Mother’s Day: The Perfect Gift—But for Whom?

When I think of celebrating Mother’s Day, I think of having my children here at home with me, spending time together as a family. That would be the perfect gift.


Or would it?


On the one hand, being with my kids and doing something special, like going on a bike ride together on a beautiful spring day would be lovely. But then I realize—who has to pack up the bikes and the helmets and the lunch and do everything else to make that outing happen? And who’ll have to unpack the bikes and the helmets and clean up from lunch after we get home? You guessed it—me!


So maybe the perfect gift would be something else…something like being absolved of all mothering duties for 24 hours. Going out and doing whatever I want for the day—a massage, a movie, time alone or with my women friends. But if I do vacate the house and take care of myself, there’s the guilt of not being a mother on Mother’s Day.


And there you have it—the double-bind of Mother’s Day. The conundrum of Mother’s Day. The dilemma of the “perfect gift” for Mother’s Day.


So when the children ask, “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” you might find yourself torn about what exactly that might be.


I know that you’ve been told lots of things about motherhood. It’s the toughest job you’ll ever have. It’s not a job; it’s a privilege. It’s the most wonderful thing you could ever do. But in spite of all that—or maybe because of all that—the real question just might be, “Can I take as good care of myself as I do my children?”


Or, perhaps you have no children, you want children and cannot conceive or carry them to birth, you don’t want children, or you’ve had the heartbreak of seeing your children die ahead of their time. How do you celebrate a day that brings with it unwelcome memories?


Or, perhaps Mother’s Day brings obligation to honor your own mother rather than joy and appreciation for her. How we were mothered is not always a bright shiny jewel in our crown of life. Not all of us had mothers we enjoyed. Some mothers are mean or neglectful or overly involved; they give us sadness and conflict, not joy.


Or, maybe your mother is gone. Perhaps there is a great dark hole in your soul where your mother’s living presence once filled and no longer does so. Grief may be revived on Mother’s Day.


Whether it’s a welcome day of celebration or a dark day of mourning, Mother’s Day is on the horizon. And, there is one unquestionable mother to honor and respect: yourself. We all mother ourselves daily in one way or another—checking our values, providing resources for ourselves, offering reassurance or criticism to the younger part of ourselves.


Use this one special day to take really good care of yourself. This is the way to celebrate your life, honor your mother, and benefit your friends and family. And maybe that’s the perfect gift for you, and for them.


So whatever you do on Mother’s Day, make sure it feeds your soul, ‘cause you’ll need those reserves when you’re back on the job for the other 364 days of the year.


My Mother's Day Tip for me and you.

Posted in acceptance, anxiety, family relationships, inspiration, self-help on 05/10/2017 05:43 pm

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