My darling husband got into a war of words with my don’t mess-with-me-mom, my MIL went inexplicably MIA, and my morning consisted of cleaning upchuck chunks from a crib sheet. Perhaps this montage reads as a relatively normal unfolding of events for mommies with semi-functional families. But it just so happens I’ve described Mother’s Day 2012–my first as a mother. I’ll never forget that humid day in May, regardless of the therapy and Sancerre I’ve since consumed in completely socially-acceptable quantities.

It didn’t seem fair. All of my friends brunched in perfectly pressed peplums, flashing toothy smiles for their soon-to-be Instagrammed photo-ops: #motherlylove  #myfirstmothersday #checkoutmycartierlovebracelet #omgpregnantagainbestmothersdaygiftever. They received long stemmed tulips, seven-dollar cards from Papyrus, and passé Helen Ficalora charms engraved with their children’s initials. They hugged their moms and grandmothers and aunts and sisters, and felt as though their spouses and toddlers finally appreciated them after a year of hard labor that no one expected to persist beyond the delivery room. Or did they? Perhaps, this was my Hallmark Channel fantasy of what Mother’s Day should look like. Perhaps the reality no one talks about takes on the form of a pediatrician’s office or something equally germ-ridden and unpleasant.

Could it be that stuffing a celebration of mothers into one lousy day creates too much pressure? What if I’m not in the mood to eat eggs Florentine after a night infused with teething woes and hormonal sweating? Why must I feel guilty about the bouquet he bought at double the price, and then angry that he chose the wrong color and kind? Do I really have to explain why a picnic in the park sounds way less fun than a nap and shower sans familial obligation? And conveniently, Mother’s Day always seems to sneak up on me when it’s seventy-five, a day for shorts, and I haven’t yet started my summer slim-down.  What’s the point of prancing around proudly on Mother’s Day if you can’t claim yourself as a MILF?

Obviously, I speak in jest (kinda). I relish my role as a mama-bear and couldn’t fathom life without my own to turn to. Mothers make the world go round. But maybe a word of encouragement on a random Tuesday, or a daily “thanks” for scrubbing out straw cups, would remind us of our rock-star status. This way, if Mother’s Day 2013 manifests as a disaster (think: Brandi Glanville’s fashion flub at the Academy Awards), you can cherish the other 364 days as the fearless, fabulous mothers you are and never, ever let anyone forget it.

Unsure what to put on your wish-list as May 12th approaches? Consider neck candy with a mother’s most responsible message. Check out this blog:  which features the Wear It Don’t Bear It pendant. The uber-cool charm insists upon an end to gun violence in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. Otherwise, treat yourself to a cocktail and Brandi Glanville’s memoir, Drinking and Tweeting—in spite of her dress debacle, she offers a sharp spin on bad break-ups and marvelous mommy-hood.

Mamaste, JLB.


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What’s on your wishlist for  Mother’s Day?

Jenny Ladner Brenner

Jenny Ladner Brenner

Jenny Ladner Brenner is a native New Yorker with a home on the Upper East Side. Somewhere in between tending to a toddler, caring for a cockapoo, and paying attention to an overworked husband, she managed to release her debut novel, THE DINNER PARTY, which explores the explosive cocktail of friendship and marriage among twenty-somethings living in New York City. Jenny has been featured and interviewed on various websites and blogs, and is currently refining the concept for her next “best seller.” More about Jenny and THE DINNER PARTY can be found HERE.