The month of May is an incredible time of transformation and rebirth...nature basically explodes in warmth and green and flowery joy, the days are warmer, and you can just feel the richness of life in the air. Spring is all about celebrating fertility, growth, and life force...so it makes sense that Mother’s Day is right smack in the middle of it all!
And yet there is a paradox surrounding Mother’s Day...us mamas struggling to let other people care for us.
24/7/365, we often shoulder the responsibility for our kiddos, the mental load of managing our families’ lives as well as our own, and the impossibility of a work/life “balance,” and then wondering if we are doing enough...and this is all without a global pandemic.
It can feel so challenging when we think we have to put our own desires for loving gestures, special gifts, and Me Time on the back burner in order to be “good” mamas, but we know (and we bet you do too) that you deserve at least one day to be shown gratitude and acknowledgement for all the hard work you do all year round. It’s literally YOUR day (hence the possessive apostrophe...where my grammar nerds at??), so you should get to celebrate it YOUR way.
Not sure what that means to you, mama? Read on…
Tell Me What You Want (What You Really, Really Want…)
It can feel overwhelming to identify what would fill your cup on Mother’s Day...here’s what AMMA co-founder Satya does when she needs help feeling inspired and identifying her wants:
“To be honest, I find it challenging to think of “special” things to do on Mother’s Day, so I make time (about 5 minutes) to sit and do what I call mind-play. I’ll ask myself “do I want X” -- I typically think of something that I did or received in the past (or have seen someone do / receive). I close my eyes and feel into whether it’s a resounding YES or an “eh.” If I get excited by the idea, I write it down and then ask about something else.”
Here are a few ideas you can try to jumpstart your own mind-play:
Do you want...
- A solo spa day
- Lunch with your girlfriends
- Homemade brunch
- A homemade card
- A sweet treat and an hour alone to read a book (this was Emily’s desire last Mother’s Day, btw!)
It’s great to dream big; the idea isn’t necessarily to get everything on your list, but to help you identify your desires.
It’s also 100% ok to have mixed feelings about Mother’s Day. It can be emotionally complicated, with personal trauma, family history, loss of a loved one, the current pandemic...even the origin of the holiday has bittersweet beginnings. Honor and hold space for those feelings, and ask for the support you need to process.
From Satya (AMMA co-founder, mama of two (ages 4 & 2):
This year, I realized quickly that my special day was me with my 4 year old doing our outdoor bath ritual (we do this every Sunday together), then a special brunch with my (fully vaccinated!!!) family: my mom, my sister and her family, and my brother and his family. My husband (a trained chef) will cook our favorite foods and we’ll sit together and enjoy. I’m also going to sleep in, go for a walk alone, and ask for a pavlova...yum!
From Rachel (AMMA Mama & mama of two (ages 3 & 1):
I let myself get really out there when I was daydreaming about my ideal Mother’s Day...someone to come deep clean my house, a spa day, my fave cookies from a bakery in NYC, a piece of jewelry I’ve been eyeing, uninterrupted hours to nap and read...the works, lol! In reality, I know some of these things aren’t achievable, but what I realized is that the common thread among all of my desires was wanting to feel cared for and have my mental load relieved for a day. Knowing that helps me figure out what I want to ask for and can receive that will feed my spirit and bring me joy :)
Yes, You CAN Ask for What You Want
Ok. We know this can be soooo hard (we can feel you cringing a little bit from here). Totally get it...women (and mamas in particular) are conditioned to worry that we’re too demanding, or might hurt our partner’s feelings, or that we’re simply being selfish by asking for anything at all. BUT here’s the thing: stating your desires is really about sharing your truth. And it will ultimately be inspiring to your partner to hear what fills you up, what makes you feel considered and thought of, and how good you will feel to have your needs and wants met.
Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to ask? Sure...but until magical mind reading becomes a thing, you’ll be better off communicating exactly what you want: no apologies, zero guilt!
Again, it’s always easier when you focus on the feeling.
Try phrasing your ask like this:
“It would make me feel so special and cared for to wake up to a dozen roses, a homemade card, and a fancy espresso drink on my nightstand. Do you feel like that’s something you can do?”
“Also, I’d love time to recharge with two hours in the afternoon to nap and read my book alone. How can we make that happen (or how can I help make that happen)?”
Finally, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good...maybe everything won’t be exactly how you envision it, but it’s all a process, and the important thing is that you confidently ask for what you desire (cuz you deserve it!)
From Emily (AMMA Co-Founder, mama of two (ages 5 & 3):
I used to think Mother’s Day was about family time and enjoying my children, and while there WILL be years when that’s exactly what I desire, right now (when my children are still very young), this Mama’s Day needs to be about solitude, relaxation, and no responsibilities. And maybe some sweets. Maybe a lot of sweets. What’s been most helpful to me is learning that there is absolutely NO GUILT in wanting the day to be about me, and only me. It means that my kiddos learn the importance of self care and will grow up knowing how to do it for themselves. It means that I get to fill my cup which is the very cup that helps me stay joyful, inspired, and patient. It means that I get to honor motherhood in the way it deserves to be honored, and I get to teach my family about how it can be honored by them as well.
Need Some Inspo?
Still stuck on what will make Mother’s Day special for you? Check out our list below for ideas:
- A solo walk with your favorite beverage (to go!)
- A mini shopping spree to indulge a beloved hobby
- Acts of service to a fellow mama friend (or mama-stranger!)...hide cash or encouraging handwritten notes inside baby supplies at a big box store, organize a meal train for a newly postpartum mom, etc.
- The gift of time...to read, to sleep, to meditate, whatever you want (just try to keep the activity in service of yourself...no catching up on chores 😜)
- A luxurious bath with a warm plate of cookies and a mug of tea to enjoy (hot!)
- Date night sans kiddos
- Gift certificate to a class or activity you’ve been dying to try
Finally, sometimes the best gift we can get is the one we give ourselves, in the form of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-forgiveness. You’re a fantastic mother, a beautiful soul, and an amazing person, mama...allow yourself the permission to believe it.
Happy Mother’s Day!
P.S. - Check out our IG Live where Emily and Satya chatted with our AMMA mama community about what they want for Mama’s Day, and if your SO wants gift ideas that can be wrapped, here’s some handy inspo.