As my second Mother’s Day as a mom comes around the bend, and I am now an expert at parenting (insert sarcasm), I have been thinking about how the meaning of the day has changed for me in the past few years. Mostly, I am increasingly grateful for my own mother and the indelible ways she has helped shape my existence in this life I lead. Beyond that, I am filled with gratitude that I, too, have the honor of being called “mommy” – and a fierce appreciation for even the toughest, grittiest experiences that come along with it. I have a new-found understanding for what it means to be a parent, and specifically a mother. To embrace that spirit, I thought of a few new ways to celebrate Mother’s Day.
1. Reach out to your “other mothers.” The world just wouldn’t work without moms, and most of us wouldn’t stay sane without the support of our mama friends. Take some time this year to reach out and recognize other moms in your life. Tell them what a good job they’re doing, or let them know you appreciate their friendship. An unexpected handwritten card or simple bouquet of flowers can put a spring into anyone’s step.
2. Date your mom. I have always loved celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom. With a family of your own it can be tricky to find the time to recognize your own mother in the way you once did. Instead of cramming everything into one Sunday, try to find a time outside of Mother’s Day to plan a one-on-one date with your mom. Honor her by planning activities around what she likes; get your hands dirty and help her in the garden, or take her to a show. For moms that live out of town, send a special package reminiscent of your favorite things to do together. (Or consider this adorable idea for a sunshine box!). Be sure to include some art from your little ones.
3. Indulge in some frivolity. Buy some personalized stationery, a new pair of earrings, or a pass to your favorite yoga or gym class. Choose something that’s equal parts impractical and special. (Reminder for guilt-laden mamas out there – you don’t have to spend a lot to treat yourself.)
4. Reflect on what it means to be a mother. Too often we get carried away with what the internet says we should do, how a certain book advises us to parent, or how our neighbors, friends, colleagues, complete strangers, fictional characters etc. mother their children. Set aside some time to reflect on what this last year, or this current moment in motherhood feels like. Being a mother means different things for all of us; relish in the uniqueness that only you share with your children. Pat yourself on the back for being exactly who you are in this moment.