Have you checked your planner lately? Mother’s Day is coming up! And if you’re a mom, you’re likely still focused on everybody else.
That seems to be the MO of motherhood—you are the caretaker, the cook, the calendar—and possibly juggling a job outside of the family too. While there are arguments to be made about shared responsibility amongst your family and making self-care a priority, the reality is that a lot of your time as a mother is spent thinking about and taking care of someone else.
That’s why, on the one day of the year specifically set aside for honoring mothers, we say you should honor and celebrate yourself. Don’t just wait for the cards and well wishes—though those are nice and you should gladly accept those, too! Make this day your own and take the time to celebrate all that you have accomplished as a mother.
Don’t know where to start? We’ll show you how:
Ask For What You Want
Okay, here’s the thing, mom: If you’re not already doing so, you need to ask for what you want. Sure, you should make that a practice every day—but especially on Mother’s Day! You’ll likely get flowers and cards; perhaps, even breakfast in bed too. And while those gifts are lovely, you may want more. You may want a nice dinner (that you didn’t cook) or for the house to be spring-cleaned (by everyone else) or to spend some time by yourself (can you imagine?!)—all valid requests any day of the year, but certainly on Mother’s Day too. So ask for them! Tell your partner and your children what you want to do (or rather, what you want them to do) and how you want to spend your special day. Then, let them get busy celebrating you exactly the way you’d like to be celebrated.
Honor Your Motherhood
That being said, it’s great if your family is celebrating you this Mother’s Day—if they’re honoring your requests and showering you with appreciation—but that’s not always the case. Perhaps you’re a single mother and your kids are really young. Or maybe you’ve made specific requests and they’ve been forgotten or ignored. Though not ideal, it doesn’t mean you don’t get to be celebrated. This post is all about celebrating yourself—no matter what your family and friends do—so consider what that might look like for you. How would you celebrate and honor your time as a mother? Would you schedule a massage for yourself, spend some time reading quietly away from the house, or hire a babysitter and take yourself out to dinner? It doesn’t have to be big (and conversely, it doesn’t have to be small!); it simply needs to reflect what feels like a true celebration of motherhood to you. Schedule time to do this, and make it sacred. As with all of the doctor’s appointments and soccer practices and work meetings, this is a planned date on your calendar. Don’t be late!
Write a Mother’s Day Message to Yourself
Though this exercise may feel silly, it’s important. You may get a few cards on Mother’s Day: thoughtful reflections of what your family appreciates about you. But have you ever stopped to consider what you appreciate about yourself as a mother? You have brought and sustained life in this world. You’ve been selfless and serving and superwoman. You deserve to be honored, not just by the family you support, but by yourself as well. What can you appreciate and honor about the mother that you are? We encourage you not just to think about this, but to write it down too. Buy yourself a card—or simply find a blank page in your journal or your Day Designer—and write a Mother’s Day message to yourself. Focus on the positive and highlight what makes you so great at this whole motherhood thing. Bonus: The next time your kids are complaining about you, you’ll have plenty of ways to remind them just how good they have it!
Give Back to Other Mothers
Yes, we said this day was all about you—and it is! But sometimes what actually feels the best is giving your time and money to those who need it even more than you. While motherhood can be challenging for every mother, poverty, violence, disease, and various other negative factors make it that much harder for so many women around the world. Look up organizations that directly support mothers—Moms Rising, Every Mother Counts, and Heifer International are just a few great options! Find an organization that resonates with you and do what feels best to give back to other mothers on this special day.
Remember the Years
You know the old saying, “The days are long, but the years are short?” It’s most often used in the context of parenthood, because . . . well, because it couldn’t be more true. Days as a mother can often be overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating, infuriating. But looking back on the years you’ve spent as a mother: reminiscing on memories with your children, taking stock of how you’ve grown and changed having been a mother—that is what you should always remember. In the midst of motherhood (in the midst of “the days”) it can be hard to slow down and set aside time to take stock of the years. But there’s no better way (and no better day) to be mindful of the joy of motherhood, and celebrate how great you’ve done and how far you’ve come.
Here’s to you, moms. Happy Mother’s Day!