I will look back on later and miss. If my perspective changes, maybe I can trick my mind into thinking time is actually slowing down. This Mother's Day, more important than flowers or homemade pasta art, this is all I want. That, and maybe a big glass of wine.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio
Product Credit: Left - Everlane sweatshirt / Right - Marigot PJ shirt, J Brand tank top
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