Mother’s Day can be a tricky holiday. Tricky for our partner who may have no idea that there are un-communicated needs or hopes. Tricky for us, if celebrating our journey of Motherhood also means celebrating loss, infertility, post-partum depression and impossible expectations from ourselves or others. And even tricky for our children, if they’re too young to understand the point of it all. We are all so different, so first and foremost, I encourage moms everywhere to lovingly communicate with their partner on the topic of Mother’s Day.
Maybe you’re not a gifts person, but a well worded note would make your day. Share that with your partner. If you’ve suffered a miscarriage, even years prior, those memories can come flooding back on Mother’s Day. Share that with your partner. If you’ve felt down about post-partum body changes and feel like you have nothing to wear for your current body, share that with your partner. Maybe you’d rather a new pair of jeans for this in-between season instead of a bouquet of flowers and brunch. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
While I can’t speak for every mother, or into every context, I think a resounding answer to the question, “what do you want for Mother’s Day?” can fall into three categories rather nicely; physical gifts, mental gifts, and emotional gifts. Let me explain.
Motherhood really takes over, doesn’t it? In the best way and sometimes, in unhealthy ways, too. We give of our bodies, our hearts, our minds endlessly and there’s no real end to the love or labour. So I’m proposing three categories of ways you can communicate to your family that you would be particularly #blessed this Mother’s Day.
You’ve given your body to grow, birth, nourish, carry, hold, and sustain your child. Why not give back to your body? Ask your partner for a gift that can give back to the body that’s given your family so much. It might be the gift of sleep (I ask for this every Mother’s Day!) where you arrange to sleep in and have your partner or a family member take charge of night feeds or the morning routine. It might be the gift of relaxation, where you ask for a massage or manicure. It might be simply a nice back rub at home on the couch from your partner, or a warm hug from your children. It might be your partner freeing you up to take an exercise class one a week for a season. Whatever it is, motherhood is one of the most physical tasks there are, so why not ask for ways to treat your body?
Are you forever mixing up your children’s names and leaving your keys on the counter? You were once so sharp, weren’t you? Mom Brain! Mom Brain is definitely a thing with the added juggle of Motherhood, so consider asking your family to gift you one of any numerous mental gifts that will nourish your mind and get it off the topic of your favourite little human(s), if only for a moment. Nurturing my mind has been such a discipline as a mom of three, and one I’m still very much learning to do well. Reading is a huge part in that. I love reading, and often ask for books as gifts and one year I was gifted an eReader which I love! If reading is less your thing, what about trying audio books? There are various monthly subscription services that you can sign up for that make a great gift – then you can listen to a book as you fold the laundry or do school pick ups. On and more important note, maybe the best way to nourish your mind this Mother’s Day is to pay a visit to a trusted counselor. Post-partum depression is often left un-diagnosed and can take years to lift. Motherhood can also usher in new feelings that you’ve never faces previously such as anxiety. There’s absolutely no shame in seeing a professional whom you feel comfortable with for help, wisdom, or even just to listen.
The love you feel for your children is unparalleled, and as they grow and you’re able to communicate more with them, it gets all the richer. The moment you hold your child for the first time your heart changes in a way that will never revert. Now imagine hearing that same sweet baby grow up to say, “I love you, mom!” or even farther down the road when they can express their feelings in a deeper, more mature way. But parenting can also be an emotional roller coaster, and our children don’t always return our affections. Emotional or sentimental gifts such as a well-worded note, framed photo, video, or art project from your child can be more touching than an expensive material item. If this is something your heart desires, don’t forget to let your partner know. My children are now old enough to ask me themselves and I often ask for a nice note or for them to share with me how they feel about our family. These words and notes are so precious to a mom’s heart!
It’s Your Day!
Moms, Mother’s Day is all about you! We hope you are feeling loved and cared for as you do the same for your family. For everything you have done and continue to do for your families, we say, good job, Mama. Press on in this role of a lifetime and don’t be afraid to make your expectations and hopes clear to your family as Mother’s Day approaches.
Happy Mother’s Day!