Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Mother’s Day May 10, 2015

For all the trouble with Mother’s Day that many people may have, whether it has to do with only appreciating the mother once a year, with not having a mother, with not being able to or not wanting to be a mother, or the sappiness and commercialization of the whole holiday, and other scenarios that might exist, it’s an interesting day.

I offer the caveat that I’m sorry if this day brings you more sorrow than joy.

Six years ago, Seamus’s due date was May 10th, which also happened to be Mother’s Day in 2009. I thought it was funny that my baby might make me a mother on Mother’s Day. That didn’t happen; he came early. Last night though, he and I were laughing about how funny it would have been if they’d been the same day.

Seamus and Gilbert both did Mother’s Day projects in school. (I tried to probe with them a bit about if someone had two mothers, could they do Mother’s Day stuff for both? They said, yes, but the student would have to work really hard to get it all done.) They were really eager to give me their gifts, but I said they had to wait until today. Last night, Seamus said, “I can hardly wait to wake up so I can give you my Mother’s Day present.” Seamus’s gift was a book with a picture of him on each page, a drawing about me, and some words. Hilarious and wonderful. Gilbert’s was a card, a plant, and a picture of me with him and Seamus. Also hilarious and wonderful. Seamus was very concerned that we might recycle or throw away the book at some point in the future. I assured him that I would keep it. (I think he’s going to test me on that.)

My biggest gift today has been finishing my grading. I am now officially free to think about things other than school for a whole five days!

Many of my friends are celebrating their first Mother’s Day as mothers this year, other friends double or triple upped! I’m happy to also celebrate grandmothers to the boys and mothers to us, GG the boys’ great granny, other community women that make it possible to raise a child as part of a village–aunts, friends, babysitters, sisters, and neighbors. I hope you all have a wonderful day, whether you’re kayaking with the family, having a picnic, avoiding the crowds, or spending time with those you love best!

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