Happy Mother’s Day! I love this day. But not all of us do. Those of us who have lost children either from the womb or after birth, or some even after many years of life, or just a few years of life lament this day. Others of us have grief because we have lost our mothers. My heart extends to yours. And still others feel unappreciated, unrecognized, or passed over. Some of us are not going to experience a celebration. Others will experience a celebration on the outside but not on the inside. I wanted to write this post because I see you.
I was laying here thinking that in almost 14 years of marriage, and over 6 years of being a mother x 3, that I love this day.
I love this day because I have children. I love this day because I have a husband who loves me. And I love this day because I have a mother. I have it all. The Lord took my grandma, and I only knew one grandma, but He gave me another one through my husband and we love her dearly. She is wonderful. And we also have his mother. She is also beautiful, inside and out.
My normal celebration was bringing my mom breakfast in bed. Then as I got older, I added a tradition of taking her on a picnic. I always bought her a corsage – always tried to find a pink iris with a pink ribbon. And if we were with other women in our family I got one for them too. Now I live in another city. I am sad I can’t celebrate her in person. We did the best we could from afar.
As for my own celebration, I’ve evolved. Over these relatively short years of marriage (I hope we can pass 60 years together… we would be centurions!) I’ve learned how to be less selfish. Yes, I meant to say it that way… less selfish. Sure, it’s a day to celebrate motherhood. What does that mean?
For me, it has become giving my children an opportunity to prepare a gift for someone else: me and their grandmas. It is a moment to teach them how to affirm someone else and make them feel special. So this is what I told my husband was important to me: help the children learn this lesson. I have two boys who are old enough to glean from this opportunity. And it’s our chance to show them honest gratitude.
A key to enjoying this day is to know yourself. It’s very advised to help your husbands be successful. Tell them how to help you feel special. Some of you don’t want to have to tell your husbands what to do for you… but you should get over that! Sometimes they need some direction, and they appreciate it! But warning, if your husband doesn’t like input, then don’t tell him!
Here’s how I do this: “What do you have planned for Mother’s Day?”
He says: “What would you like to do?”
I say: “(insert some suggestions)”
Listen, I know not all husbands will ask. Some will say, “I haven’t thought about it;” “I haven’t planned anything;” or “it’s a surprise”.
Then after the event, or during, give specific compliments. Did you know men do better with very specific compliments? Such as,
- “I love how you thought about (insert this)”
- “That took a lot of planning and juggling on your part;”
- “That food was delicious!”
- “You lost sleep to prepare this for me!”
What do you do if your man does nothing for you?
Then treat yourself. Take yourself somewhere, buy yourself a book, go have a coffee or tea, give yourself permission not to work for a day and declare a No Work Day for yourself to your family, spend all day playing with your kids, declare a YoYo food day (you’re on your own), make a plan to go out with a friend — you get the picture. But I think my favorite idea is you could serve another mother (whose husband isn’t gifted in this area) by treating her and her family over for brunch or lunch or dinner. And you can still pay compliments to your spouse. Here are some compliments you can think about saying that have nothing to do with a man’s special preparations for you for Mother’s Day – they are just truths I hope are true for you:
- “You work hard to provide for us an excellent life – thank you;” (this is true even if he is a stay at home dad; this is true if he is currently laid off; this is true if he is not providing much right now… be specific about any small thing he does for your family)
- “I wouldn’t be as successful in my mothering without your support” (this is true even if his contributions are minor in your eyes)
- “It seems like you made our child look extra nice today!” (Unless he didn’t get them dressed… but maybe he has corrected some behavior or a heart issue, or taught them something)
- “You look so handsome for me!” (Even if he looks the same every day!)
- “Everyday when you do your thing, you enable me to do mine.” (Still true in every case)
- “Our kids benefit so much because you spend time with them.” (Even if the time is little).
Listen, some of you have a hard life. I am trying to show you a way of gratitude. When you treat men like men, they act like men. When you treat men like boys, they act like boys.
Know yourself though. Your joy comes from the Lord. If you don’t have joy, study where it comes from! The Bible shows the way!
I will close with a Happy Blessed Mother’s Day with for you!! Xoxo