What was I thinking when I volunteered to write this blog? I am either the world’s best or worst candidate for this topic. Yes, I am a mother and yes I have a mother. If it were a job application I would be an outstanding applicant: 44 years as an apprentice to the world’s best mom, 20+ years as CEM (Chief Executive Mom), direct supervision of four unruly subordinates and active participation with 24 individual Mother’s Day events.
But when you’ve lost a child, Mother’s Day becomes another unwanted anniversary speckled through the year. This perspective has made me really think about what makes celebrating Mother’s Day special…and it isn’t crumbs in your bed and cheap jewelry.
My Most Memorable Mother’s Day
Ten years ago I was a single Mom with three boys ages 10,11 and 14. I have always been blessed with especially close relationships with all my boys, so getting them to spend the day with me and do what I want was never a hard sell.
I don’t remember if the boys bought flowers or cards or if they made me breakfast. But I do remember the picnic I packed, going up to Red Rocks Amphitheatre and enjoying a sunny day hiking around with the boys. I can tell you where we sat to eat our PB&J sandwiches, what the weather was like, how many people were there and just about every other detail of the day. But if they bought me a gift it has long since been forgotten.
My Second Most Memorable Mother’s Day
Nineteen years ago my three wonderful boys and (then) husband took a wonderful train ride to Glenwood Springs… without me! Don’t freak out, it was planned that way. I got three hours of “me” time driving alone in the car while three little boys wreaked havoc on an entire train of unsuspecting passengers. It was bliss!
I met them at the train station and we spent the day hanging out in the pool, playing and lounging in the sun. Again, I don’t remember any gifts, flowers, breakfast in bed or brunch. But I can tell you the music I played in the car (TLC’s Crazy, Sexy, Cool), the weather,seeing the boys happy faces on the train and walking to the pool together.
How to Make Your Most Memorable Mother’s Day
Why do those two days stand out in my memory? I remember the details of those days because the best way to make me feel loved is to spend time with me. If you are familiar with “The 5 Love Languages” this means the way I feel most loved and valued is when people spend quality time with me. This also explains why I don’t remember if the boys gave me anything (my love love language isn’t “receiving gifts”). Those two Mothers Days spoke to my heart and made me feel special because the love was being expressed in a language in which I was fluent.
Our culture has set us up to believe that for a mother to feel like her kids actually care about her, the following things must happen: a Hallmark card must be purchased, flowers and jewelry bought, breakfast in bed (and it usually isn’t even good) or an expensive brunch at a crowded restaurant.I’ve got to be honest: There is very little about that scenario that makes me feel good.
My Challenge To You
What would your Mother’s Day look like if you, not our culture, decided what makes you feel like queen for a day? Would you really want toast crumbs in your bed or would you rather sleep in and go for a run? Rather than flowers and fighting the crowds at brunch would you love to explore the Botanic Gardens at sunset? Or maybe you do love beautiful jewelry and receiving a well-thought out piece means the world to you.
This year I encourage you to be a rebel! Honor what will resonate with your heart so deeply that you remember it in detail 20 years from now. Celebrating Mother’s Day might mean you do something crazy like break tradition and send your family on a train without you, but I wouldn’t trade the memories of that day for anything.
Start by having a conversation with your family about what you really need on this, your very special day. You might be surprised by how much more everyone enjoys the day.
Go for it and write in the comments below what you are going to do to celebrate Mother’s Day this year.