We get one day…. One frigging day for Mothers to be celebrated, acknowledged, validated and pampered. I don’t think that sounds selfish. I don’t think we should feel bad or greedy to just want to feel appreciated once in a while. Mothers spend day in and day out sacrificing their sleep, food, patience and energy for their families…. all we want is ONE day!!
As Mother’s Day quickly approaches, I start to hear story after story from moms of young children that are usually left feeling disappointed and resentful on this special day! They say that their partners either don’t remember, or don’t do anything to help their young children make or do anything to celebrate their Mom. They feel torn between relaxing and resting, and having to go and celebrate their own mother’s and mothers-in-law (that’s a whole separate discussion) and they are left feeling forgotten, resentful and worse than if it was just another day… So what can we do to make sure we have a great Mother’s Day?
I realized a few years ago, that I always had a very clear wish list in mind for how I wanted Mother’s Day to go. I’m sure everyone has a different vision for what would make them feel special, but for me as a mother of 3, all I wanted was 3 things:
- To sleep in for a whole extra hour (bringing me to an amazing wake up time of 8 am!)
- Some breakfast in bed that wasn’t cereal (if the kids helped and felt proud and happy, even better!)
- To go somewhere later that day either by myself (pedicure or massage perhaps?) or with the older two kids so I could actually sit motionless and enjoy myself (think ‘high tea’ ..because I really like scones, or a movie)
Of course I also love the cute cards or crafts that are usually taken care of by the awesome Nursery School, Daycare or school teachers… (they’re always looking out for us Moms!)… so that was something lovely that always happened for me, but if not, maybe that’s on your list. If you have a baby, you might want to buy the supplies to do a special hand print or memento of your first Mother’s Day…. you can’t get that one back. So send a pic to your partner if necessary of what you want ‘baby’ to make for you.
You may also feel like you have to make an appearance to see your OWN Mother, but you could try to explain your goal and do something with her the day before, or if that won’t fly, have an afternoon or evening event planned so at least you get most of the day for yourself and your own little family to enjoy.
What I wanted for Mother’s Day wasn’t rocket science. This didn’t take much planning or booking ahead or stress. I had 3 young kids so I was realistic and didn’t expect that I would be whisked away for a weekend at the spa (although that’s not a horrible idea for next year maybe…) I just felt that if those things happened I would feel special, appreciated and it was the picture of Mother’s Day that I always had in my head.
My kids were 10, 7 and 1 at the time of my revelation. I figured out that my husband really does suck at reading my mind. He would either do absolutely NOTHING with the kids ahead of time (unlike me who would at least make sure the kids made a picture or painted a rock for father’s day) or would plan something that was nice, but really NOT what I wanted to do for Mother’s day.
I once heard a Solo Mom say that she always had the BEST Mother’s Day because she wasn’t waiting around for someone else to plan it, so she just planned it herself!! She chose EXACTLY what she wanted to do, chose EXACTLY what she wanted to eat, and went EXACTLY where she wanted to go. It was AMAZING!!
I was inspired and decided that I would rather lose the romantic idea that my hubby would magically know exactly what I REALLY wanted for the perfect Mother’s Day (even with some pretty obvious hints!) and so…
….I just took charge, ‘facilitated the magic’ and made it happen!!
So here is what I did to make sure I had the BEST MOTHER’S DAY EVER….
- First I just bought the stuff I wanted. Wow. That was easy. Shocker, I know, but I was actually in the grocery store earlier that week and since I wanted ‘So- Easy-Kids-Can-Make-It-French-Toast-Casserole’ and sausages, I bought the ingredients. Done. The day before Mother’s Day I told my husband that the kids are making this for me now, so help them. Here’s the recipe.
- Right at bedtime the night before Mother’s day, I told my kids and my husband: Tomorrow is Mother’s Day so I am sleeping in. You do not get to wake me up before 8am. Since you will be putting the French Toast Casserole in the oven at 7am you will have something to do…. enjoy.
- I booked the ‘High Tea’ (I actually ‘combo’ed that with a gift/outing with both my mother-in-law AND my step-mother… talk about multi-tasking) and got to sit and eat yummy things. Score. I didn’t hint and wait for him to book it. I just booked what I wanted. Last year I went to the movies, this year I might go for a massage. Just do it.
There it is.
That’s all it took.
They did everything I asked.
I got to do exactly what I wanted.
I had the best Mother’s Day ever.
I didn’t wait and hope that my hints would be figured out (they never are)….
I didn’t wait and see and then find that NOTHING happened and I was so disappointed and frustrated and sad.
I’ll admit that at first it felt a bit depressing to actually decide that I was just going to make my own best Mother’s Day happen, but once the day came and EVERYTHING was PERFECT…. it was totally worth it.
The kids were happy (they totally made breakfast!)… my husband was happy (he didn’t have to struggle to figure out what he should do since reading minds is not his forte) and for once, and most importantly…. I WAS HAPPY!!!
It felt great.
I used to fixate on the idea that they SHOULD know what to do and exactly what I want (if they really loved and appreciated me they would know!) but I realized that wasn’t the case.
I realized that they have limitations. The kids will be in charge once they’re older (they’re better at taking hints) and every partner is different (my husband will literally do anything I ask him to do, he just appreciates direction) so I’m cool with that.
I decided to enjoy feeling loved and appreciated (even though I had to help make that happen) and it worked.
It even showed them exactly what I loved and has helped to set the stage for every other year since…
I did buy ingredients yesterday, and that’s cool with me….