There are so many ways to celebrate (or not) Mother’s Day. Over a decade and a half plus of being a mom, I can tell you this; there is no ONE size fits all or ONE right way to celebrate (or not) the day.
For some the day is embraced, others may see it as manufactured materialism, and for many, the day is tinged with sadness because of the loss of one’s mother (in death or estrangement), or desperately wanting to be a mother and not able to, or having recently experienced a loss.
Here’s what I want you to ask yourself: Which one of these 7 Moms are you on Mother’s Day?
Spend the Day with Kids.
Handmade cards, crafts, spending time together bonding creating special memories, doesn’t matter what you do or what you receive, nothing could be better as long as you are with your children.
Out with Your Mom Tribe
Brunch with friends, a girls night out, or day of pampering, time together sans kids. Doesn’t matter how you spend as long as you’re not taking care of the kids or anything for the day, bonding with your mom tribe.
Bonding with Your Mom
Mother’s Day wouldn’t feel the same if you weren’t with your mom. You love spending time with your mom, sharing a nice meal or walk or a tradition of planting flowers, or dinner, anything goes you want to be with your mom.
Visiting Your Mother-In-Law
Whether it’s an obligation, or not, you spend time with your mother-in-law celebrating together and sharing the day. Perhaps your mom isn’t living nearby, or you aren’t as close to her. Your mother-in-law is a friend, supportive and you spent some time with her.
The more, the merrier, you’re tradition includes cookouts and gathering with extended family celebrating all the mothers, aunts and women in your life.
Meh, Just Another Day
You’re not a fan of the day for many reasons and, there’s still meals to be made, laundry to be done, and sports games and events to take the kids to. Just another day for you.
Putting on a Smile and Getting Through It
Let’s be real for a minute, deep down, and you can’t remember a Mother’s Day when it was about you. In your family, there are so many obligations to spend time with your mom or mother-in-law, and your sweetie tends to give their best effort with less than results. You prefer to grin and bear it and go through the motions because truth be told…it’s just another day.
Over the years of supporting moms in the therapy hour, these are the seven examples ( I am sure there are more) I hear most. As I share with moms I support, wherever you are on the journey of motherhood, have you ever stopped to think about what YOU want to do on Mother’s Day?
Do you feel pressure of an OBLIGATION to do something because that’s the tradition, as it has always been (you know, lunch with your mother-in-law and sweeties family)?
Do you voice your preferences or wishes to your sweetie and kids or do you hope they’ll know what you want and make it happen?
Does Mother’s Day leave you with a sense of disappointment every year? If so, you may find this post helpful 7 Ways to Have a Mindful Mother’s Day.
I want you to pause for a minute and ask yourself:
How do I want to celebrate Mother’s Day (if at all)?
However you choose to celebrate the day ( or not) I want to leave you with this:
How do YOU want to spend the day?
I want to remind you, there is no SHOULD here.
Having the thought, ‘I should spend the day this way (fill in the blank)’ is not a genuine want. Instead, it’s a belief imposed on you or something you have taken in by another person. For example, maybe your friends gush about spending the day being pampered by sweetie and kids, but secretly, you want to eat three meals in one day without having tiny fingers in it, or jumping up from the table catering to everyone’s needs. Or maybe you just want to sleep in and read in bed all day and take a nice long walk alone.
The best way to celebrate the day: be authentic, chose what YOU want to do, and DO NOT COMPARE!
Accept what is, and let go of expectations as the day unfolds.
And remember this, it is only one day in the span of many days on the journey of motherhood. At some point in the day, pause, appreciate your strengths, reflect on the journey of mothering and know, how very much you matter EVERY DAY not just on ONE DAY.
How do I spend Mother’s Day? It’s pretty simple for me-a walk on the beach with my girls, a nice meal and planting some flowers. My most treasured part of Mother’s Day is the kind words and hand-made cards my daughters share with me. And I’ve learned to roll with it and let go of expectations, there have been times where someone had the flu or stomach bug, and we’ve had to keep perspective. Whatever unfolds during the day, I remind myself, whatever the outcome, it’s just ONE day, and my worth as a mama transcends more time and space than twenty-four hours.
Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day, however you spend the day. And remember, YOU matter more than you could ever know.
© Dr. Claire Nicogossian 2019