First of all, Mother's Day is a scam. OK, not a multi-level marketing type scam, but a scam in that it's really impossible for little people to celebrate and appreciate you in the way that you should be celebrated and appreciated. Yes, your husband should absolutely step up to the plate and make those littles appreciate you, but let's be honest — sometimes husbands forget. Sometimes they are just not very thoughtful, and sometimes they just don't see it as their job because well, "you're not THEIR mom."
There probably won't be tulips, macaroons, and bowties. There probably won't even be brunch where someone doesn't spill something. Someone might even need to poop right about the time you sit down to eat and the husband will be AWOL. In fact, your kids will probably look more like feral monkeys and end up in time out before 8 am. And, the homemade drawing of you by your three year old might inspire you to start that diet you've been meaning to start every Monday since 2007. Don't fret my mom friends — you can still enjoy Mother's day with this handy little guide.
So, here's a handy guide to enjoying Mother's Day when you're a mom to littles (or bigs) because let's face it — kids are self-centered little people.
Lower your expectations.
Wait. Whatever you're imaging in your head right now, take it down one more notch. ONE MORE. OK, there. Now you've got it. Unless you're still dreaming of a spa day, or a leisurely day in bed, then you need to lower a few more times. Mother's day doesn't have to be about some grand gesture. In fact, I used to think that if I didn't have breakfast in bed, and an entire day off from my motherly duties, then it was a terrible day and every one didn't appreciate me. Forget that nonsense. Just lower your expectations and you'll be happier.
Make the magic happen yourself.
This year, I added a book and a CD to my amazon shopping cart and yelled from the other room before purchasing — "I'm about to order myself a book and a CD. Do you want this to be my Mother's Day gift?" to my husband. He immediately jumped on the chance, because HELLO — easy. Tell them what you want. Or make it happen yourself.
Take the day off BEFORE Mother's Day.
This is a genius idea that I had a few years ago. So much pressure is put on us to have the perfect day. Well, I make the perfect day happen myself on the Saturday before. I don't have church, and Saturdays are a pretty chill day for us (if I skip out on the sports games). I sometimes get a pedicure, get a few hours to myself, and just try to re-focus, re-charge and have a me day. It makes Mother's Day pretty awesome because I've already had all the me-time I want the day before.
Realize that toddlers don't give a crap.
Neither do tweens, or big kids, or sometimes husbands. Motherhood really is a thankless job. But, honestly — they may not give a crap on the day of Mother's Day, but they DO love you. They WILL learn to appreciate you (one day) and it IS all worth it. One Mother's Day, my whole family got the stomach bug. It's really just another day, and it's OK if it isn't perfect. There are plenty of other ways that your kids show you that they love you the other 364 days of the year.
Find the beauty in the homemade junk.
That macaroni necklace is awesome, and so is the paper flower with all the things you child loves about you on it. So is the hideous ashtray, and the paper bag filled with a potted flower. All of those things represent a tiny portion of the day that your child took to think about you. Sure, his teacher made him do it, and maybe he was actually thinking about when he could play Minecraft, but the point is this — let the homemade card be enough. Because I promise you, one day they won't draw you with gigantic boobs, and you'll feel sad about it.
If nothing else — remember this. It's OK to have a good cry because they all forgot. It's OK if they all forget. Yes, it sucks, yes it could be better, but they could also all come home with lice. It's all about perspective, my friends, and you're a good mom. Remember that. And, trust me — your family, deep down, knows it too. Even if they scream, "I HATE YOU" by 10 a.m. because you made them turn off the iPad to have brunch with you.
This post originally appeared on Perfection Pending.
Meredith Ethington is a writer and a mom to three, trying to help her kids understand sarcasm and her need for personal space. Meredith’s debut parenting book, Mom Life: Perfection Pending, provides an uplifting yet realistic look at all that is expected of moms in the 21st century and is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at Absolute Love Publishing. She proudly writes for many of her favorite parenting sites, including Scary Mommy, Babble, Momtastic, and on her own blog. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where she loves to laugh at herself and admit that while parenting is the best thing ever, it’s also the hardest job on earth.