Mother's Day has and come and gone. Did you enjoy it? Was it all you hoped it would be? What kinds of gifts did you get?
I’m not trying to be nosy here; I want to know if the gifts you received addressed the mother/woman in you or if they just addressed the mom?
Is there a difference? Yes, there is.
Mother’s day is traditionally about honoring the concept of mother. The commercials, cards and gifts create images all around us that show the “perfect” mom. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a perfect mom, and I certainly haven’t been a perfect mom! I think the images of mom around Mother’s Day do nothing but put pressure on moms and dads.
You may not consciously be aware of any pressure, but I’m guessing that you feel it on some level. Why do I say that? A lot of the questions here on Circle of Moms tell me that moms want to do a better job at mothering. Rebecca W. wrote, “What do you think we could do better as moms? Just be moms and stop trying to be superwoman?”
Wanting to be better at mothering is honorable. But wanting to be “perfect” at mothering just creates pressure and confusion and can ultimately cause us to disconnect from our children rather than come closer to them.
I think that honoring moms on Mother’s day is lovely, but it misses the mark. I think the ideas suggested as gifts for moms are yummy, but here too, I think they miss the mark. I think the focus on Mother’s Day skips over the fact that you, a woman, have basic needs.
When it comes to Mother’s Day, does anyone ask mom, “How are you really doing?”
Does anyone ask mom what would make her life easier?
Does anyone ask mom if she wants to spend the day with her family or if she’d like to spend it alone?
Does anyone pamper mom on Mother’s Day in a way that refreshes her body, mind and spirit?
Mothering is all consuming. It takes everything a woman has to do the job reasonably well. Every woman I’ve ever spoken to has an issue or ten with the job of being a mother. She has a list of things she’d like to change about the way she does the job. Every woman I know is longing to integrate who she was before having kids, into who she is now that she has kids.
The problem is, being a mom means there’s no time to think, no time to reflect, no time to renew, no time to learn new skills, no time to focus on how to become a better mom.
I’d like to encourage you to create a new type of Mother’s Day next year.
I’d like to encourage you to focus and celebrate on what it means to you to be a mom.
Focus on what’s true for you, not on what the commercials say is true for you.
Focus on what you need, not on what your family wants to do for you.
Next year, ask for — and do — what will renew you so you can keep doing the job of mothering 24/7.
Ask for what you think will make you more whole.
Ask for what will help you feel refreshed and renewed.
Ask for what will make life easier.
Most of all, ask for what you think will help you integrate who you are as a woman, and who you are as a mother, into the balanced person you want to be.
P.S. You don’t have to wait till next year to do this either. Create a new family tradition so once every 6 months, or once a month, both mom and dad get a private day, just for them, to do anything that they think will refresh and renew them. Make sure it’s scheduled in stone. Think of it as important as a parent-teacher conference, it can’t be missed. If we all did this, maybe life would be a bit more manageable.
Sharon Silver is a parenting educator and the founder of Proactive Parenting. She's also the author of Stop Reacting and Start Responding: 108 Ways to Discipline Consciously and Become the Parent You Want to Be.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.