I don’t know about you, but Mother’s Day carries mixed emotions for me. Yes, I am a mother of four great adult children and now a grandmother. I have a lot to celebrate, so why the mix of joy and melancholy? I may have figured it out and wanted to share it with you on the off chance that you may feel some of these same feelings.
The expectations that come with Mother’s Day can easily sabotage our ability to truly enjoy it. I hope that my adult children will write me long letters telling me how happy they are with me and what an amazing job I did raising them. When they were young, I hoped that my husband would prompt the kids to let me know how special I was to them. In reality, sometimes he even forgot it was Mother’s Day. So when flowers didn’t come or beautifully handwritten notes or pictures made didn’t appear, I did what most mothers do: I felt like a failure.
Of course, your family’s lack of participation in special Mother’s Day events is in no way a reflection of how good of a mother you are. These expectations can take the joy out of what can be a wonderful day, whether you receive long handwritten letters or not.
This Mother’s Day, instead of focusing on what your family can do for you, focus on what you can do for you.
One of the best things you can do for yourself as a mom is to learn to set boundaries. We’ve all been through a tough few months, especially mothers. Boundaries might feel impossible when there are no boundaries between you and your family since you’re home all day together. But one of the simplest ways to set a boundary can still be done no matter where you are or who you are with. How do you do this? By saying that word most mothers hate: No.