Mother’s Day is meant to be a special day, a day to celebrate, honor, and recognize what you do as a mother. In theory it sounds great, breakfast in bed if you have kids still at home, maybe flowers, maybe gifts, maybe cards with kind words, or maybe nothing too. See, for a lot of mothers out there, this is possibly the worst holiday. Not only do they not look forward to it but they can’t get through today fast enough. If this is you, stick around…I want to help you.
I remember when I was a little girl I loved my Grandmother so very much (still do of course). I thought she was fun, and loving, creative, sure, sharp at times, but mostly I just loved her. I didn’t see any faults in her, I wasn’t looking. I just saw her, my Grandmother and I loved her so, so much. As I got a little older I’d hear comments she made about hating Mother’s Day. She didn’t want to think about all the mistakes she made as a mother (which I’m SURE she didn’t). She didn’t want to be honored and recognized for a job well done.
It was the first time I heard anyone complain that they didn’t like Mother’s day. As a kid, it’s a special day. It’s a day that you get to be generous, full of service, and love. You make cards, crafts, food, etc. And you’re excited because it’s all done in the name of love and appreciation- and you feel happy about it.
But then it changes for a lot of mothers. I hear this a lot. As a mother, while you love, LOVE all the cards, hearts, the thought behind breakfast, and all the kind words. You also see the left over paper mess from where they made the cards, every supply they used still out and waiting for someone else to clean it up (you, of course). You see the kitchen in all it’s glory covered with remnants of breakfast and a sink full of dishes. You read their cute cards and smile for them but inside you’re breaking a little because you think, I don’t deserve this. I’m not a good mom. Then you have your own loud, persistent dialogue in you mind that then begins to remind you of all your human flaws and all the reasons you aren’t deserving of all this praise and recognition.
I know, I hear you. I’ve been there myself too. It’s NOT a fun place and I want to offer some thoughts to help you through today.
First and foremost, to those that feel like they’re not a good mother. READ THESE POSTS NOW. (Mother 1,Mother 2, Mother 3)Three posts ALL about whether you’re a good mom or not – spoiler alert – you are. I know it.
Second, STOP all the imagery of what today is supposed to be. It’s NOT a Hallmark movie. While today is supposed to be a relaxing day for you I want to tell you that thinking this thought is kind of poisonous – don’t think it. I’ll tell you why because I know this sounds crazy. Today is a day to honor Mothers BUT your definition of honoring and relaxing is going to be VERY different than how your kids interpret this. You may see yourself sleeping in, having a clean house, kids that cooperate and actually get dressed for church in a timely manner, and being served food that you’ll actually eat – without them leaving a trail of mess everywhere they go.
But to them, they’re just excited to share what they’ve made for you. They don’t see the “mess” as a mess at all. They’re too happy and blinded by the idea that they can’t wait to give you something for them to even notice they left something behind. Mother’s Day really ISN’T for you. It’s a day for those that love you.
It’s a day for YOU to realize that your efforts aren’t just good enough but they’re MORE than enough. YOU are MORE than enough. You are doing a good job. STOP, STOP, STOP berating yourself over things you did wrong, things you should have done better, and all the things that make you a “bad mom”. Stop, stop, stop.
Third, What you were was exactly the mother they needed you to be – yes, you were/are. They needed you in all your imperfectness to make mistakes to mother them so that they could learn and grow in a way that only that opportunity provided. Motherhood isn’t supposed to be all happy, daisies, and roses. You’re supposed to disappoint them. You’re supposed to be a walking mess occasionally. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you’re doomed. It certainly doesn’t mean you have no right to enjoy today either.
There is NO such thing as a perfect mother. It’s all a matter of perception. It’s all in your head and your thoughts about it. This is REALLY GOOD NEWS because this means that YOU have the power to change it if you don’t like the story right now. Today isn’t a day to beat yourself up of all the coulda, shoulda, woulda’s. What today is is a day to decide, What kind of mother do I want to be?
Kind, compassionate, loving, present, happy, forgiving, patient, etc.
Fourth, Right now is a perfect moment to start fresh, to start over, to decide who you want to be and take those steps to being that. You can only move forward. It’s NEVER too late to be the kind of mother you want to be. You can be both flawed and wonderful at the same time.
We all make mistakes, we’re all learning and growing. Heavenly Father gave you those kids (that mother) because He knew what YOU NEEDED. He knew what THEY NEEDED. It’s not a mistake. Nothing is ruined or doomed. If you’re not happy with how things are right now, change them. It’s NOT TOO LATE. It’s never too late.
Fifth, you may want to argue and think, but I’m not that kind of mom. I want you to stop that thought and replace it with, “what if I am” instead. Ex: What if I’m not a “fun” mom? Replace it with, “What if I AM a fun mom?”, What if I AM the exact mother my kids need? What if I AM doing a good job? Better than good?! What if I AM flawed and wonderful at the same time?
Let me teach you something, this is really important and will serve you well in any situation. What you want isn’t a thing. It’s not a clean house, it’s not a million dollars, it’s not kids that all go to Ivy League schools on scholarships. I know you want to argue with me but hear me out – it’s NOT really what you want. What you want is HOW YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO FEEL if you get those things.
You really want to feel calm, peaceful, proud, secure, free, loved. You want to feel connection, joy, appreciation, etc. What you want isn’t a thing, it’s a feeling.
This is the BEST news ever because YOU are in control of how you feel. You CREATE your feelings. If I want to feel peaceful then I create that with peaceful thoughts. I create it by what I decide to keep in my mind. I don’t need the things to make me feel a certain way. It’s not the things that create that. It’s my feelings about the things that create that.
If today, you want to have a good mother’s day, it’s not getting the things you WANT, it’s all about feeling the way you want to feel. You decide if you’re going to have a good mother’s day by the thoughts you keep. Expect the mess. There is going to be a mess, they’re kids…or teens…or even a well intended husband. Choose to see this as, “I’m so grateful they’re trying to show me love in the best way they can. That’s very thoughtful of them and because I love them I can a.) make a request that they clean it up too or b.) I can clean it up because I’m just so thankful they took the initiative to make this for me.” See it as a good thing and not a, “well, great, now I have to clean that up.”
Which thought pattern is going to give you what you want? The first? Well great, now I HAVE to…
The second? I’m so grateful they’re loving me the best way they can.
It’s all a matter of perception. How YOU choose to see the situation. The first thought pattern is going to produce negativity, resentment, and frustration. The second will produce gratitude, love, and joy.
You are doing a good job as a mom. Today you can either keep your vision of how Mother’s Day SHOULD be or you can choose to see it in a completely different light. What you want for Mother’s Day isn’t a thing. It’s a feeling…you give it to yourself NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE.
I hope you choose to have a JOYFUL day today. Celebrate yourself inside. You’re doing a great job. Focus on your past successes today instead of your past failures.
Happy, happy Mother’s day, my Mama friends.
Everyone has mama issues. I can help. Set up a mini session with me. It’s FREE. I promise you’ll walk away with REAL tools to help you learn to move forward through difficult circumstances, gain confidence, peace, and get to a place of love.