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How to have a Mother's Day that doesn't suck.

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Raise your hand if you’ve experienced a disappointing Mother’s Day in your parenting journey. You’re not alone, Mama.

For one day of the year, we take off our cruise director hats and hand over the reigns to our partner and kids. We drop hints that a few extra hours of sleep or a yummy, drama-free brunch might be nice. We look forward to the day with anticipation.

Almost always, Mother’s Day doesn’t turn out to be the flower-filled, sunshiney spectacular that Hallmark commercials would have us expect.

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Over the years I’ve figured out some ways to make the most out of MY day. You heard that right, it’s YOUR special day and YOU should feel celebrated for ALL that you do. Here are my time-tested tips for having a memorable Mother’s Day that won’t leave you in tears:

  • Be crystal clear about what you would like the day to look like. For several years, I expected my husband to read my mind about what I would like to happen on Mother's Day. I finally learned that if I wanted to go to a specific restaurant for brunch or be fanned by a palm frond at the neighborhood pool, I needed to set my own agenda for the day. The next step was to set my hubby up for success by sending him a gentle memo ahead of time.
  • Celebrate yourself. Consider buying a small notebook and start a tradition of jotting down your accomplishments, funny memories or lessons learned from the previous year. Ask your family members to add their favorite "Mom memory" or any little things they appreciate about your daily efforts. Go around yelling, "It's my day, people! Bring on the hugs and compliments!"
  • Don't be afraid to ask for solo time. Yes, Mother's Day is a day for your family to celebrate you, but that doesn't mean that you can't request quiet R&R time at home while your partner takes the kids to the park for a few hours. Or perhaps you'll opt for a pre-scheduled massage or pedicure at a salon. It's your day - make it your own and choose what feels pampering or celebratory to you.
  • Surround yourself with love if you're a single mom. Mother's Day can often be challenging for single parents. If you're going into the weekend solo, make special plans with supportive friends or family to avoid feeling isolated. You deserve a ton of celebration, love and recognition, Mama!
  • Keep your expectations in check. As we learn during the holidays, our kids don't stop being kids just because the calendar says it's a special day. Savor the sloppy breakfast in bed, the school-made gifts or the grocery-store bought flowers and then give yourself a high five. I know that you are doing one of the hardest jobs there is, every day, and I celebrate YOU.

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