Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Low Mom on the Totem Pole

Mothers' Day 2012
Mothers’ Day is supposed to be a day of honoring and pampering good ol’ mom. As a new mother, you anxiously await that first special Mothers’ Day when you will be among the cherished women of the world. But wait! You might now be a mom, but you are probably also a daughter. You are probably even a grand-daughter to at least one beloved woman. Don’t forget that most new moms are also daughters-in-law. Yep, that means grand-daughters-in-law too. You might even be a great-grand-daughter-in-law!  I won’t get into the “Step” thing. I think you get it. What does this mean to the new mom? You are the “Low Mom on the Totem Pole.”
If your little one is in preschool and is under 10, you just might get a card made at school. You might get breakfast in bed, but probably cold because baby, toddler, kid needed something changed, fixed, etc. before it can be delivered. Those that made you a mother will want to make you feel special. However….by the time Mothers’ Day arrives, you are probably exhausted after trying to honor all of the women in your life who hold the title of Mother. Will your Mom, Nana, Granny, Grams, etc. and their in-law counterparts fully appreciate how long it took you to paint baby’s feet to imprint upon those tote bags that you personalized with puffy paint? When they visit the house, will they notice the splashed blue splotch of paint on the wall that you missed? They won’t have to know that the lovely throw on the sofa serves to cover up the baby barf stain from when you propped baby up to take that special photo for their cards. Don’t think about the fact that you’ll be cleaning the house again tomorrow, even if you didn’t have to do the dishes today.
Why doesn’t your sister, brother, etc. host the Mothers’ Day brunch? Why don’t you just go to a restaurant? Because you volunteered, knowing it would be easier than being in a crowded restaurant with a baby, toddler, bored kid, etc. Because you can have all sides of the family come to you instead of having to go all over town. Because it is better than a long car ride that throws off naptime (for you, not the kids) and can test your sanity with crying, arguing, “I’m bored,”or hearing The Wiggles greatest hits again. Because single adults in the family often expect their own mother to invite them over. Because you really do want to make sure all the mothers you love can relax and enjoy the day.
But here’s the good part: Being the Low Mom on the Totem Pole is the best spot to be. One day you’ll find that you’ve risen up the totem pole as your kids have risen in height. Instead of needing a break from the kids, you’ll be hoping they come to visit. Being Low Mom also means you have all of those experienced women to help you, support you, advise you. Each in their own way will love you and give you hope that you actually can survive childhood, the teen years, and their adulthood.. As years pass, you’ll realize you’re using their recipes or cleaning tip.  When you are closer to the top of the totem pole, it’s bittersweet to realize how much you miss all of the mothers and grandmothers who aren’t here anymore. You’ll realize how much you’ve grown yourself.  If you didn’t remember to make your own set of baby footprints and cards then, you will now be in possession of the ones you gave those special women. E-cards just aren’t the same and you’ll be glad you put pen to that now faded paper.
So here’s to the Low Moms on the Totem Pole. You hold us old-moms up and keep us going. May all of you remember to take time to honor yourselves – just pick another day than Mothers’ Day.

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