The original idea behind Mother's Day was sweet and simple: honor and recognize mothers. At least, that's what Mother's Day founder Anna Jarvis had in mind when she conceived of the idea back in 1905. Of course, it didn't take long before retailers caught wind of the excitement and Mother's Day turned into the very commercial gift-giving affair (much to Jarvis' dismay) that we know of today. Perhaps it's precisely these kind of materialistic celebrations that often leave mothers feeling frustrated, empty, and frankly, a little less-than-celebrated.
The problem is, Mother's Day often brings expectations -- of plans, gifts, moods (yours and others'), time, and more. The trouble with expectations is that things don't usually happen as you expect, which often leads to disappointment.
The other problem with Mother's Day is that not everyone feels like they fit the prescribed cultural idea of "mother." Maybe you don't go by the name "mom" or you aren't technically a parent yet. But the truth is, you're still worthy of honor and recognition for your role and work as a parent.
Given the issues with Mother's Day, why not take back the spirit of the day by taking the celebration into your own hands? This Mother's Day, plan for how you will celebrate yourself. No relying on anyone else to call or show up or treat you -- only you and your plans for how you will honor yourself during the day. No guilt allowed either -- caring for and celebrating yourself is an act of deep responsibility and nurturing. You wouldn't think twice about bestowing the same kind of care for your child -- you too are worthy of such love.
Ideas for Celebrating Yourself this Mother's Day
Let go of expectations from others and yourself -- instead, plan ways to honor yourself this Mother's Day. And if your plans don't go exactly as you expect (and they probably won't), that's ok too. Make plans anyway, but let go of specific outcomes.
Time alone - Whether you're around children on a regular basis or not, you cannot overestimate the value and joy of spending time alone. Time with your thoughts, a good nap, or simply doing exactly what you love, whatever that may be.
Dinner, with or without guests - Being fed by someone else can feel like the ultimate act of love and nurturing. Plan on ordering a meal out this Mother's Day from a place that serves food that is nourishing and tastes delicious. Invite others to join you or not -- you are worthy of it either way.
Treat yourself - If you're able to, order or buy something you wouldn't normally get for yourself. Every time you use, wear, or look at the item, you'll be reminded of how you took the opportunity to celebrate yourself. Even if it's as simple as a new houseplant!
Participate in your favorite hobby - Whatever you like to do, but never "have the time" to do -- do that on Mother's Day. Set aside half the day or even just a couple of hours. Let others know and arrange for child care if possible and necessary.
Day of no plans - For busy people, the best plans are often no plans at all. Schedule nothing. Do nothing. Or at least, as close to nothing as possible.
Of course, this list is only for starters. Spend some time thinking about what activities really matter to you. What kinds of activities and rituals do you enjoy that are significant to you? Ask yourself, how could I honor myself -- without relying upon anyone else -- this Mother's Day? Therein lies the answer.