Enjoy Mother’s Day This Year; Doctors Orders!

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mothers-day-flowers

A lot of people are uncomfortable being the center of attention and I’m going to guess that a large percentage of those people are women. When offered praise, thanks, gifts, we demur. “No, you didn’t have to do that, it isn’t necessary, no…” Right?

This Mother’s Day, I am giving you an order: Fight the urge. Let your kids make breakfast and stay in bed while they do. Take time for yourself if it is offered. Mention a gift you actually want. Read the cards you get and believe them.

Do all this because you deserve it. And also, it’s good parenting!

How is it good parenting to sit in comfort on the couch ignoring the chores and the dishes and reading a book with a yummy drink that your child has brought you?

First of all, your children are learning to honor you. Motherhood should NOT be a thankless job. Of course our kids won’t remember to thank us for everything we do each day. They won’t even notice a lot of it, they’re not wired for that. This is a chance for them to think of you first. Learning to make you the center of their thoughts and energy is a great lesson for them. Making you feel good will teach them the value of reaching out, of searching for ways to make someone we love feel great. If your two year old asks on Sunday “What do you want for Mother’s Day Mommy?” Say 100 hugs! Or a foot rub, or for them to clean up their toys. Say something you really want. Let them honor you.

Second of all, you are teaching your kids to expect to be treated well by the people who love them. “Children learn what they live.” So let your children learn that being a parent doesn’t mean ignoring your own self worth. Show your daughter that you are worthy of thanks and she will expect to be thanked as an adult. Show your daughter that you deny praise and she will think she should also.

Lastly, Mother’s Day can recharge you for the tough times ahead. When you are feeling overwhelmed in weeks to come, or unappreciated, your memories (and gifts – did I mention gifts?) will remind you that your family values you. When you are rushing from one place to the next, fielding texts from home about dinner and dropping off the forgotten shoes at practice and picking up a last minute supply for the history project, you will remember the honor your family showed you. It will help you be a better parent.

You might be reading this thinking, “Mother’s Day at her house doesn’t look anything like Mother’s Day at MY house!” I know you may be hosting brunch for your mom and mother-in-law, or still running kids to soccer and helping with a science project. But if there is even one person in your house who tries for one minute to make this day different and special, LET THEM. And if not, be that person for yourself. You deserve it.

Comments

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  1. 13

    Jenelle says

    This is a great reminder and great way to think of it. Every year I have the intention of speaking up for myself and then I don’t. Everyone’s needs and wants are “greater” than mine so I put my needs to the back burner again. But you’re absolutely right. For ONE day, I can stand up for myself and they can show ME the love. Hopefully this year I can follow through.

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  2. 14

    C'dar Pinder-Sommerville says

    My daughter loves mothers day! She is 6 and since 4yrs old she puts her heart into making things for me, my mom, and my grandma. My husband is equally as good about it. I’m really blessed, and I definitely save those memories bc for the rest of the year those two drive me crazy!

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  3. 16

    kim says

    I’ve already requested gifts and breakfast in bed & a new book to read: allll day! Totally agree with this article. We need to tea our daughters (& sons) that their personhood and value does not stop once they become parents. Yes, parenting is about self-sacrafice most of the time. But that doesn’t rule out being appreciated. Heck, I’d hate it if one day my daughter was so consumed by serving others that she wouldn’t even take one day to enjoy herself and be appreciated! Also: totally believe a “good mothers day” needs to be orchestrated by the husband when the kids are little! Glad mine does so!

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  4. 17

    Thea says

    I love the spotlight and can’t imagine ever demurring from attention or gifts. And on mother’s day I better be pampered. I’ll still have to nurse my 5 month old but I’ll get presents and a good meal out of it. Celebration enough for me. And when he’s old enough, I’m making Mother’s day a spa day. Ladies, if you don’t take care of yourselves, why would anyone else?

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  5. 19

    Robin says

    Amen. It’s sad how many women are so cynical about Mother’s Day.
    Of course kids won’t be grateful for us everyday! They are kids! It wasn’t til I had my own kid that I really understood that my mom is a person too. :)
    If no body thinks of it, I think it’s critical that we remind them (lovingly) and make it special for ourselves. My kids are two and five and my husband didn’t even remember to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day much less help the kids do something for me. But I can still make it special.
    “We’re making a big batch of play dough to celebrate Mother’s Day.”
    “Today is my day so we’re having chocolate pudding cake for dessert!”
    “I get to read this magazine while Daddy changes your diaper because today is Mother’s Day.”
    Other than the magazine, everyone enjoys my treats, they are learning how to celebrate for themselves or for someone else, and I get to enjoy my day without waiting for someone else to do it for me. One of my great faults for many years was only to enjoy myself or do something for myself if someone gave me permission by organizing it, encouraging it, or insisting on it.
    I hope my daughter grows up to be the kind of woman who makes her own celebrations if need be

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