Mother’s Day is the most important and meaningful day on my calendar. It’s the one day that the world takes a pause to validate and celebrate women for their child rearing efforts. But have you ever felt like Mother’s Day is like winning a gold medal that you will never actually receive?
I’m not going to lie, I have cried on Mother’s Day more than once. No, not tears of joy but ones of sadness. From feeling like I was not really thought of or planned for. I waited around for the perfect gift or perfectly planned day — only to be let down.
Then I thought, why let someone else be responsible for how my day turns out? No one else knows how exhausted I am and what parts of myself I have given away. Only I feel the aches in my body from the stress and defeat. So this year for Mother’s Day? I plan to take care of myself for a change.
As mothers, we are flooded with unrealistic worries at all times. We watched our bodies change into something we don’t recognize. We can barely finish a thought or remember simple things — but can somehow be on alert for danger at all times. Our brains are under constant overload. It’s like running through Jell-O every day just to keep everyone happy. All the while, we neglect a lot of our personal needs.
I know this marathon of Motherhood is a gift that I am lucky to have. And beyond measure, my children will always be my greatest life’s work. But the physical and emotional ride of raising children takes a toll on even the best of us. I know some incredibly smart, ultra-strong, and amazing moms that have meltdowns from the daily grind.
We yell at our kids, cry in the shower, hide in the bathroom, and physically? Everything feels broken. There is only so much our hearts, brains, and body can give before they just shut down and need a reboot.
So why not use Mother’s Day to celebrate yourself? Plan a day that helps you hit the refresh button on your life. Don’t be afraid to take one day that centers around only your needs. One day to be completely selfish and free of all Mothering Duties for just a few hours.
Tell your partner you want to sleep in instead of breakfast in bed. Go grab lunch with your friends somewhere that is completely unacceptable to bring children. Read a book you didn’t buy in the parenting section. Drink a coffee that is still warm. Buy yourself something that makes you feel put together again. Anything that will help refill your cup!
Taking time for myself use to make me feel guilty. As if somehow, I wasn’t being a good mom if I was away. But motherhood is hard — really, really hard. I know I am giving my family everything I have. And I have learned to be proud of myself for this hard work. In order to be a better mother, spouse, and friend, I need to make time to take care of myself. So now, with a wiser heart, I plan to use that ONE DAY on the calendar to take care of only ME — guilt-free.
I hope that you find the time to do the same. Find something that helps recharge your body, clears your mind, and brings peace back to your world. Then you can come home and keep raising the next generation of humans the best way you know how — with your whole heart and everything you have.