Updated: Oct 1, 2021
I have a complicated relationship with Mother’s Day.
It is marketed as the one day a year to focus on mom and make her feel special, and every year I would look forward to it with anticipation. I thought it would be something magical...exceptional...out of the ordinary. Even when my logical voice spoke up to remind me it was just another day and not to get my hopes up, I never listened.
I gave birth to my first daughter in May of 2011.
Many regarded that as my first Mother’s Day. I was still pregnant on the official holiday and received some cards and flowers. It didn’t feel like much yet, but it was nice to feel recognized. With the bar set, I looked forward to that small recognition each year. What I came to learn was that there are a lot of moms in my life that also look forward to that recognition.
As each Mother’s Day arrived, we spent time visiting the other mom’s in our lives (grandparents, aunts, great-grandparents), as we should. However, those obligations took priority over making it special for me. I was still mom, just like I was every other day. Feeding babies, changing diapers, cleaning the house, and buying the gifts and cards for others. I began to loathe Mother’s Day. I really believed that Mother’s Day wasn’t for me. It was for the mothers around me.
Does that sound selfish?
Yup. Sure does. Looking back on it, here’s what I came to realize. I looked forward to Mother’s Day so much because I was looking for relief. I was looking for that one day a year that no one asked anything of me. It was a day to be left alone to do what I wanted because there was no other day during the year when I felt I had permission to ask for that time. I was always mom, wife, and entrepreneur, and each of those roles have responsibilities that never stop. I needed to make more time for myself throughout the year so that I didn’t put so much stock in the Mother’s Day experience.
Things are different now. I am happy to say that I am now in a place where I don’t care what I do on Mother’s Day. That is because if I don’t do it on Mother’s Day, I’ll make time to do it another day. I don’t need Mother’s Day to make me feel special, and neither do you. Here are some tips to make yourself feel special every day.
Talk to your partner! Let them know you are feeling underappreciated. Maybe it’s time for a long overdue date night. Your partner may be feeling underappreciated too, and some mutual relaxation will be welcomed. If you don’t have a partner in your life, call up a cousin or a best friend. Plan for some adult time.
Review and implement your self care plan. Know what areas you are doing well in and what areas need a boost. Do you love to read, but haven’t made the time? Let’s make a plan to find the time. Take control where you can.
Don’t wait for a holiday to do something special. If you want breakfast in bed on any given Sunday, ask for it! Partners and children are not always good at picking up on subliminal clues. Ask for what you want and you are much more likely to get it.
ASK FOR HELP! I’m begging you. It is normal to ask for help. It is NOT a sign of failure or weakness. Is there something you can take off your plate? Can you hire a housekeeper or a nanny? Should you talk with a financial planner like me? What can you delegate so you have time to enjoy your life?
On this Mother’s Day, I hope you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to embrace whatever the day has to offer. My wish for you after Mother’s Day is that you feel special all the time! Take control of your self care. You won’t regret it. Click here to schedule a consultation and start making every day feel like Mother’s Day!
Christina Gatteri, CFP
Certified Financial Planner
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886