I don't actually remember what we did on my first Mother's Day, but I do remember how I felt. Yes, I felt a certain and specific honor of motherhood on that day, but I also felt pressure. Pressure to have a perfect day. Pressure (that I didn't voice) to go on the perfect outing and have the perfect meal and get the perfect gift. I didn't tell anyone what I wanted to do or what I thought I'd like to receive, I just expected them to magically know.
We had a nice day together, but the pressure was a lot. So, my next few Mother's Days, I calmed down on perfection. As long as I had some time by myself and some time with my family, that was good enough. No tricks or mind games or expectations beyond that.
But now this year feels weird. Should we celebrate ourselves when there is so much sadness in the world? Should we worry about treating ourselves when our day-to-day feels heavy? Do we even need Mother's Day this year?
I'm about to give you the most heartfelt, enthusiastic YES ever.
Mother's Day is not canceled.
I mean, if you can't celebrate your mothering efforts while you're mothering hardcore during a global pandemic—when can you?
Mother's Day is on, and this year, I'm being clear about what I want.
So to my beautiful family who I spend so much time with now, listen up.
I'd love to stay up late the night before binge-watching the show of my choice. (Probably Gossip Girl, season three, to be precise.)
I'd love to sleep in until the smell of the bacon you're cooking for me drifts from the kitchen down the hallway into my sleeping nostrils.
I'd love you to serve me breakfast in bed with big, gigantic smiles on your faces. (Yes, gigantic.)
I'd love for the kids to make me cards with a picture of our family on it.
I'd love for a few hours of alone time. To do whatever I want. Without questions or judgments. Maybe that will look like a solo-ride in the car listening to '90s hip-hop or learning a TikTok dance in our bedroom. Maybe it'll look like finishing Little Fires Everywhere on my Kindle so I can then start binge-watching it on Hulu or taking a 2-hour nap with the door locked and the sound machine on.
I'd love for you to let me decide based on my mood that day.
I'd love to get a 30-minute workout in without anyone climbing on my back during downward dog.
I'd love to get to FaceTime with my mom, mother-in-law, sisters and BFF to wish them Happy Mother's Day, too. To thank them for their unwavering love and support and remind them what a great job they're doing.
I'd love to go on a family walk or play in the backyard together. I'd love to belly laugh as I swing the kids high in the air and then lay in the grass with them talking about how beautiful the color of the sky is.
I'd love to eat a meal I did not cook for dinner together.
I'd love to read with the kids before bed and then snuggle for a bit, and then somehow, some magic bedtime fairy will descend upon us and declare that bedtime books and snuggles are done, and Mom is now going to hang with Dad on the couch—without any whining or crying or high-level negotiations.
I'd love to watch TV with my husband snuggled up together, ice cream sundaes in hand.
And then, I'd love to pause and give thanks.
Thanks to my children for making me a mother.
Thanks to my mother for giving me life.
Thanks to my mother-in-law for all she does for our family.
Thanks to my husband for being on this journey with me.
Thanks to my sisters for their guidance and encouragement.
Thanks to my friends for sticking with me as I figure out motherhood.
Thanks to the many mamas who bravely share their stories of the trenches.
I may not get or do everything on this list. And that's okay. Because what I'm really just saying is, yes, we should celebrate Mother's Day this year. Without a doubt. In fact, we should go all out—whatever that means to you. Because after momming and working and homeschooling and cleaning and laundering and organizing and meal planning and cooking and entertaining and worrying and planning all week—we need it.
So there's no room for tricks or pressure this year. Just room for you speaking up and saying what you want and need. For you knowing that you're worthy of recognition, of love, of time to yourself, of realizing your desires, of patting yourself on the back.
This year is different—yes—but it's sure to be one for the books.