How This Mother's Day Changed My Perspective on Parenting

This year marked my third Mother's Day as a mom. While I've always thought of Mother's Day as a nice day to celebrate, I am a firm believer that we should show the people we love that we love and appreciate them every day, no grand gestures or fancy gifts required. However, after a tough couple of months, I was secretly hoping my husband had something nice planned for me this year. "I could use a day," I kept thinking to myself with visions of a quiet day at the spa.

My husband knew I was burnt out and thoughtfully planned Mother's Day from start to finish. It didn't involve the spa or any big gifts, but was full of activities, surprise visits with friends and family, and meals — all planned by and provided by him. Having an entire day where I didn't have to worry about or plan anything did more for me than I could have imagined.

My husband and I both work full-time jobs and make an effort to split household responsibilities as evenly as possible. Today, it was all on him. Instead of dishes and clean up after breakfast, I joined my daughter in her playhouse while she "made cookies" on her pretend stove. Instead of packing up her backpack with food, water, a change of clothes, and anything else she might need to leave the house, my husband did that while she and I smashed Play-Doh and rolled it into balls. And instead of planning her dinner and cooking it, my husband took care of it while she and I played and giggled outside.

I have a tendency to overplan, overthink, and worry about everything — especially when it comes to parenting. I pride myself on my backup plans and ability to anticipate whatever problems may come up. The more I talk to other moms, the more I think most of us are like this. However, having one day where I just completely relaxed and didn't worry about what my daughter needed was exactly what I needed. I was so caught up playing with her that I only realized it was her nap time when she told me it was! A full day of zero responsibilities and I was reminded of the pure joy of motherhood.

As Monday rolled around, it was back to the juggle of real life and responsibilities. However, the joy I felt on Mother's Day was a much needed reminder that in between work and meal planning and cleaning up and temper tantrums, sometimes I need to stop and and just enjoy the everyday moments with my daughter. Instead of rushing to make dinner when I get home with my daughter, I can steal away 10 minutes to play with her first. If she goes to bed a little late or that pile of laundry doesn't get done when I planned on it, it's not actually a big deal. These years are so fleeting, and I want to look back on them knowing that I made the most of this time.