All the moms on Mother’s Day

As Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself thinking more often about how much I appreciate all the moms in my life. They have each given me so much, and Mother’s Day offers an opportunity to give back – if I could think of something fitting to give them.

My mom doesn’t much care for gifts – never has. As a mom myself, I can understand. There’s nothing – no products or gift certificates or even hand-made keepsakes – I’d rather have than the things I get every day from being with my kiddos: playtime in the sunshine, bouquets of dandelions, observations about the world from a new perspective.

My mother-in-law is a cherished friend, someone who has always offered love and support and pictures of her latest creative projects. Although she lives 2,500 miles away in Alaska, I feel like we grow closer all the time.

My son’s birth mom already gave me the greatest gift a mom can give by supporting our adoption. It was the most brave, selfless act I have ever witnessed in my life, and a source of inspiration for me every day. It just so happens that Mother’s Day arrives shortly before my son’s birthday. Where would I be without these two people? How much emptier would my life be without my son – his mother’s gift?

No, I don’t really need anything more for Mother’s Day.

Well, a nap would be nice.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!

As I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, I see picture after picture of smiling babies and children.

That is not the picture I have to post. Instead, it is of an 8-month-old screaming so vehemently that we left church early and scurried home.

Normally, I would have fed her at church and she would have calmed down and I would have had a chance to hear part of the sermon.

At the risk of sounding petulant, today, a day to celebrate me, I wore a dress I can’t breastfeed in just because it makes me feel pretty. I knew I was taking a chance, but I fed her before we left and church is only an hour and a half.

Baby Girl missed nap, too.

Hence, the combination of factors that led to a hysterically upset child and me, alternately laughing and crying, walking home as quickly as possible as people out and about curiously watched the spectacle that was us.

As soon as we walked into our house, the tears stopped. She ate and fell asleep cradled in my arms. Peaceful and beautiful.

THIS is motherhood.

Hectic, demanding, frustrating, emotionally and physically exhausting.

And then a moment of tranquility as she sleeps. And then a moment when her smile makes my heart burst. And then a moment of determination when I think I can’t give any more of myself and I do and am rewarded with another of her smiles that gives a piece back to me.

THIS is motherhood.

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Calling all kids, young and old

Sunday is Mother’s Day and we need your help celebrating.

We’re compiling a photo album of readers’ favorite pictures of mom, either by herself or with her kiddos.

Email your photos to anne.cruikshank@lee.net, along with names and any other information you would like to share about when and where the photo was snapped.

Photos will go up online this week!

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Mothers = survival (and adventure buddies)

Mothers, Greg Tollefson writes in this week’s column, are responsible for our survival, which can be uncertain at times in the Montana wilderness. His mom often reminded him of safety and made sure he was always well prepared before heading off.

And it was Mom who tended the blisters and sprains, poured salve on the sunburns and scrapes, and mended and replaced the tattered clothing.

His mom was adventurous herself, but turned in her compass after having children.

To be sure, there was a time when her wanderings were farther, wider and more adventurous. … Somehow though, after the war, and with the coming of family, she left that behind her and did her adventuring vicariously through her children. It was expected in those days.

Now, moms have different expectations.

Today’s children get to share the exhilaration of the wild with their mothers. These days, when a mom exhorts her children to tie on their life jackets, as often as not, she ties her own on, too. Then she takes the oars.

Greg’s musing made me think back on all the times my mom shared in adventure with us. Some of my fondest memories are from the canoe or inner tubes on the New River, or while avoiding fiberglass splinters on the crab boat as we dangled weighted lines into White Point Creek.

Even though I’ve moved 2,000 miles away, the confidence she instilled in me to try new things and chase the horizon is the same and has enabled me to whole-heartedly embrace Montana and all the adventure it provides.

Sometimes, we still have adventures together and I love sharing this Big Sky with her, whether it’s in the snow …

MomAndMeLoloPeak

… or sunshine …

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I only wish we got to venture off together more often.

Make sure to read Greg’s full column here.

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Mother’s Day laughter and tears

First, the laughter – an editorial cartoon – then the tears – from the latest column by syndicated columnist Connie Schultz.

Mother's Day 2011

Hey, Mom: When Will I Stop Missing You?

By CONNIE SCHULTZ

If I could snap my fingers and travel back in time, I’d be 11-year-old me standing on third base in the field behind our house, cupping my hands around my mouth and yelling for Mom to hit me home.

My mother, like most mothers, was all about coming through for her kids.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Newborn kittens for Mother’s Day

Willow has been obsessed with cats for the past few months. So obsessed, she has checked out every book on cats and kittens from the Missoula Public Library. So obsessed, she saved up her allowance and did extra chores for money, and spent it all on cat food, litter, a kitty bed, litter box, and two little dishes for food and water. And cat toys. She showed her dad and I, repeatedly, that she is both capable and willing to help us take care of a kitten.

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And so, for the past few months, our family has been talking about adding a cat to our menagerie, which already includes two dogs and a cat. We made the rounds at the local shelters, and heard all about how they get slammed with pregnant cats every spring. We decided, on the spot, to sign up to foster one of those cats, with the idea that we’d keep one of the kittens.

That’s how we came to bring home Mama on Wednesday. And how we came to to jump out of bed at 4 a.m. yesterday to watch her give birth to three ittie bitties.

