Sunday, May 11, 2014

Five Tips for a Great Mother's Day

My first few Mother's Day were a little rough.  This year I found myself surrounded with as much chaos as normal but somehow had peace.  So it got me thinking about those early years, ripe with expectation about the glorious gifts, the showering of affection and the tranquility that would no doubt befall our home.  Those were days of disappointment.  It wasn't because people weren't trying… rather it was because I wanted to be celebrated, honored, and adored ALL DAY LONG.  Not just for the amount of time it takes to read the greeting card.  "Well yeah" you say.   If you continue to expect that you will most likely end up crying in the bathroom and telling everyone you are "fine".

So here is how you keep yourself out of the  bathroom and keep a real smile on your face:

1- Lower your expectations for your spouse.  He really CAN'T be him AND you and do it as well as you would.  He is probably awesome at what he does do, but be realistic.  If he is lucky, then
he also has a mother of his own who is expecting a gift, a hug, a phone call and/or a meal so he is bound to be split between helping the kids honor you and wanting to recognize his mother as well.

2- If you want a special gift, then talk with your husband and get it for yourself -But give it to him to hide and present to you with the kids on the special day.  I bought a "mom's" basket at the school auction last month. It was perfect. It was wrapped and pretty and filled with all sorts of fun stuff.  He hid it and then  he and the kids brought it out for me to look through and enjoy.   If your kids go to an awesome school like ours then you are bound to get some very special gifts made by them during class time - so you will get some surprises.  But if a pedicure is what you really want, tell your husband you can pick up the gift card for it while you are out running around and let him wrap it for you.

Note here - this generally doesn't work for the first few Mother's Days.  Wait a few years and he will be THRILLED to have one less thing on his TODO list.

3- Recognize your children are not going to magically transform into different children for the day.  They will still fight.  They will still whine.  They will still cry.  It isn't a personal attack on you when they give their little brother a flat tire while walking in the communion line.  It is just childhood.  They are going to act like they normally act.

4- Plan ahead to do less and let your family do more. Talk with your spouse and ask him to take over discipline for the day.  If you are tired of cooking let him know you want to get take-out for lunch and dinner in leu of flowers.  Or cook ahead of time and put a casserole in the fridge for one of your older kids to just pull out. Put one of the kids in charge of feeding the baby.  Whatever.  Just let people help out.  Let them learn to serve.

5- Recognize that if you don't do something (even today) it probably won't get done.  That may include discipline and chores as mentioned above.  The bed won't get made, the dishes may not get washed, clothes will lay around and by the end of the day you may just be tripping all over the kids toys.  Be OKAY with that or make a decision not to let it upset you.  It is just one day.

Hope you are able to enjoy it!! Thanks for stopping by.

Fun Fact:  Motherhood was made a national holiday by President Wilson in 1914 after Anna Jarvis spent years lobbying for the day in memory of her own activist mother. 

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