Our Five Ring Circus: A Socially Distanced Mother's Day

Monday, May 11, 2020

A Socially Distanced Mother's Day

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When social distancing began, I didn't think we would still be in "quarantine" for Mother's Day, yet here we are! Truth be told, it didn't matter where we were today, as long as we were able to celebrate motherhood. I spent the day with the five beautiful kids who call me mom, and had a short visit with my own mother. The day wasn't perfect, but it was exactly how it was supposed to be during this stage in life!

I sometimes have a difficult time letting go of the concept of perfection, but as I get older, I'm learning. Mother's Day is not supposed to be filled with one picture perfect moment after another. Motherhood is incredibly beautiful, incredibly emotional, incredibly challenging, and incredibly rewarding. Motherhood is both perfect and messy at the same time, and it makes sense that Mother's Day will be the same way. The trick is to focus on the moments that are so good that they will take your breath away, and be captured in your memory forever!

I never thought I would be raising five children. I always hoped for four kids, but I didn't think it would be my reality. My wish came true, along with something a little extra AND a bonus baby! Even on the days when raising children brings me to my knees, I still thank God for the gift of motherhood. There is so much pressure to be more than just a mom, but I consider it my most important task, and I am SO proud of my little humans!
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Now, more than ever, life is especially challenging. Being forced together 24/7 in quarantine, and juggling work, schooling, and therapies within the home is testing ALL of us. This year, we are all exhausted. I know we can all relate in some way, but right now, my sanity is being tested each day. Mother's Day is usually a time to pause, honor moms, and reflect on motherhood, but so many of us are at our wit's end!

This year, I woke up with my heart not really in it. Between social distancing, worrying about coronavirus, homeschooling, trying to get everything done, helping my kids sort through their feelings during all of this, and now a teething baby with a fever, who had another seizure/fainting episode on Saturday, I was just TIRED. Physically and emotionally exhausted on a level I have never reached before now. 

Coen woke me up with his fussing before the rest of the family was awake. We headed to the living room together, and I was in a funk. I commiserated with friends who were also in the same boat, and was feeling very sorry for myself. When I looked down and spotted my beautiful baby smiling up at me, it hit me that I had a CHOICE. I could either let my feelings over a situation that is out of my control completely destroy my day, or I could focus on what truly matters.

Obviously, I chose the second option! I counted my blessings - my husband, our kids, our family and friends, our health, the fact that my husband has a job where he can work remotely, our home, our pets - those are the things that matter the most. With that, I was able to move on with my day. 

Like I mentioned it wasn't perfect, but with 7 people in a family, it rarely is. There is always noise, chaos, and often bickering, and today was no different! But there is also a lot of love, laughs, family togetherness, and happy memories. I was with my people today. I loved fiercely, and I felt the love in return!

Today, I chose to focus on all the moments that make motherhood my favorite thing ever. I chose hugs, kisses, and snuggling. I chose laughter, smiles, and happiness. This day was so average and so simple, but it turned out to be one of my favorite days!

My blessings today were abundant!

I woke up with a baby in my arms. A baby that I never expected to have. A baby that I didn't know I wanted or needed. The baby who completes our family. 

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I had breakfast with my sweet baby in my cozy and comfortably messy living room, with Moana on in the background. We exchanged smiles, and shared the delicious Amish donuts my dad delivered on Saturday!

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I was greeted with "Happy Mother's Day!" Not once. Not twice. But FOUR times! (And if Coen could say it, I'm sure he would!)

I held my baby as he had another episode, and just thanked God that it isn't nearly as serious as what many other mamas are dealing with, and felt relief that I was there to hold him and comfort him until he was back to his usual self. I reminded myself that although we might feel alone, and not have definite answers, he is still healthy and thriving.

My kids - and Grant - gave me six of the most thoughtful quarantine gifts. It may not have been elaborate, but each gift was well thought out and had a story behind it!

I was thankful for every homemade, heartfelt card and gift. The handwritten cards with sweet drawings and messages from Dylan, Lexie, and Lily, the Mother's Day flower pot craft that Lexie had to force Liam into making, and the printable that Lily's teacher emailed me this morning of the answers to the questions she asked her in a Zoom meeting last week will FOREVER be among my favorite gifts!

The workout clothes from Dylan will go to good use since I exercise almost every single day in quarantine, and pretty much live in workout clothing now. (Who am I?!?) I will wear them during my quarantine workouts, but can't wait to wear them while running on my favorite trail when this is all over!

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The mug Lexie gave me for my daily hot tea made me laugh out loud. I ALWAYS sarcastically say "This is going well!" with a huge smile, while struggling to keep Lily calm during homeschooling, or forcing Liam to sit through a Zoom meeting or teletherapy. It will forever remind me of this time!

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The sour candy from Lily is catering to my sweet tooth. I don't drink alcohol, so wine-o-clock is actually candy-o-clock for me. I hid it in my room, but already ended up sharing! The sweet bouquet on the mantle was one that she asked Grant to buy for me, and proudly presented to me on Saturday. I'm not a bouquet of flowers kind of girl, but I love it!

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My favorite candy is white chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Liam hugged the bag, and kept saying "Nindy!" after he opened it. I sat my gifts on the kitchen table before leaving briefly to drop off my mom's gift, and I will always remember coming home, and finding the bag open with about 10 candy wrappers strewn all over the table. I KNOW who did it!

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My sweet Coen's gift was very funny and ironic! I have a chapstick addiction, so it was a new one for my collection, that is supposed to be relaxing. Coen is our most needy, emotional child right now, and due to teething, he has been very fussy. Sure enough, he cried his way through this gift opening!

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I was grateful for the fact that my husband made sure Mother's Day gifts happened this year. He has a TON on his plate, too, but he made sure I had a good day.

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I got to see my mom! I get groceries and items from the store for my parents, so I do see them regularly during all this, with caution, but I can't wait to be able to let our guard down and stop worrying! I know how blessed I am to have my parents in my life, and I don't take that for granted. Every holiday and birthday spent with them is a gift! (I'm not allowed to share a photo because she wasn't wearing makeup - haha!)

I didn't have to cook! Instead, we got Chinese food for takeout. And even bigger blessing is the fact that Lexie and Lily are completely in charge of cleaning up the dishes, drying them, and putting them all away! Lily always dried and put away dishes as her chore, but exie offered to pick up some slack last week to ease the burden on me. It may not seem like much, but it really took up a lot of my time!

We spent time together in the backyard. We enjoyed the not as cold weather, our pretty backyard that is in full bloom, and we jumped on the trampoline for a while.

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We had a family movie night, and watched Mr. Mom. It's a movie I regularly watched with my own mom during our frequent movie nights!

Although we didn't get to visit Grant's mom and nannie, we were able to chat with his mom. We have to be careful right now since Nannie is 95, and Grant's mom looks after her. Not being able to celebrate the other awesome moms in our lives was tough, but we will make up for it soon, I hope!

I snuggled with my sweet, sleeping bonus baby, while Grant and I watched some shows on Netflix. He has my heart!

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My Mother's Day ended with so many hugs, kisses, and smiles, and SO much love, which are the best gifts of motherhood!

When I am able to look back on this day, I will remember it fondly! I spent the day in quarantine with the six people I love most. If I am able to celebrate every Mother's Day with my 5 greatest accomplishments, I will be the luckiest mom ever. Yes, motherhood is filled with many challenging moments, but I count my blessings every single day. For me, that's 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 AMAZING gifts. I am beyond blessed. Motherhood is a beautiful gift, and I am so thankful for my five incredible blessings who call me mom!

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How did you celebrate Mother's Day this year?

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