And how today, on Mother’s Day, I come to be attending to another mother. It turns out Mama cat is sweet, social, soft and utterly enamored with my daughter. She comes when Willow calls her – “Mama, Mama” – and follows her around. She was cuddled up next to her, purring loudly, just before she gave birth to her first kitten at the foot of Willow’s bed. She lets us handle her kittens freely.

So of course now we’re talking about keeping Mama cat, too.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all you awesome mamas out there.

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Certain politicians get thanks from moms for Mother’s Day

A group of about 20 moms and their kids – a stroller brigade – strolled along the street between Missoula’s Public Library and Montana Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus’ Missoula offices earlier today.

Stroller brigadeHere’s why: They were showing their support for strong federal clean air protections, and wanted to thank the senators for their support of stronger Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The full news release on the event is available below.

But as they say: Wait, there’s more!

Montana Women Vote is also encouraging folks to thank their favorite state politicians now that the 2011 legislative session has come to a close.

“As this challenging Montana legislative session has come to an end, we can all be grateful to the brave and tireless legislators who stood and advocated for issues important to women and families,” says the notice sent out by Montana Women Vote.

The note includes a link to a Mother’s Day card you can print out, write on and send to an elected official of your choice. It reads, “Thank you from all the mothers, fathers, children and grandchildren for your hard work for the future of Montana. Your mama would be proud.”

The folks at Montana Women Vote, thorough people that they are, also include handy links to a complete list of Montana legislator addresses, and a list of other statewide elected officials’ addresses.

If one of your favorite state legislators happens to be Missoula Democrat Carol Williams, the first female Senate Majority Leader in Montana history, then you will be delighted with this coming Sunday’s guest column. It’s also about certain congressional delegates and the Clean Air Act.

But, dear readers, I won’t make you wait to read the opinion piece by Williams, a mother of three and grandmother of three. Here’s a special sneak peek for your reading pleasure, following the news release about the stroller brigade.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Start your Mother’s Day early at the annual Mother’s Day Eve Bash in Missoula!

Sick of Mother’s Day stuff yet? Nah, neither am I.

I continue to dip my attention into the constant stream of Mother’s Day retail trends, and come back dripping with information like this:

How do consumers show their love and appreciation for mom? Typically it’s a nice brunch, some flowers or maybe a homemade meal shared with the family. This year, mom is getting an iPad. Maybe even a diamond necklace.  NRF’s latest Mother’s Day survey found that the average person will spend $140 on mom, with the biggest chunk of that going to luxurious items such as jewelry and consumer electronics. Those looking for more creative ways to spoil mom will seek out gardening tools, kitchenware and even spa treatments.

Well. What to say to that.

Missoula gives something even better than diamonds and electronics to its moms each year on the night before Mother’s Day: The Mother’s Day Eve Bash. The brainchild of Missoula mom Elke Govertsen, the bash has undeniably grown over the years.

Moms who show up at Peak Heath & Wellness this Saturday between the hours of 7 and 11 p.m. can expect to be greeted at the door with a goody bag before moving on to enjoy “Yoga, pampering, wine, and celebrating another year of mothering,” according to the Mamalode website.

Mamalode? Oh, that’s just Elke Govertsen’s OTHER hugely successful brainchild. It’s this magazine and website “for the whole mother.” And it, of course, has a ton more information about the Mother’s Day Eve Bash. Check out that info here.

And I’ll see you there!

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Survey says moms will get pampered this Mother’s Day

The countdown to Mother’s Day 2011 has begun! We now have less than a week to go, and according to some recent reports, we moms can look forward to an extra spending – er – extra-special day.

A National Retail Federation survey completed in late April predicts that Americans are poised to spend more on Mother’s Day this year than they have in recent years. The chart included with the article shows a very short timeline, but it does have 2011 spending returning to roughly 2007-2008 levels.

And that, mamas, means spending is expected to top $16 billion. That’s a lot of flowers and greeting cards.

Then again, BizReport has an article up about how online shoppers are expected to spend 10 percent more than other retail shoppers. The article notes one-third of shoppers “intend to spend $219.40 on their moms, 10% more than last year.”

Then there’s this: “A new survey from the Mom Complex, the marketing-to-mothers division of the Martin Agency, reports that 30% of moms say they typically get honored for no more than 5 to 10 minutes on Mother’s Day. In fact, 40% feel their husband and children come first on Mother’s Day, and 12% feel they don’t even make the list.”

How’s that for a mixed message?

Personally, the best Mother’s Day gifts I’ve gotten didn’t cost a dime. My first Mother’s Day, my 7-month-old surprised me by sleeping for a full six uninterrupted hours. The next year, she gave me a near-perfect circle she had cut out of construction paper, all by herself. I carried it around with me for weeks and showed it to all my coworkers. It still fills me with pride whenever I look at it.

And last year, my daughter sang this song, to the tune of “O Christmas Tree”: On Mother’s Day, on Mother’s Day/ O how I love you mom/ On Mother’s Day, on Mother’s Day/ O how I love you mom/ You give me joy and happiness/ I give you love, a hug and kiss/ On Mother’s Day, on Mother’s Day/ O how I love you mom.

What’s been your favorite Mother’s Day gift, either given or received?

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Mom on the mountain

Moms in Missoula woke up to a special treat on Mother’s Day; “somebody” had added an “O” and an “M” to the “M” on Mt. Sentinel.

The Missoulian’s Arthur Mouratidis (who really has a knack with the camera) forwarded this photo he took of the grand gift to all of Missoula’s moms: 

mom

– MM

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