This Mother’s Day my son wasn’t in a celebratory mood. It was a difficult day full of tantrums, which end up putting me and my husband in a grumpy place as we’re juggling 4-year-old moods and the demands of an infant. As we traveled home from the weekend away, our exhausted and hungry little boy started shouting potty words at the top of his lungs in the car. In a low moment, I lost it and screamed “SHUT UP!” at the top of my lungs, which resulted in a lecture from my husband about not allowing our child to control my emotions. I spent the next 30 miles crying silently out the window. At one point our son yelled “Mother’s Day is a big thumbs down!” I have to say, I agree with him.
It’s a day that I always place unrealistic expectations on. These expectations often look like being lavished with gifts and attention or maybe a quiet day at the spa. But somehow, I always end up the first one awake, flipping pancakes as usual.
Was Mother’s Day a big thumbs down for you too? I had a friend report that she ran herself ragged trying to make Mother’s Day special for her own mother but got no acknowledgement in return. Another friend mentioned that she had at least expected her husband to get her a card from their young children, but when confronted he said, “Why would I get you something? You’re not my mother.” Hard and hurtful for sure.
But here’s how we can choose to Practice Hope in the midst of it all: We can release our expectations of how we think we should be celebrated on Mother’s Day and shift our perspective toward the significance of the day. Instead of feeling resentful that we are not being celebrated in the ways we expected to be, we can honor fact that we are mothers, a role that I know I personally longed for during some of the most painful years of my life. Then, we can choose to find the joy in honoring ourselves as nurturers and love on people who need a little bit of mothering. And most importantly, friend, we can mother ourselves, loving and nurturing our hearts, minds, and bodies.