Dear Family, Before You Buy Me a Mother's Day Gift, Please Do This Instead
When I used to think of Mother's Day, all the way back when I didn't have kids, I used to think of a day when mothers felt blessed and grateful to be with their families, were constantly showered in chocolate and brunch food, and hung their kids' art on the fridge with pride. Before I was a mother, Mother's Day seemed serene and beautiful, but now that I am? Well, it's not always that great, is it? For many mothers (myself included), we're left disappointed. We open a card that our husband bought at the gas station on the way home from church that same day, and instead of being the one who is served brunch, we usually have to plan it for our mother-in-law.
I'm going to tell my husband exactly what I want this Mother's Day, and do you know what that is? An entire weekend to myself.
So this year, before my husband buys me something from the store that I don't want and will likely never use (thanks for trying though, babe), I'm going to do what we tell our kids to do — I'm going to "use my words." Yep, I'm going to tell him exactly what I want this Mother's Day, and do you know what that is? An entire weekend to myself. Sure, I'll miss out on the surprise element of a gift, but at least this way I won't be disappointed. I can celebrate myself by giving myself a break, because I can't think of anything I want (or deserve) more.
Since I don't want to take actual Mother's Day away from my kids, I'll take back my weekend either before or after the actual holiday. We can spend Mother's Day together as a family, but when I take my weekend, my husband is on his own. I'll leave the loud and chaotic walls of our house and head to a coffee shop. I'll slowly sip on coffee that's actually hot, eat a pastry nobody is asking me to share, and write without interruption. I'll get lost in my own thoughts that have nothing to do with school pick-up and cartoons. I'll go for a run on my favorite trail, soaking in the green trees and taking big, deep breaths as I go. And later, I'll see my friends.
We'll saunter into a restaurant we've been wanting to try but haven't yet because babysitters are expensive and free time is hard to come by. We'll sip on our drinks and actually take our time with our conversations (no more "hold on" or "one sec" because our children or partners need us). We'll enjoy our meals and womanhood on our Mother's Day weekend, because we're more than just moms. That night, I'll come home later than normal and fall into bed. And the next morning, I'll sleep in, even if it's only until 8 a.m. I'll wake up well-rested, feeling a little bit more like myself again, and grateful that I have a husband who would happily give me a week off if I needed it. And I'll squeeze my kids tight, letting them know how thankful I am that they're mine.
It may seem a bit extravagant and selfish, but I don't care. Motherhood is the best and hardest job you can have, and one day to celebrate that just isn't going to cut it, especially if you do things you don't even want to do. Ladies, take back what's yours: Mother's Day weekend. Do your own thing and celebrate yourself as a mother and a woman, however it is you'd like, because it's time that Mother's Day became about you and not everyone else around you.