DadCAMP appears every two weeks in The Calgary Herald Neighbours section. This was originally published the weekend of May 9, 2014.
[twitter]When someone asks me to describe what it was like in the delivery room when my wife gave birth to each of our sons, I describe it as a Quentin Tarantino movie.
There was a lot of blood and swearing. Yes, childbirth is beautiful and magical, I crumbled to my knees crushed by the emotion of the moment with each son’s first scream, but it is also violent.
I know “why” women give birth, but I can’t imagine any woman looking over to a friend and saying “that was a lot of fun, you should try it.”
And so that brings us to Mother’s Day and why, in my world anyway, it is the holiest day on the calendar.
Firstly, it’s the anniversary of the death of my Nan. I can’t think of a better day for her to have left. Forever, Mother’s Day will be “grander” as I remember perhaps the most perfect woman (as all grandmothers truly are) I have ever known.
It is with the reflection on the kind of woman my grandmother was that I bring affection to Mother’s Day. Always caring, thoughtful, supportive, and nurturing. Always putting the needs of everyone else before herself. It was her nature, but it’s also in the nature of all mothers.
The sacrifices every Mom must make are Christlike. Giving over their body to our children is just the beginning. It’s not a simple 9 months and it’s over – that’s only the beginning. Just ask the #zombiemoms on Facebook and Twitter.
Recently a video from advertising agency Mullen went viral as they canvassed employees to apply for a job as Director of Operations.
Despite being widely advertised online and in newspapers, only 24 applied for a job that promised “no vacations. In fact, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years – on holidays the workload is going to go up.” All for no pay.
They conducted interviews online for the viral video and at the end mentioned that in order to “get the job” the applicants would have to speak with the person who currently holds the position – their mom.
While I scoffed at the video in its depiction of women as the only parent capable of looking after children – I mean Dads are parents too, right? – the message is clear that mothers give of themselves for the betterment of their children and rarely ask for anything in return.
The cynics quickly pointed out the video was posted to push greeting card sales.
Dismiss Mother’s Day as a Hallmark Holiday if you must, but it does serve as a necessary reminder for those of us who are on cruise control most of the year to wake up and appreciate how our partners manage to get it done.
By giving us the joy of 2 boys, my wife put her career on hold for nearly 5 years. She missed raises, promotions, and moved away from her home to support me and my career choices. Only now is she able to try to find work and is facing the stigma of employers questioning whether a mom of 2 can be loyal to a job.
That is sacrifice.
Despite working full time, my wife is still the command centre of our home. She’s making sure cards are sent to family members who are celebrating birthdays. She keeps an eye on activities and makes sure my boys get inspired at art classes, soccer, or library sessions. While I can take care of the cooking and groceries each week, she makes sure the house is clean, the kids are bathed and the snacks are made.
Do I take my wife for granted? Oh, yeah – you bet. I’d like to not be like that, and am thankful the second Sunday in May rolls around with a reminder to splurge for a spa session, a bouquet of flowers, a card, croissants, and coffee.
It’s not a lot, but it’s something that says “I appreciate all that you have given up for the good of us.”