My kids are close in age, 14 months apart. Early on, I got sick of spending every Mother’s Day jumping from house to house with my kids in tow. It feels as if Mother’s Day is already sandwiched between one of the unbeknownst busiest times of the year (dance recital time, soccer season, end of the school year, weddings, the list goes on forever). Going out just always seemed to add more stress and with only 18 years of my babies guaranteed to be under this roof, I decided that I don’t want to waste a single moment on Mother’s Day with them worrying about trivial things, like what time to be where or what clothes are deemed appropriate.
“Mother’s Day In” is a blessing in disguise.
It gives you a beat to re-evaluate your bond with each child and reflect on your blessings. We spend so much time rushing around on the day-to-day basis and thinking about absolutely every detail of everyone’s well being, that taking this moment to focus on just your relationship can really be the soothing bliss to make it through yet another manic May.
Here are my tips for making this Mother’s Day In be just as meaningful (if not more so) than going out. By incorporating all of this in your day, I guarantee you will walk away from the day feeling revived and grounded in the purpose of why this title “Mom” matters.
Choose an Activity with Purpose
When deciding something to do with the day, don’t overthink it. We spend so much time attempting to make something happen, that we don’t even realize how many similar interests we have naturally sometimes. Great example: my kids are really into drawing right now. My daughter will literally carry around a sketch pad and spend hours just making up things while my son adores coloring. I’ve always been more art inclined and it’s something we share, more so than my husband. Simple similar interest activities deepen the bond while doing things both you and your child enjoy.
An art project will be the perfect match for my family this year. What would yours be? Love to be challenged mentally and extremely competitive? Try a gaming day. Interested in the earth and being green? Try gardening. Are you both scientifically-minded? Maybe become a chemist today and try cooking something new. Love to physically be active and sweat it out? Work out while playing a sport you both enjoy. The possibilities are endless at home together.
Take Time for a Deep Talk
Take time during the day to talk about memories that you both have shared. Their individual birth stories, your favorite moment with them when they were younger, and even your favorite moment from last Mother’s Day to now. Asking them in return what theirs was is just as important. In this trip down memory lane, make sure to focus on the attributes that you both appreciate about each other from these memories. Take the time to cherish the individualism of the little soul you have helped nourish and hear exactly why they appreciate yours as well. This is extremely important to sit down and reflect on every now and then because in absolutely any hardship, this depth you have created will be the strong roots to keep you both grounded to weather the storms.
Make Mealtime Count
Most of my best childhood memories, like many of yours, were around shared food. Aunt Shirley’s ice cream pie, aunt Marilyn’s broccoli, and my grandma’s dumplings are all heavy hitters when it comes to appeasing my taste-buds and taking me right to happy memories. My grandmother had a way about her when teaching me. She always told me that family isn’t complete without a family meal.
Mother’s Day is no exception; do not have them cater to you in bed. You are missing out on a big opportunity to instead cook together.
It could be the day before if you really want to rest and soak in the together time, but that pivotal life-lesson moment is at the core of what celebrating motherhood is all about; passing down your knowledge to benefit and better your child. My mom was always too busy to teach me how to cook. It took my grandmother to sit me down, show me how to crack an egg, then making me do it until I got it right before I was able to scramble them.
Everyone starts somewhere and what a better way than to do it on Mother’s Day (or Mother’s Day weekend in general). Even if you cook with your kids frequently, there is always a new recipe to be learned. I’m still finding new things to cook and I’ve been cooking for about 20 years (the internet is a great thing, folks). Also making time to share the recipes that mean so much to you can really allow them to share yet another connection with you that they can one day pass down to their own family.
Craft Something That Will Last
This is a great time to do not only an emotional inventory but a physical one. Have you made a keepsake with your child this year? Every year we make a plate as a family and I only use them on Mother’s Day. Mine are still little enough that we do handprints that I turn into other things, then we let them paint the back however they’d like. The kids love the memory of making them as well as pulling them out to see how different each one is with each year. Your items don’t need to be the same thing every year, but choosing one celebratory project to keep each Mother’s Day is a good way to see where they were mentally and how they’ve progressed.
You could make quilt squares and make a large blanket for each child, small tiles to place on a photo frame, gardening stones, coasters, decorative canvas – anything that you can see yourself wanting to keep long-term. This is a form of art therapy for the entire family.
At the end of the day (or beginning if you’re an early riser), take time in a small corner of your house or outside by your lonesome to thank yourself. Give thanks to the time you have dedicated, as well as the time you’ve been granted into motherhood. Give thanks to the abilities you have had, as well as the ones you have honed through the journey this past year. Give thanks to the struggles you have overcome and the strength you have had to do so. Showing gratitude towards yourself for being naturally just what your child needs; we are flawed by nature but through that, we grow.
The personal growth and respect we have through celebrating our motherhood through gratitude allow us to fully acknowledge the state we’re in currently, to thrive towards the best us in which we can be. Be mindful of your limits and at peace with what you have done. Reward yourself with mental compliments and allow yourself to rest. You deserve it. Go take a shower, sleep, or eat things that make you happy. Reward yourself with life’s pleasures, but always stay grounded in knowing that you’ve created the best one: a relationship with a child.
Happy Mother’s Day, my friend! I hope your stay-at-home matters just as much as you do this year! You deserve it!