Mother’s Day for the Single Mom


IMG_1833-1024x768If the marketing is to be believed, I should expect to get a hanging basket of flowers, a card acknowledging how wonderful and irreplaceable I am from my adoring husband and children, some beautiful piece of jewelry with a big diamond, and either breakfast in bed or taken out to a swanky brunch. For the entirety of the day, I will be pampered like a queen as my husband and children completely forget their needs and desires to dote on me and lavish me with praise. Was there ever a mother so adored as I will be come this Sunday?

Oh, wait. I’m divorced, my son is only five, and if I want anything done, I have to do it myself. I may as well call this Mother’s Day: Sunday.

As a divorced woman and mother of a five-year-old, I can expect absolutely nothing remarkable for Mother’s day. I can presume that the day’s significance will be acknowledged mostly by strangers – the check-out girl at Kroger who hands me a flower or the guy at the zoo who hands me a sponsored insulated cup. Although I will receive a card with lots of glitter and ribbon on it from my son, he will have no idea that he is supposed to be honoring me with excellent behavior and lots of unsolicited recognition and adoration.

I usually spend this day with my parents in honor of my mother, but they are currently traveling around the United State and sporadically sending me postcards from the road. While on one hand I’m happy that they are having fun and seeing some incredible sights, my other hand is balled into a fist at their impertinence. How dare they presume that I would not want to go to brunch with them on a Sunday in the middle of their weeks-long adventure! Some people can be so rude.

Speaking of brunch, my boyfriend is the executive chef of a very popular brunch destination, and will, therefore, be completely absent on Sunday. He did kindly offer to make a reservation for me and W to enjoy brunch there as a Mother’s Day treat, but I declined. Brunch is for families, and with it only being me and W, I don’t feel like we qualify. Not to mention that I would be the only one eating because he takes “picky eater” to a whole new level.

My son’s father and I have a harmonious co-parenting relationship, but we do not celebrate holidays with one another or exchange gifts. I will not be getting a card or a hanging basket of flowers from this guy. I am actually giving him the treat of being able to sleep in that day. He usually picks W up on Sundays, but I have requested to have W for the day so that he and I might do something special on our own – just the two of us.

I don’t anticipate that W will surprise me with breakfast in bed or a diamond bracelet, but I don’t need those things anyway. Those are the activities and stuff that society tells me that I need to receive to feel appreciated. I don’t need a bunch of crumbs in my bed or more clutter to tell me that I am a mother and that I am appreciated. When I take my son to the doctor or when I get his progress report from school telling me that he is healthy and thriving, that’s my acknowledgement. When I see the enjoyment he gets from our nighttime routine of reading and talking about life, that’s my recognition. And when he gets in the car after daycare and he tells me that he missed me a little bit and that he loves me, that’s all the appreciation I need.

He is the little guy who made me a mother, and I am just as grateful for him as he unknowingly is for me.

Happy Mother’s Day!


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Lisa Springer
I am a native Cincinnatian, born and raised on the West Side and currently settled across the river in Northern Kentucky. I’m a former Highlander, Bearcat, Falcon, and Fulbright Scholar. My greatest challenge hitherto is the one I love the most: being a Mom to an energetic eight-year-old boy. When not working full-time at one of the city’s great hospitals, I’m trying to fit in all there is to do in this wonderful city – and there is certainly A LOT to do! As one who loves to read, I am an advocate for the public library and go multiple times a week. You can often find me at Music Hall enjoying the ballet, opera, and orchestra. I am an introvert, a bit of a foodie, an NPR listener, a pessimist who likes to think she’s a realist, a middle child, an ex-wife and amicable co-parent, a fiancée, and much, much more. I feel lucky to have grown up in Cincinnati and to be raising my own child in this wonderful city.


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