As we are now in May and all May brings…sunshine, beach days and of course… Mother’s Day; I start talking to friends about our Mother’s Day plans. I have always wondered why so many of us (Mothers) tend to think of Mother’s Day as a day for us to plan something solo or with other Mothers, and not necessarily a day to spend with the family. Yet, on Father’s Day, all my husband wants to go is spend it with our girls and me. So this year, instead of allowing it to be a fleeting thought, I thought I would write about it.
It may seem obvious why so many mothers feel this way (and I am sure there are plenty of mothers who do not), but those “obvious” reasons do not necessarily fit me. For example, I can 110% understand why a SAHM may think of Mother’s Day as a day OFF, rather than a day to spend with the family taking care of the kids. If that is what she does 364 days a year, there is nothing special about doing it on the 365th day also! What IS special is NOT having to be responsible for ANYONE. A day to indulge in all the things you want to indulge in… whether that is a day out in the sun by yourself, a brunch with girlfriends you never have time to see, or a 24-hour block of SLEEP and nothing else! It is a day all about YOU and what YOU want to do.
Because I am not a stay-at-home mom, I feel guilty that I, too, want a day ALL TO MYSELF. I am a working mom, and I work a LOT because I run my own business. That means I should want nothing more than to spend all day with my family… right? But there is something about M-O-T-H-E-R-S D-A-Y that makes me feel like it is MY day, so it should be a day about ME. Just one day. Even though I work a lot, every minute I am not working is devoted to my girls, and I love NOTHING more than being with them. We are so close. However, every mom knows the extreme exhaustion that comes with having to be constantly ON. We are ON at work all day, then we come home, and even if we have an engaged partner who equally parents, if the kids haven’t seen mom all day, they want mom.
So aside from the wee hours of the day when we stare at social media before going to bed or watch a show we’ve been dying to watch (which we do at the expense of sleep – adding to the exhaustion), we never really get to shut OFF. So, I think of Mother’s Day as a day to turn off my switch and go on autopilot. Have a drink, sit by a pool or on the beach, put in my ear pods, and drift off to a place that involves NO questions (such as, what are we having for lunch, what are we having for dinner, are you taking us to bed, what are we doing tomorrow, when is my birthday, is that dog pee, uh mommy the cat is carrying a baby bunny in his mouth…should we help him). It is the only day out of 365 days that we can ask to take 0 responsibility for anything, and those around us feel they must oblige… because for 24 hours, it is OUR day. And the reality is that if we do not leave the house and remove ourselves from the family, there is absolutely no way possible that we will not be asked any questions. We must leave if we want a zero-responsibility day. And now that I have talked it through with you… I no longer will carry guilt when I decide to spend Mother’s Day solo – and you shouldn’t either.
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by: Jennifer Segura