We put a lot of pressure on Mother's Day, don't we? Even if we don't intend to, even if past experience tells us to relax our expectations, we end up on the couch with a cup of cold coffee and the sounds of "Big Time Rush" blaring on the TV and wish we could blink and be back in bed for a few extra hours, on a massage table, maybe just showered and dressed and out the door with the kids in less than an hour (or two). We wish for a card, a kind gesture, an offer to make it a bigger and better and easier day than the others. And even if we get all of that, we could very well be sitting on the couch with that twice-reheated coffee and wondering where the glitter and balloons and magical feelings are.
But what if they don't have to come on Mother's Day? What if they could arrive on Monday after? What if we let go of the pressure of Mother's Day itself simply by scheduling some time later in the week/month/year to celebrate the way we really want to?
My Mother's Days have mostly been lovely and wonderful and full of enough cuddle time and sweet cards. But I've also found they feel even nice if I take care of myself on the days after Mother's Day. As a single mama, I have a support system that includes my parents and good friends and other single parents. I also have a child who is a great gift-giver and loves a celebration. Mother's Day, though, is about celebrating the mother I am and the place where my son and I are on this journey together. And I take that celebration on myself after the roses go back to regular price and the cards at the grocery store are sold out.
This year, I am cashing in some gift certificates the week after Mother's Day. I am purposefully assigning some time alone to luxuriate in all I am and want to be and have been through as a mother, releasing and renewing. Without the small child around. This is paramount as a single mom, this is what gets me through the five minutes when I just want to run the trash out or have someone else make dinner or not be the disciplinarian or talk on the phone without fourteen interruptions from one kid. I can get through those moments of head-screamy solo-parenting because I know tomorrow or last week or whenever, I am celebrating myself on my own terms. It's a mind game that works wonders for this single mama.
I've outlined my favorite five ways to take care of myself on Mother's Day/Week/Month/Summer over at The Happiest Mom. Pop over and ssee if any of these strategies work for you, no matter what kind of mom you are. And please, share your tips for making Mother's Day happier and healthier, particularly if you are a single mom who has developed good self-care habits! We are all still learning.
Need more incentive to click over? One of my strategies involves ruffled panties. I promise.
Happy Mother's Day to you all, single, partnered, wishing, wanting, waiting, blissed out, stressed out, figuring it out.xo