Until this year, it never occurred to me that Mother’s Day isn’t the happiest day for everyone. This is my first Mother’s Day without my Mom. I know many of you are feeling this void too. Today I am reflecting on my Mom, what it means to be a Mother and how to cope on ‘Hallmark Holidays’ without your loved ones. I’m sharing my 5 Tips for Finding Joy on a Holiday today as well as these pajamas which I will be living in on Sunday.
While I take lots of time to curate great gift lists and suggestions for Mother’s Day and other holidays (click here), it’s not a holiday that everyone loves to celebrate. Many of you no longer have a Mom or perhaps don’t have a great relationship with your mother and for whatever reason, don’t celebrate this day. This is the first year I can completely understand how you feel (see this blog post). Whether you are estranged from your Mom, are feeling grief as I am or simply don’t “love” celebrating Mother’s Day, I have 5 Tips for Finding Joy on a Holiday that might help.
On a side note, I will tell you that I LOVE being a mom and being celebrated by my children and husband. Some of my favorite memories are when the kids were little and would get up bright and early to make me breakfast in bed. They did this with Pete every year and we have lots of pictures of these precious mornings. I would stay in bed and pretend to be asleep when they would come into the master bedroom with a tray full of delicious homemade food, coffee, flowers, gifts and handmade cards. They would then describe in great detail how they made the meal and wanted immediate feedback on how much I liked it. Next, they crawled up in bed with me to snuggle and help me open my cards and gifts. This ‘gift of time’ is truly what I treasure about being a mom! In fact, it’s what I miss most now that we are empty nesters. They are grown, working and busy with their own lives so its rare that I get uninterrupted time with them. TIME is all I want as it is the best gift of all!
5 Tips For Finding Joy On A Holiday
1. Recipe Tribute: Do you have your Mom’s recipe box? Or was there one particular thing that you loved when she made it? Take over those duties and make it for your family. Find the joy again in tasting that banana bread that she used to make and use her recipe. Your Mom wasn’t a great cook? Check your Grandmother’s recipe box.
2. Celebrate Another Mother: We all have those special women in our lives that are almost like our 2nd Mother. Take time to celebrate her! Call her, write her a note, or drop off some home-baked goods. This could even be your best girlfriend, aunt or another relative. Regardless who it is, find joy in celebrating someone else.
3. Open Your Heart: Even if you had a difficult relationship with your Mother, try to remember the good parts. Dwelling on the negative will never resolve anything. Open your heart to forgiveness and free yourself of the burden of carrying so many difficulties from the past. Changing what you emphasize in your mind can alter how you feel. Take action!
4. Holidays Aren’t Perfect: As social media has evolved, so has the way we celebrate Mother’s Day: it’s transformed from a private day into a far more public display. Newsfeeds fill up with people bragging about their #BestMomsDayEver. Remember, NO ONE is perfect and perfect holidays don’t exist. Don’t get caught up in what others are doing. You do you.
5. Dealing With Grief: Just because your Mother is no longer living doesn’t mean you have to forget her. Death doesn’t end a relationship, it just changes it. Nothing will ever be the same but adjusting to the new normal is an important step in moving forward. Visit her grave and bring her flowers. Read her favorite poem to her or just talk to her and give her an update on your life. Say a prayer for her in church. I promise she’s listening.
Do you ever wonder what a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ is? It’s the stressful holidays where we feel the need to be perfect. There tend to be large, family gatherings where all of the kids must be on their best behavior. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter… all of the holidays that take every ounce of energy you have to plan, implement and deliver without losing your mind and screaming at someone. UGH! Why do we do this to ourselves?
I hope you find today’s blog post helpful and share it with a friend. How do you plan to spend Sunday? Maybe I will stay in my pajamas (top & bottom) and Pete will bring me breakfast in bed. Hint, hint!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there! xoxo – Tanya
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photo: Audrie Dollins