Mother’s Day Is Better Since I Got Divorced
I love every second of it.
The last Mother’s Day I was married, I had to remind my ex-husband what day it was. I could tell by that afternoon, he hadn’t a thing. And even though I wasn’t surprised (the same thing happened every year) I was more irritated than ever and vowed that would be the last Mother’s Day I spent being upset. We’d been married for almost seventeen years, and I’d told him (all seventeen of those years) all I wanted for Mother’s Day was to go out to brunch with my family, and not have to worry about waiting on anyone else.
There had been previous Mother’s Days when both our moms had come for the day, and I made a nice meal while trying to keep the kids entertained so he could spend time with his mom. I’d end up being angry, resentful, and completely unseen. So, after a few years of that, I told him we weren’t doing that any longer, and I’d take my mom out to lunch the week of Mother’s Day, and he could celebrate with his mom in whatever way he wanted.
We did make it to brunch once, but he complained about how expensive it was and it never happened again. I hated how I had to remind him that I wanted to do something so simple, especially when I always made a grand effort on Father’s Day.
So, when we divorce I went through a period when I felt really sad, knowing the holidays were going to look a lot different. Then, it hit me that I gotta do what I wanted, and Mother’s Day had always sucked anyway. I had complete control over how I could spend my day, and there was nothing wrong with me making plans of my own instead of waiting for someone else to make them special.
The truth is, all I want to do on Mother’s Day is spend time with my kids. And I absolutely love getting a little fancy and enjoying a nice meal made for me for a change. I’ve spent the past six years having the most wonderful day and honestly, it’s been much better than when I was married.
My kids’ and I either go out for a sushi lunch, or I make reservations at my favorite brunch spot. I buy myself a new outfit to wear. I get a massage that week. I paint my nails, and I always make sure to plan something with my other single-mom friends. I guess you could say instead of celebrating Mother’s Day, I have myself a Mother's week. And I love every second of it.
I could sit here and feel sad that I don’t have someone to plan a nice day for me, but planning to do exactly what I want is better. In fact, I should have done this when I was married because perhaps it would have saved a yearly argument, and I wouldn’t have gone to bed every Mother’s Day feeling like my partner did a crappy job of acknowledging me.
Yes, it would be amazing for someone to swoop in and plan our dream day, but from what I hear from other women (partnered and single) that’s a rarity. There is usually lots of hinting, asking, reminding, and unfortunately, feelings of sadness because they felt unseen on Mother’s Day.
Whether you are a single mother, or married, if you have found yourself disappointed on Mother’s Day, I can recommend doing this enough. It’s not selfish, and there’s no shame in creating a custom day just for you. In fact, it might be a relief to your partner. The best part is, you know you are going to spend the day (or week) doing exactly what you want.
Diana Park is a writer who finds solitude in a good book, the ocean, and eating fast food with her kids.