I can still vividly remember my very first Mother’s Day; I had just given birth to my son and was coming home with him on Mother’s Day. I was looking forward to time alone with him and my husband. I was completely and utterly exhausted.
My husband looked a bit nervous when he informed me that his mother and father were going to meet us at our apartment when we got home.
Me: “But I don’t want to spend my first Mother’s Day with your parents.”
Him: “But it is my mom’s Mother’s Day too…and she wants to spend it with us.”
I didn’t have the energy to push back. So needless to say, his mom and dad spent that first Mother’s Day with us, all day, and I heard from my mother-in-law about all the things I was doing wrong with my baby. Lovely.
But I’ve learned an important lesson since then (and two more kids later): Mother’s Day is not about anyone else but YOU. Not his mom. Not your mom. Not anyone else’s mom. Sure, you should absolutely call and wish every other mom on the planet a Happy Mother’s Day (send cards, too, if that’s what you want to do), but you should be doing whatever you want to do that day.
Don’t feel guilty. Focusing on you isn’t selfish or self-absorbed. We moms deserve a day devoted just to us…for all those nights we’ve been up (bleary-eyed and exhausted) with our children; for all the cooking, cleaning, and washing we do every single day; for juggling work, kids, and everything else—while staying somewhat calm and collected; for all the times we’ve put our needs last; and for everything we do every single day!
Some of my all-time favorite Mother’s Day presents since then (my husband is learning!):
√ Mother’s Day Walk One year, we got up early and headed to the park for a Run/Walk supporting the RBaby Foundation (rbabyfoundation.org), a nonprofit foundation supporting emergency pediatric care for babies. We were out in fresh air, exercising together. That was one of my favorite days!
√ Tree Planting I love flowering trees—particularly cherry blossoms. So one year, the kids and my husband bought me a cherry blossom tree and had it planted in our front yard. Every time I look at that tree, I think of Mother’s Day!
√ Spa Day I love heading to the spa, gift certificate from my husband and kids in hand, and getting massaged and relaxed. I always feel completely rejuvenated once I get home (and see the mess that’s been created by my husband and kids since I left—hey, you can’t expect too much!).
√ Time Alone The best gift anyone can give me is a little time alone—to exercise outdoors, to think, to recharge my batteries without kids needing something from me. This sometimes beats any other gift and costs nothing (something my husband likes)!
√ Wii Fit Last year, after I had my third child, my husband and the kids got this for me, for Mother’s Day. I have to say that at first, I was a bit insulted: “What? You think I need to get fit??” But we’ve all had lots of fun doing this together, so it actually turned out to be a great gift…for the family!
So this year, as Mother’s Day approaches and the inevitable question comes up: “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” I’m just handing my husband this list—and well, let’s just say, he’s learned after that first Mother’s Day, to follow it to a tee ☺
Copyright® 2013 Valerie Latona LLC
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