This guest post is by Janica Larson, an encouraging and supportive blogger studying to become an integrative life coach. She shares healthy lifestyle hacks at Simply Living with Janica. In this Happy Mother’s Day to Me series, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Check out all the posts in the series!
What do I want for Mother’s Day?
That is a question that my husband asks every single year, but I never know what to say. The things I want these days aren’t really fun gifts.
I need a haircut, my blender is getting really old, and there is a new line of workout gear I’ve been eyeing up, but haven’t pulled the $29 trigger. I guess what I really want is a vacation (then I need to find a sitter or plan a vaca around kids activities) and so then it really isn’t a vacation for me, but another task on my to-do list. Maybe someone to come in and clean the house would be awesome!?
Fun, right? I have a list of all of these things that I want, but they are just things. They aren’t really a show of real, deep appreciation of what I do as a mom or thoughtful and romantic gestures to show how much my family needs me. Isn’t that the point of Mother’s Day? Show Mom how much you care! (Also, when did Mother’s day become another “holiday” for buying stuff?)
I definitely don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I know he just grabbed that card at the gas station on his way home from work. And asking me, “What’s for dinner or did you want to go out?” isn’t my idea of thinking about what would be nice for me.
I don’t want a gift for Mother’s Day this year.
I know it is easy for everyone else to forget that I am a person with feelings and needs and wants and dreams. What with taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, shopping, budgeting, switching laundry loads, remembering garbage day, scheduling doctor and dentist and eye appointments, growing another human, scheduling school and the kids sports functions, plus going to school myself and running my own business, I have a hard time figuring out what thing I want for Mother’s Day, much less someone else having a clue.
What I really want is to feel understood, loved and appreciated. I want to feel the gratitude from my family, not be told how much they appreciate my mad laundry skills (in the gas station greeting card he picked up on his way home from work…) I mean, I already know I am a laundry rock star!
Mother’s Day isn’t a day for family members to earn points. And, in all honestly, it isn’t their fault. Every special occasion is an opportunity to sell something: “Buy this fancy thing to show mom how much you care.” “Mom will really feel appreciated this year if you buy…”
The message is everywhere that we need things to make us happy. I want to be happy because my family is happy. I want to feel appreciated because my family says thank you. I want to know they are grateful for my home cooked meals because they help me clean up after dinner. Showing your love means so much more that buying it.
This doesn’t just go for me, either. It is about appreciating all the moms in our lives, all of them. Mom, Aunt, Sister, Grandma, Friends. It’s a day that is meant for appreciation, show how much you care—not prove it. You don’t need to buy gifts to do that. I don’t need them to take me out, or send me flowers, or buy me a necklace. I want to be appreciated, every day. (Even on the other 364 days of the year.) The random hugs and “I love you, Mommy” kisses from my babies are the best thing in the world!
What I want instead…
I want to know in my heart that what I do is important. I want to make sure I take time for myself everyday and to remember I am a person, too. I know all of the things I do every week for my family, and honestly, they don’t even know half of it… and that is OK! This is the job I signed up for and I love taking care of my family. I also love taking care of myself, (definitely a learned skill!) and I know how important it is for me to do just that.
So this year, instead of asking for a gift, I am going to take Mother’s Day to celebrate myself and all that I put into being the best mom I can be, the best wife I can be, the best me that I can be.
I want to eat like I love myself, go to the gym and blast my favorite music while I run or lift or stretch for an hour, just because it makes me happy. I want stop at the market and buy myself a pretty flower, just because it’s pretty. I want to light a couple candles and make a healthy meal to share with the people I love most, because that makes ME happy. I want to show myself that what I do matters and set that as an expectation for my family. I love me and that’s really what counts.
I don’t need to wait for the appreciation gesture to come around once a year, I can fill my own basket with appreciation and respect and love. To see my family and friends make themselves a priority would be an amazing gift, too! Because, when you take care of yourself, you are really taking care of everyone around you. When you can do that, you will need that outside recognition MUCH less.
So sure, if my husband brings home flowers (or a gas station greeting card) or makes dinner (AND cleans up the kitchen) that will be amazing! If the kids let me sleep in a little bit and make me breakfast in bed, I will be blessed beyond words! But this year I am going to appreciate myself and all that I do for my family. I will focus on all of the positives in my life, even if the only thing that gets me there is knowing I am doing the best I can. After all, getting all of that done with a smile and a full heart pretty much makes me a super hero!
Janica Larson is a busy stay at home mama of 2 and is preggo with #3. She has a love for helping other mamas find more health and happiness in their lives through her online tools and products and also her 1 on 1 coaching programs. Find out more at SimplyLivingwithJanica.com.