The idea of Mothers Day isn’t always relaxing for some mums. As a single mum there is no one to spoil you- especially if your children are young. Our guest blogger has written about how you can still make Mothers Day special. Sometimes including your children in activities is just as special as having things done for you.
Social media puts such a strain on days such as Christmas, Mothers day, Birthdays, everyone seems to be competing, I was a single mum for 5 years and found Mother’s Day daunting, always trying to think of ways to make it a nice relaxing day. A day about me, without feeling guilty about having a day for myself. Being a single mum and finding time for yourself is hard enough, let alone when there is an expectation due to a day being dedicated to it.
I could get away with not making it a huge day until my eldest started going to school and he was coming home with a card and a picture saying he loves me to the moon and back and the Mother’s Day stall. It was only then, six years of being a mum that I then felt the need to actually ‘celebrate’.
I thought about ways I could enjoy the day over and over. I actually felt guilty and a little selfish, then realised my favourite thing about my kids was seeing enjoyment in their eyes. The joy of seeing me happy.
So my focus was on them and how they wanted to spend the day. The best way to do this was to ask them what they wanted to do and also trying to remember the things I made in school, the fun things that you couldn’t wait to see your mum gasp and overreact over.
Breakfast can be nice like on the movies where the kids walk in and hand it to you in bed with a flower picked from the garden, but if the kids are too young, they can help you in the kitchen while you make it. By handing you and egg, by grabbing some bacon out of the fridge, or shaking the pancake bottle. Then you can all go and enjoy the love put into the breakfast you all made together.
The card. In the shape of a love heart, or a pop-up flower in the middle was cute, then realising my biggest problem was trying to do things that the kids think they’ve done and thought they’d thought of themselves with minimal help from mum. So I would cut a few different shaped things for them, go to a Dollar King store and get the glittlers and stamps (stamps are great for them to decorate on their own with) googly eyes and paints and textas and last but not least stickers. All this depending on their age range of course. While I trusted my 6 year old at the time with most of that stuff without having too much supervision outside, my youngest was four at the time, so he had his own station to work at with stamps and glitter and absolutely no textas.
That was the card out of the way.
Now, if you have family, or a great friend around to take them and do all this then it becomes a little easier. Giving the children a budget of let’s say $10 then they not only have the responsibility but also they are starting to have an understanding of the concepts of money.
The kids can easily pick up something small from Kmart or something small to add to your garden from Bunnings. A decoration they can look at and point out to everyone they picked that, or a flower they can help manage and water.
If you live in a small community usually a local gift store with local people are willing and able if you ask them to explain to them that your child has eg. Again $10 to spend on a present. They can take them around and whisper suggestions for presents and a lot of them will even be willing to wrap it for them so the kids don’t have the anxiety of having mum see the present.
I lived in Sydney and although I had great family support they couldn’t be there every year for Mother’s Day to help me out.
One year I bought a whole heap of cupcakes and biscuits to decorate. The kids got to get a little messy and decorate them however they wanted. I got one off each of my boys that was specifically for me then the rest we made into dinosaurs and cars and flowers and all sorts.
Another year I didn’t do a thing for myself until I made a roast for afternoon tea. Then sat around with the boys snuggled up in blankets, drinking hot chocolate and eating popcorn with m&m’s in it.
Another year I thought what did I want most of all…the house cleaned! So the boys were both given a list of things to do to complete and that was my gift to myself from the boys.
Although it is nice to have a day dedicated to you, remember, if you’re stressing about not having a relaxing day, then try to do as little as possible. If the house is messy and you don’t feel like cleaning for the moment, take five minutes to breathe and not worry. If you have friends around it could be as easy as asking them to come over while you have a bath on your own, with no interruptions about the meaning of life or being asked if they can join you because they really really all of a sudden want a bath too and were going to have on anyway.
The day is for you. Spend it how ever you like. Be sure that at the end of the day you can can smile and look at the day of being at least 60% about you. Realise that although it would be nice not to, the kids are going to fight, they won’t pick up the thing you asked them to do a million times and they will be who they are just like every other day of the week. Don’t worry too much about having THE PERFECT DAY, instead enjoy the day before you and appreciate those little things the kids tried to do.
Guest Blog @ Relaxed Parenting Blog