Happy Mother’s Day!
It’s the day when all children young and old are well behaved, all mothers feel appreciated, your coffee is brought to you in bed, and everything is just…perfect.
If that is your experience, I am truly very very happy for you. But for the other 80% of us, don’t worry, you aren’t alone.
Mother’s Day is high on that list of holidays that are a perfect picture in our heads that rarely matches reality.
We feel a compulsion to create a perfect Norman Rockwell Mother’s Day, but human relationships tend to be more on the…messy side.
You might have adult children with whom you don’t have a good relationship.
You might have a have turbulent history with your own mother or grandmother.
You might have step kids that reach new passive aggressive, or openly aggressive heights each Mother’s Day.
You may be exhausted and desperately needing a few more hours sleep, but are sitting there pretending that the incredibly weak black coffee, cold hot dog, and slice of bread with cold butter chunks that you were just brought, is the most delicious Mother’s Day breakfast ever, because they are all watching you with expectation and social pressure, and you would let them down if they knew that all you want to do is burst into tears and curl up and go back to sleep.
You may have never been able to bring any of your babies to term.
Or you may have a complicated situation that no Hallmark card could possibly address.
The human experience is messy and complicated and rarely matches the idyllic posts you see on social media. If it helps, the people who are posting those images often have messy bittersweet aspects too, they just airbrushed those facets out. That’s okay, it made them happy.
So what should you do when the reality doesn’t meant the fantasy?
You could declare that Mother’s Day is just a manufactured holiday to drum up sales and refuse to participate, but is that really a pleasant way to live?
I highly recommend that you take a different tactic.
What can you do today to take responsibility for your own happiness?
What can you do today that would spark joy?
If you have a difficult mother who you cannot in good conscience glorify in a syrupy social media post, can you call her to at least feel like you did your duty?
If your children are little, can your arrange to have someone take them to a park for a few hours and give you a little bit of quiet alone time?
If there is a person or situation that conspires to make this a miserable day each year for you, can you just grab your tennis shoes and declare that you’re going hiking by yourself, and let the chips fall where they may?
If you don’t have any babies to hold or call or spend the day with, for whatever reason, can you declare a hookah day, and ever yourself with cozy clothes, a bubble bath, make a pan of brownies, and invite another woman who’s having a rough Mother’s Day over to watch movies?
There is no one right answer.
This is not a test.
The question is, what do you actually have to do today versus what do you tell yourself that you have to do because of social obligations, and what changes can you make in the plan to make things a little less stressful, a little more peaceful, or a little more satisfying?
DON’T WAIT FOR SOMEBODY ELSE TO GIVE YOU A PERFECT DAY. Don’t get hung up on the day being perfect.
Pinnacles are not necessary.
Aim for enjoyable. It’s a much easier target to hit, and much more satisfying.
Happy Mother’s Day. May it be pleasant enough that you go to bed satisfied. ❤️💕