Mother’s Day Juggling Act

By Kerrie McLoughlin

Remember Mother’s Day before you were married? The day probably revolved around your own mom, stepmom or other mother figure. Then your mother-in-law came into the picture, and you had to really split your time every second Sunday in May. Once YOU became a mother you probably realized that juggling Mother’s Day visits (as well as your own “selfish” needs and wants) should be an Olympic event. While it’s true you can’t make everyone happy all of the time, I believe you CAN honor all the moms in your life — including yourself — every year. Here are some ideas:

Dilemma: So many moms, so little time.
Solution: Change it up. Who says Mother’s Day should only be celebrated on that specific Sunday in May? I like to have my stepmom over for dinner one night during the week leading up to Mother’s Day. Then maybe we take my mother-in-law out to dinner the night before. When Sunday rolls around, I have my mom over to hang out with us at our house for part of the day, and we make sure to serve her a special meal and shower her with cards and flowers. I get the best of both worlds on Mother’s Day: being with my own mom and being with the little ones who made ME a mom.

Dilemma: A long-distance relationship with your mom or mother-in-law.
Solution: Skype! It’s free and fun — you just need an Internet connection and a camera hook-up for your computer. You could also make different plans every now and then (e.g., have an out-of-town Mother’s Day one year, then the next year stay put; or have one of the moms come for a weekend stay at your place).

Dilemma: You feel selfish and guilty for wanting it to be about you.
Solution: I believe it’s your choice as to how you want to spend your day or weekend once you become a mom yourself. You might want to get away for a Saturday spa day or sit around at a coffeehouse on Sunday leisurely reading or chatting with a friend for a few hours. Other years you might want to hang out around the house all day letting the kids pamper you.

Dilemma: My inboxes (laundry hamper, kitchen sink, etc.) are always full.
Solution: Of all days, take TODAY off, which means no housework! Close your eyes as you walk by the sink full of dishes, hold your nose as you stroll by the laundry hamper. In anticipation of this holiday, make sure you have paper plates and cups on hand for when your family serves you like the queen you are.

Dilemma: My kid is a baby, and my husband can’t cook.
Solution: If your husband and kids aren’t quite able to make you dinner on Mother’s Day, let them take you to a restaurant. If you aren’t up for wrestling with the kids at a restaurant, consider take-out. Don’t forget to grab something sweet that you love on the way home, like ice cream. This is the day you get to indulge and not feel one bit guilty!

Dilemma: You’re a single mom.
Solution: If you’re parenting alone, I’m hoping your kids will take over or that some trusted adult will assist them in making your day special. If your ex has the kids for the weekend, focus on yourself. The “no housework” rule applies to you, too, sister … believe me, it’ll still all be there tomorrow. Do what you love to do all day long. Go for a walk, read a juicy novel, go to a movie, soak in the tub, hang out with your own mom if you like.

Mother’s Day is, of course, about mothers! Whatever situation you’re in mom-wise, try to make today out of the ordinary in some way. Just as you always want your children to have the best time on their birthday and other holidays, consider that you also deserve to have a good time on Mother’s Day. It’s all about balance, and it CAN be done!


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