A Mother's Day to remember

I keenly remember showering mum with presents every Mother’s Day. As a kid, I used to spend so much time on a DIY card. I’d pick up a gift or two from the Mother’s Day school market, usually something quintessentially “mum” like a peg bag or an oven mitt, and try my best at spoiling her with breakfast in bed.

A lukewarm cup of tea and a slice of burnt toast later, my efforts were rewarded with a batch of her pancakes. There was something so satisfying about taking out one day a year to really thank the person who did more for me than anyone else in the world.

It always led to me imagining what Mother’s Day would be like when I started a family of my own; no doubt it would carry a similar tune to the ones I experienced growing up.

But my first Mother’s Day was starkly different than I ever imagined. The dog blissfully snoozing in the spot he once slept served as a poignant reminder of what was missing. Oliver, just 9 months old, is too young to spoil me with a handmade card or vegemite toast in bed.

That’s why dad needed to step up to the plate to thank mum for giving birth to his child, and pat her on the back for almost getting through the first year of a new baby unscathed. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d reach this milestone as a single mum.

Oliver beamed his infectious smile at me soon as I opened the door. That was worth more than any half-arsed effort his dad would have thrown together the night before. His unconditional love makes me bounce out of bed for a cuddle, smile among the chaos, and realise everything will always be okay… as long as we have one another.

And after all, this was no ordinary Mother’s Day. There was no time to dwell on what could or couldn’t have been… Oliver was being Christened, and I was determined to make it the most beautiful day full of love and laughter, surrounded by his immediate family on both sides and our closest friends.

Yes, that meant standing side by side with his dad while the Priest blessed our perfect child. My pain had to be pushed aside for the sake of unity. It was surprisingly easy pretending everything was perfect, I mean that’s what I’d been doing for the last 6 months for the sake of our child, so why should this day be any different?

This was Oliver’s day to create memories, hang with his mum and dad, and star as the centre of attention (which is usually the case anyway, what do you expect… he’s a leo baby!)

It was the most beautiful day. I know I can always look back with pride at how I handled the situation and my strength in pushing everything aside for the sake of Ollie. So while I may not have been served toast in bed, or received a card thanking me for being “the best mum ever”, my first Mother's Day was imperfectly perfect. I realise now that life isn't a fairytale. Just because I envisioned something unfolding a certain way, and the reality was starkly different, doesn't mean it was any worse. I still spent the entire day with my beautiful, healthy, thriving son, and that's worth more than any gift. I’m exactly where I need to be. This was our fate. And it won’t be like this forever. I won’t always be alone. There will be another man ready to shower me with praise and love. It’s unlikely it’ll be by the time the next Mother’s Day rolls around… but I deserve that love, and I will receive it.