Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Letting Go of Mother's Day Expectations

By: Jenifer Metzger

In the week leading up to Mother's Day, I always see countless memes making rounds on social media that all center around what moms want. Included are things like sleeping all day, breakfast in bed, staying in jammies in the house alone while watching movies, a clean house cleaned by someone other than you, and spa days. Yet the reality is, that probably won't happen for very many of us. After all, Mother's Day is on a Sunday (Seriously! I vote we move Mother's Day and Father's Day to Saturdays! Who's with me?).

Your day will probably go something more like: wake up super early, get ready for church, rush to get the kids ready for church, something will go wrong because it always does on Sunday morning, then run late for church despite your best effort to be on time. Lounging around probably won't happen. Then you'll probably miss your Sunday nap in order to spend time with the family. A clean house? Probably not because really, who's house stays clean through the busyness of Sundays! And the spa day or other expensive gifts? That might not happen either.

Letting go of Mother's Day expectations #motherday #mom

Maybe Mother's Day is always hard for you. Gathering with family can sometimes lead to a disagreement with a relative, kids still fight on Mother's Day, and sometimes we feel the disappointment of not getting the gift you hope for or you feel like your husband just doesn't understand Mother's Day.

Your husband and gift giving.

Your husband can't read your mind even one tiny bit. Those hints dropped via memes or ads on Facebook, he probably won't catch. If there is something you really want or need, tell him directly. Be clear.

Sometimes we want extravagant gifts, like jewelry, a new name brand handbag, or a spa day. While he may desire to give that gift to you, maybe it is not in the budget. Don't stress him out worrying how he is going to afford the gift of your dreams. Let him off the hook a bit.

If you receive a gift that leaves you wondering why he thought that was a good Mother's Day gift, think back. Have you ever said you wanted this item? Have you ever expressed any interest? In his mind he possibly thought he was honoring you with a great gift. One year my husband gifted me a large skillet. This thing is huge! People thought it was an odd gift, but the truth is, I had mentioned several times how awesome it would be to have a skillet that size. He remembered that and got one for me. I love it because he remembered something I truly wanted and needed.

Your children and gift giving.

Your precious little ones will probably make you a handmade card full of misspelled words and grade school artistry. You might receive a bouquet of dandelions. And you'll likely receive a hug with an enthusiastic "Happy Mother's Day mommy!" These gifts remind me of the widow's mite in Luke 21. The rich men came to the temple to give their offerings. They put in large sums of money. But the thing is, because they were rich, these large sums of money were nothing to them. They weren't sacrificing anything. Then a widow comes and puts in a few small coins. Nothing compared to the offerings of the rich men. Yet her offering was honored far more because she was very poor and gave everything she had. Your little one is giving you a hug and a smile which might not seem like a lot compared to a gift bag filled with an expensive gift, but she is giving you everything she has, herself.

The gift of family and love.

Literally every single Mother's Day my husband and I go to bed at night and he apologizes that my day wasn't special. Every year. Now here's the thing. Our Mother's Day is always beautiful. When the kids were younger, he would get me a small gift from him and the kids and the kids made me cards. Now that my kids are adults, they normally work together to organize a nice gift for me and we have a family lunch. It's a crazy busy day and there's not always a lot of gift exchanging. But there is a ton of family and love. And that is what makes it special. So every year my answer to my husband is the same, "I loved my Mother's Day. I was with my family and that is all that matters."

If we never get another Mother's Day gift, friends, that would be okay. It's not really about the gifts. It's all about family. It's all about love. I promise if you ask a woman who no longer has her mother here with her or who has lost a child, she would far more want her loved one back than any expensive gift, clean home, or spa day.

Don't be disappointed or let down. Don't be discouraged or feel unappreciated. Cherish what you do have. Enjoy those moments with your loved ones.

1. How do you normally spend Mother's Day?
2. What is a favorite gift you have given or received for Mother's Day?

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