Today's cup of decaf is for all the mothers.
I am feeling a little sense of urgency to share this cup of decaf with you mothers out there because the infamous Mother’s Day is a few hours away and I want you to be prepared. If you are a mother who loves Mother’s Day and feels enormously satisfied each year when it comes and goes, then don’t feel obligated to read. However, if you are the mother who…
1. Feels slightly disappointed on Mother’s Day,
2. Feels disappointed because your kids are not around to disappoint you on Mother’s Day,
3. Feels you don’t get to celebrate because you have to make sure someone else’s mother isn’t disappointed,
4. Wishes you could just have a normal Sunday like all the others in May,
…then read on. I am offering you three ways to save the day, for yourself, your spouse, and your children.
Save Strategy #1
Ignore the hype and focus on what matters about being a mother. The advertising has sucked us all in and made us feel that Mother’s Day is a huge deal. Seriously? Every day that you are a mother is a huge deal! I just read an article published by the History Channel about the origins of Mother’s Day. Very interesting, indeed. Mother’s Day has its roots in ancient Greek and Roman festivals honoring mother goddesses. It was also known as Mothering Sunday in early Christian tradition to honor one’s mother church. Fast forward to the years before the Civil War when Anna Reeves Jarvis started Mother’s Day Work Clubs to teach women how to better care for their children. When the war divided the country, these clubs became known as reconciliation clubs in which mothers, confederate, and union soldiers worked toward creating peace. While other women, suffragettes and abolitionists, also worked to create attention for mothers’ and women’s rights, Anna Jarvis, daughter of Anna Reeves Jarvis became the official mother of Mother’s Day. In spite of the fact that she never married, nor had children, she wanted to honor her mother and the sacrifices women make for their children. She also felt that too many holidays celebrated the accomplishments of men and not women. She campaigned for recognition. With letter writing, backing from a successful department store, and the help of politicians, in 1914, president Woodrow Wilson declared it a national holiday. Can you imagine how hard that was to pull off in those years? Anyhow, it became so popular and commercialized that by 1920 poor Anna became disgusted with the whole thing! Yes, they used the word “disgusted” with the commercialization of the day! She worked the rest of her life to denounce the buying of cards, flowers, and candies. By the time of her death in 1948, she had disowned the holiday all together and had worked to get it taken off the American calendar. So, my point is that Mother’s Day hasn’t been true to itself for a century. Don’t get caught up in the Mother’s Day culture. Try to find a cause that promotes mothers, honors women, and supports daughters. Join that cause or live those ideas, and pass on that wealth of knowledge.
Save Strategy #2
Tell them what you want. Be super clear, honest, and direct. You may be fortunate to have the spouse who reads your mind or the children who have been planning and preparing for weeks. Or you may be like many who know they are loved, but realizes the day has slipped everyone’s mind until the last minute. Voila! You get nothing, or nothing you actually want. My daughters saved Mother’s Day for me one year. I must have reached a boiling point with the “How hard is it to know what I like? It’s not rocket science. You all know exactly who I am and what I enjoy.” So, those girls came up with an awesome plan. One stayed home with dad to go shopping and cook. One took me (well, I drove, because she couldn’t yet) to a beautiful hiking trail. When we returned, the fabulous brunch was ready, complete with flowers on the table and a gift certificate to a massage. Afterwards we headed out to a museum, (a huge sacrifice for someone, not mentioning any names, oldest daughter, because she hates art museums) and then out for a lovely low-key dinner at a restaurant where no one complained and everyone found something they liked! It had all the components of a day I loved. Being with my family, not being in charge of anything, exercise, outdoors, art, and food. And I got to schedule the massage for a day that worked for me. Voila! I got everything I ever wanted! So, even if you have to shout, make sure they know who you are and what you like. It’s not rocket science. It is probably something really simple, doable, and not costly.
Save Strategy #3
Take care of yourself. If you have to go to brunch or a party and fear you won’t have time to do what you want, try to plan ahead for a little time in the day that is yours. No guilt, no moody martyr feelings, just a little, “I’ll meet you later, I’m going for a walk.” Or “I’m getting up early to go to that café for breakfast, join me if you like.” Or “I’m dying to see that new rom com, so I’m going to the matinee if anyone wants to join me.” Maybe you want to make yourself a cup of decaf (or a mimosa) in bed, and maybe you want to just do nothing and go nowhere.
The point is to take care of your needs and not expect that someone else will, simply because it is Mother’s Day. It’s always a good idea to mother yourself!
Let me know how it goes!