Mother’s Day: It’s Not The Thought That Counts.

Mother’s Day, like Valentine’s Day and birthdays, comes with high expectations.  Although, unlike those other days that celebrate an individual, Mother’s Day celebrates the fact that mothers tend not to celebrate their individuality, but rather to do for others most of the time.  So, what do you do for a mom who seems to always put others first? What do moms want on Mother’s Day?

Being a newly single mom this year, the planning of my own day was all on me.  I know my boys have some gifts they made in school and my older one made me take him to Walmart at 10:30 Friday night to shop for me (with borrowed money from me of course).  But it’s the thought that counts, right?  A handmade gift and an expression of their love is all I need to feel appreciated.  Right??

Well, not so much.  I have to admit, I was feeling sad this morning when I realized that my boys were fighting over what they wanted to do for this special weekend and it was all about what they like to do!  I hid my tears and felt like a selfish brat when they couldn’t focus on just me or stop the bickering for just one weekend.  So, I took a deep breath and did what I always do. I focused on them. We drove out to King Of Prussia to visit the Lego Store!  And we had a great day!!

I’ve asked around to find out what other mothers are doing on their special day.  One mom I know made a schedule for her husband to follow, “Leave me alone until 9, then the kids can come in my room with coffee and breakfast, then leave me alone again until 1, then we can go out for a late lunch…”  Another mom has some family time in the morning, then leaves them behind to go to the ballet with a friend each year.  It’s ok to plan your own day.  Do what makes you feel good about being a mom.  Sometimes that means being with a crowd, sometimes with just your children and sometimes being alone to reflect. If you have expectations for the perfect mother’s day, then make it happen!  Buy your self flowers, I did and I love them!  It’s the mom way!

I have no big plans for the day.  I bought a roast to put on the grill, vowed not to do too much cleaning around the house, and planned a family project for me and the boys to do together.  We’re doodle painting the wooden banister in our house with bright, fun colors.  Maybe we’ll take a ride out to Fairmount Park to take a walk in the woods if the weather is nice.  I’ll smile and give kisses and hugs when I get my handmade gifts and (I peeked) the Lego set, bright pink towel and lavender fuzzy pillow that cost me too much time and too much money at Walmart the other night.  My kids will still argue and I’ll still get frustrated, I’ll still have to cook and do the dishes and make sure their homework is done for the next day.

But the best part of Mother’s Day tomorrow will be the time I will spend with them and the memories we will have together.  Because it’s not just the thought that counts, it’s the bright colored banister and the muddied shoes from the park after the rain that we’ll remember.  It’s the time together every day that really counts.  And it’s in the knowing that my kids, with all the frustrating, infuriating, exhausting days we often have, are really super great kids!  They only got that way because, with all my faults (and there are plenty), I’m still a really great mom.

Have a Very Happy Mother’s Day, give your kids a hug today and know that as much as you love them, they got great because of you!

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