My first Mother’s Day was awful. We’d become new parents, with all the sleepless nights that go along with that stage in life. Combine that with the realities of being a young, growing family and you won’t be surprised to learn that extra resources and energy were not spent on making this annual mark on motherhood anything more than a regular day sprinkled with a few kind gestures.
My first Mother’s Day was not the Pinterest pinnacle of my dreams because of one huge reason – my expectations. Despite having a healthy newborn, a supportive partner and the makings of a happy life, my expectations on what Mother’s Day should be sucked all the beauty out of what it actually was: a gloriously simple and perfect day.
By the following year, I learned my lesson. Six years and another kid later, lofty expectations of elaborate shows of appreciation have been thrown out the window. WE celebrate the realities of my motherhood instead. I’m a busy mom and having a less traditional view of Mother’s Day is the reason why it’s become one of my favorite days of the year.
Here are five ways busy moms can improve Mother’s Day by simplifying it:
1. Get real about your expectations versus your reality
We’re all big girls here, right? As soon as I rearranged my expectations to align with reality, the sooner we could all get to the business of appreciating my motherhood. Issues like time, childcare, money or even a person’s innate ability to plan celebratory events should be considered when deciding what a successful Mother’s Day feels like.
2. Be specific
You’re a busy mom because you know how to get things done. You’re leaned on for the planning and execution of many aspects of family life, so when it comes to Mother’s Day, you might need to get specific on your needs. “Honey, can you let me sleep for a few extra hours this Mother’s Day?” is a specific, reasonable and simple request. Age appropriate gifts like handmade cards and crafts is a great suggestion too. You might have to make lunch reservations or ask for time alone, the point is to either make your desires specific or be content with whatever celebratory events transpire.
3. Make it tradition
Traditions are things that happen the same way during the same time, year after year. You know what else they are? Simple! Think of traditions as a roadmap to a great Mother’s Day. Once they’re set, traditions can put your Mother’s Day on auto-pilot and fill the day with happy memories instead of more work for Mom.
4. Decide how extended family fits into the day
For many moms, celebrating Mother’s Day with their own generations of mothers is a no-brainer. For others, that might not be the case. The point is just to make a conscience decision on how or if other mothers will be included in your celebrations. Remove the guilt or expectations, making it simple to enjoy your day.
5. Focus on simple
When all else fails, remind yourself of the people who make this day a possibility. Your kids! Mother’s Day can be a great opportunity. Keep Mother’s Day uncomplicated and focused on what makes you happy as a busy mom, then create celebrations that facilitate more of that.
Traditional, grandeur Mother’s Day celebrations aside, this day is meant to honor motherhood – and that means you! Take a few moments to consider how your expectations impact the enjoyment of the holiday as we get ready to celebrate some of the coolest people on the planet. Less really can be more.