“Successful mothers are not the ones that never struggled, they are the ones that never gave up despite the struggles.” – Sharon Jaynes
Well isn’t that the truth. And with my first Mother’s Day just around the corner, I can safely say that this mothering gig is no joke! This isn’t news, more of just a confirmation that, yep, it’s hard to be a mama, or a caregiver in general to small children. But isn’t it amazing too? The chaos is balanced out with cuteness, the tired is balanced out with the triumph, and the gross is, well kids are just gross sometimes. But despite all of the work, all of the confusion, all of the chaos, and all of the doubt that we are doing it right, isn’t it beautiful to know that for this moment in time we are someone’s superhero? We have an amazing opportunity to help create and shape the future. It is an opportunity worthy of being celebrated. And for one day we finally get that celebration.
But as is true with most commercial holidays, sometimes the hype smothers that true intention of the day. Mother’s Day is often tethered with lofty expectations. In one of her classes, Fun Van educator, Ashley Crooks, shared 4 tips for making this Mother’s Day one to enjoy.
- Have healthy or even low expectations for Mother’s Day: It’s easy to dream up big, outlandish plans and expectations for Mother’s Day. After all, we go above and beyond to make magic happen for birthdays, holidays and milestones, shouldn’t we expect the same for our day? Simply put, no. Remember that to your children, especially those under 5, Mother’s Day is the same as any other Sunday. You will still have to referee fights, clean up poop, prepare meals, and plan around naptimes, grumpy moods, and last minute accidents. While we wish the whole world would just stop for a day and recognize that it’s finally a day just for moms, truth is, it’s the same old same old. If you set your expectations for the day low, anything out of the ordinary will feel extraordinary.
- Communicate Your Expectations with your spouse or loved ones: It’s okay to have some expectations for Mother’s Day, just make sure that other people around you know what you are hoping to experience. Remember that no one can read your mind. It’s best to communicate what your hopes are and what you would like the day to look like, even if it doesn’t all happen. If you have a favorite restaurant you want to eat at, make it known. If you want alone time, tell your spouse. If there is a gift you have your eye on, send a quick text to share. If your expectations are out in the open, it will make it so much easier to celebrate you in a way that feels special just for you.
- Plan something for you: Be intentional about planning something small just for you to enjoy. Even if the whole day goes sideways, carve out something for you to celebrate your sacrifice, dedication and awesomeness as a mama. This could be stopping to grab your favorite drink on the way to the kids’ soccer game and not having to share it, or taking a bubble bath with ice cream to snack on after the kids are asleep. Whatever your little luxury is, take it upon yourself to create a moment for you. Self- care is essential and if you don’t prioritize it, who will?
- Enjoy it: Most importantly, be in the moment with your kids and family. Regardless of how your Mother’s Day will look this Sunday, remember to soak it in and savor it. While the job of being a mama never ends, it will look different this time next year, 5 years, 10 years and 20 years from now. Enjoy today. The snot, the tears, the laughter, reading the same book for the seventh time, and the big wet kisses planted on your cheeks after a long day. Relish in the little ones you have created and the work you are doing.
From all of us at the Fun Van, we see you. We see how hard you work to love your kiddos in the mess and we just want to say, Happy Mother’s Day. Whether you are a mama, grandma, foster mama, caregiver, aunt or friend, you are valuable, you are important and you deserve to be celebrated. It’s good, hard work, mama, and you are doing great.
From One Mother to Another- A.J.