Friday, May 6, 2011

The Mother of All Battles

Happy Mother's Day! If you're a mom, grandma, guardian, physical, mental or emotional mom-stand-in, this weekend is all about you.

That is, unless you spend it sans kids.

Hear me out. For the past six years, I've noticed that along with the day to honor Mom, also comes the mother of all debates.

Is it okay to spend Mother's Day without your children?

Chances are, you have an opinion about this -- maybe an intense one. But since when is it okay for moms to use the holiday as an opportunity to judge and criticize each other? Just ask around! I've talked with women who pretty much base a mom's worth on whether she spends time with her family on Mother's Day or instead, may choose to take on the day alone or with girlfriends.

I've experienced my own Mother's Day evolution...

2008 I was vocal about my disappointment in other moms who spend the day apart from her babies.
2010 While I still couldn't imagine the day without my family, I listened with an open mind as a colleague explained why she spends Mother's Day anywhere but with her kids (see: stay at home mom with no support).
2011 This year, I think I might be a little bit jealous of those celebrating with a yoga class and massage. Doesn't that sound just dreamy?

But when it comes down to it for me, I enjoy spending Mother's Day with my kids. Not only is it a day when we disconnect from the rest of the world, it's also a perfect time to teach them some life lessons.

1. They're not the only ones who exist in the world, as much as they think it revolves around them.
2. Other people... even moms (gasp!)... need and deserve to be taken care of.
3. Did I mention they're not the only ones on the face of the earth?

As for that day off? Yes, please! Maybe my kids will catch wind of this post and take the hint. (Psst... Jeff MacDougall, it's free and it's the perfect size.)

How will you spend Mother's Day?


Melissa said...

I don't so much want a day off from my daughter on Mother's day... as I want time with just my husband and daughter - which is hard to come by. But it always becomes a big family get together. With disappointment looming if we don't attend.

Carolyn Todd said...

It will be a day when I think of my mom, who had - perhaps- the sense of humor to die on mother's day. Perhaps so we would never forget her. But more likely because it was time. In any case, when I think of my mom I think of all os us descending upon her house - unannounced - and expecting some sort of great dinner. She knew how to cook a great meal and we were not going to pass it up,

Kim G. said...

I am one of those moms that has no problem with spending some time away from my son on Mother's Day. I am with my kid everyday, 24/7, and I love it - I would rather be with him than anyone; but he also knows that Mommy's need time away too. I think there is a lesson in that as well. We spend the morning together, when he wakes me up to give me his cards and handmade gifts, and we snuggle and he treats me like gold ... but then we part company for a little while. He doesn't suffer, he gets to play with his friends, without all the nagging moms around telling them what to do; he is with the cool men who (volunteered) to watch the kids, while we go and play for a bit.

When we are done, we come back and spend family time together. It's a nice balance.

There is an extra seat at the table for you Jackie, with a nice Mimosa ready to go!

Renee Bowen said...

I have done both - but I have to say,in the "early years" of my kids all being so little and needy, I enjoyed time away....because I got so little of it. With no family here, Andrew and I were in the trenches with 3 kids under the age of 2 & both struggling with working nonstop just to survive. Those years were so hard - mentally, emotionally, physically. I spent my Mother's Days away from them because it was the only time I had to be alone! Nowadays, I spend them with my kids and husband - I guess I needed some space when I felt so needed for so many years.....even if it were just for a day. ;)

VictoriaB said...

A little bit of everything today -- taking care of a sick kid, some family time, and now I'm going out to see a movie with my mom! All about the balance.

Robin B. said...

Honestly, I think Mothers' Day is a rather silly concept. I appreciate the things that my family does for me when it's not expected. I think so much hype is created through marketing that people feel obligated to something over-the-top on this particular day. I adore my mother, my children, my husband, etc., but I don't think that I need a Hallmark-mandated day on which to tell them.