I’m just going to say it: Mother’s Day seems to have morphed into another pressured, rushed and stressful holiday. When I was growing up, all Mom and Grandma would want was a card bursting with color, original content and love. Plus, a little extra attention, maybe breakfast in bed, and, if they were lucky, behaved children. My mom was never really that lucky.
Now that I am a mother myself, a relative freshman to this impressive club might I add, I’m hoping I can set a good example for my daughter. These Pinterest-perfect Mother’s Day brunches that you need to reserve months ahead, insanely complicated crafts and Instagram-ready adventures are going to give children—and husbands alike—undue stress when all that Mom really wants is something simple.
I will preface this with the fact that this is my second Mother’s Day. I am a mother of one, with another one on the way. But I have practice. Good practice. Insane practice. I am competing for my own time between two traditional Italian families from Pittsburgh. There are two mothers, two grandmothers, one stepmother and countless aunts who would graciously appreciate a slice of our time.
Now, everyone lives relatively close to one another on each respective side, but at opposite ends of the city. And what’s the one thing everyone wants? TIME… OK, and a little of that attention. With going from one place to the next between families, it seems like we’re always “leaving too early” or “getting there too late.” You know the drill.
My personal solution is pretty straightforward. Create more time. My husband and I celebrate my Mother’s Day on Saturday. Because, rightfully so, I want time too. I don’t want flowers that will wilt when I undoubtedly forget to water them, or a Hallmark card that will get lost in our daily shuffle. I just want a day with my little family. A day to slow down, enjoy each other and maybe take a walk. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask, but when everyone wants it on the same day, there’s bound to be disappointment. So, if your schedule allows, find more time. Ask one family to celebrate a day early, or a week late—as long as you’re there with them, that’s all that matters.
Now, I know all family dynamics are different. Not everyone has to rush around, not every couple is lucky enough to celebrate so many strong important women, but that aside, mothers of all ages, mothers of all races, mothers of all experience levels, can probably agree on that one thing they all crave: being in their loved ones’ presence. Being with the family they helped create, the household they may or may not run, and with the people they love most.
If I’ve learned one thing in my transition from daughter and granddaughter to mother, it’s to not put unrealistic expectations on this day—just savor every moment. You don’t have to buy Mom anything…as long as you can be with her. Go outside, take a hike and pick flowers, sit on the porch and just listen to her talk, have her over for dinner, accompany her to church, ask her questions, make cookies with her then eat the dough, watch home movies, make new home movies, hold her hand. That’s all she wants. Nothing fancy, nothing frilly, just you and your family with her on her day. So make the time for mom like she has always made for you!