This will be my third Mother’s Day since becoming a mom, and the conversations are bursting with enthusiasm on what we as new moms really want. It always goes something like this: hot coffee, sleep, solo showers, breakfast in bed, outings free of kids, clean house, and a night off cooking. I totally get it. The little things mean the most. The problem is sometimes the little things don’t go as planned, which normally isn’t a big deal – but there’s no re-scheduling Mother’s Day. So suddenly the little things become huge if we don’t get them.
I personally don’t care if I end up with lukewarm coffee on “my day” or if my house is messy. I would love a gesture of appreciation and I swoon over some flowers, but I don’t expect my husband to spend every waking moment of his Sunday ensuring that I don’t lift a finger. Mostly because I don’t want to do that on Father’s Day either.
What happened to just brunch? A sweet card with words of affirmation? Why are we setting the precedent that we will be everything to everyone 364 days of the year, but we will be damned if we have to do anything on Mother’s Day?
It’s not the requests themselves; it’s the fact that we make these requests exclusive to one day of the year. Behind the humor there are moms who are serious about needing and wanting – and deserving – a break. I know because my social media feeds will soon swarm with real disappointment once Mother’s Day is over. Mom groups post “vent here” threads for all the alleged mishaps and letdowns.
Maybe we wouldn’t be in dire need of these things if we remembered to prioritize them year round. We are entitled to have hot coffee, solo showers, sleep, help cleaning the house, and nights off cooking any other day of the year. Sometimes these little things are impossible, of course, but advocating for them and making time for them IS possible.
Getting time off as a mom is not something we should be reserving for special occasions.
I buy flowers for myself “just because” when I need a pick-me-up. I order pizza on nights when I don’t want to cook. I take breaks when I need them, and I treat my husband as an equally-capable parent, because he is.
Mother’s Day is when we should feel celebrated, not supported. Support is something we should demand for ourselves every day.
Moms give so much, oftentimes too much. Our weakness is that we often fail to give back to ourselves. This is not something that can be gifted from our families. This is a gift we need to start giving to ourselves.