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Celebrating an Untraditional Mother’s Day

Celebrating an Untraditional Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is approaching and, as a mom, you would think I’d be excited.

Don’t judge me when I say, “I’m not”.

This isn’t a case of false martyrdom or not being happy with the gifts I’ve received over the past decade. If I’m being completely honest, I have difficulty celebrating myself. Perhaps it can be better described as this:

I have difficulty telling others how I want to be celebrated.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the shy and retiring type. I enjoy celebrations and don’t mind being the one with the sombrero on her head as a mariachi band sings “Happy Birthday” at a Mexican restaurant.

But there’s something different when it comes to Mother’s Day.

First of all, there’s a lot of pressure when it comes to narrowing down what I want to eat, where I want to go and who I want to be there. And perhaps it’s that final component that really gets me.

After all, who should be celebrated on Mother’s Day?

Am I to be celebrated?
What about my mother, or mother-in-law?
And how about grandmas, or even aunts for that matter?
Now, what if several of you live in the same area?
Maybe the better question is: what if you don’t live in the same area?

Speaking for myself, Mother’s Day can be difficult because not only do I struggle with being celebrated, the women in my life whom I would like to celebrate don’t live by me. The women who have poured into me and made me who I am are scattered across the country, so getting together for brunch or hand-delivering flowers on Mother’s Day simply isn’t an option.

Then we can look at all of us who struggle on Mother’s Day because we didn’t have those women in our lives, whether it was due to absence, abandonment or a myriad of other reasons.

So, what are we left with? A choice. Just like any other day of our lives, we have the opportunity to choose joy and the choice to focus on what we choose to claim for our family’s future, even if the past hasn’t merited much celebration.

If you resonate with any or all of the above, here are just a few ideas for some untraditional Mother’s Day Celebrations:

1. Celebrate All Month Long

While I didn’t have blood grandmothers or a host of aunts surrounding me as I grew up, I have found women throughout the past four decades of my life whom I refer to as Aunt, Mama, or Nana. Maybe you have, too. To celebrate those mothers in our lives, we can focus on one of them each day in May by sending a card, making a call or even just voicing a text message. I guarantee these women will be grateful to receive our sentiments, regardless of the date.

2. Find One Thing

Sometimes it’s the thought of having an entire day about me that gets overwhelming. Is that true for you? Instead of being in the hot spot for a whole day, find one thing that would be meaningful to you and ask to be celebrated that way. My favorite Mother’s Day was years ago when my favorite band came to town to play an outdoor concert. I didn’t want my husband to spend money on tickets, so instead, we ended up taking the kids to get my favorite truffle fries to-go and sat on a rock outside the park listening to the music. I was surrounded by the people, food and sounds I love, and I couldn’t have asked for more!

3. Make Technology Your Friend

While Grandma may not be able to be here in person, why not record your kids reading her a book and send her the video? Two book favorites for this day are Thank You, God, for Mommy & Thank You, God, for Grandma. If you have little ones, hearing their voices read the sweet words penned by Amy Parker are sure to melt hearts and make the miles between you seem less. Even scheduling a video chat to have grandma read to the kids would be a sweet moment to let everyone know they are being included in the day.

4. Open Your Door

There’s no better way to take the attention off yourself than to spread the love to others. Instead of worrying about where to eat and what you’ll wear, simply offer your home for anyone who doesn’t have a place to go on Mother’s Day. You can provide a simple main dish (like eggs or burgers, depending on the time of day) and then ask everyone to bring a drink and a side dish to share. You might just be surprised at how many women are feeling the same way you are and would love to share family time with you on Mother’s Day Sunday.

The one thing that doesn’t need to be a part of any Mother’s Day Celebration is guilt. Guilt and shame are not of the Lord, so we certainly don’t need to invite those negative emotions to have a piece of this day.

Make wishes clear, include whomever we can, and let go of what we cannot control. When we do that, regardless of what the day looks like, it will be filled with love and memories to last a lifetime!


Your Turn

What ways have you found to celebrate Mother’s Day and all the special women in your life? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

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