, Salem, MA


May 10, 2013

Having low expectations can make your Mother's Day


In fact, the “perfectly” orchestrated Mother’s Day reminds me of one of those elementary school take-home projects where the best come back looking like they should be in Good Housekeeping and everyone knows they “took a village” to make; parents, neighbors and relatives combined time, labor and money. For moms who imagine that kind of celebration, well, I hope it happens.

They should know, however, that a Martha Stewart-like event probably involves people other than their children, maybe some they don’t really like. They should also realize a day where presentation is paramount may be less about the mother/child relationship and more about appearance.

My advice? Mothers, please accept reality. If your children are typical (and most are), then don’t expect a Hallmark Mother’s Day; it may not be in the cards at all. Yet it’s also not helpful to play the denial game and say you’re not expecting anything. No matter what happens, you’ll still be disappointed when the script you’ve written in your head isn’t followed. Be honest with yourself upfront; it’s a lower drop to Earth.

What moms can hope for is less hassle when they ask to take some time for themselves. Whether a mom decides to spend Mother’s Day with family or at her child’s Little League game, going to a movie or shopping, having a massage or a manicure, whatever hip activity she chooses, her family will likely accept it. Once she’s communicated clearly and the family knows her desires, they’ll probably step up so she can take those hours off from the mommy role.

For instance, if a mom chooses to attend her son’s baseball game on Mother’s Day, others can take over her usual responsibilities for organizing logistics, gear, etc. Maybe family members encourage her to listen to music she likes or to sit wherever she wants to watch the game. It’s the little things that matter most on this day, and that means helping moms take a break from the deluge of choices and responsibilities they daily acquiesce to or oversee.

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