How to Ditch Being an Overwhelmed Mom on Mother’s Day
Are you an overwhelmed mom on Mother’s Day – or other holidays?
I sure was, which is why one of my favorite movies these days is still Mom’s Night Out.
It’s years old now (good ol’ 2014), but any time I’m feeling totally done as an overwhelmed mom, I start up that movie and suddenly feel…not so alone.
It’s comforting to see another stay-at-home mom’s life that’s just as messy and un-Pinterest-worthy as my own. I also find it refreshing to see another mom looking totally unkempt in church. It’s nice to know my hubs isn’t the only grown man and father with a bit of an obsession with video games. I also really love how the lead character somehow trips on flat surfaces when she wears heels…
I could go on, but you get the idea. This movie totally gets me!
Feeling overwhelmed as a mom – or embracing the title of “overwhelmed mom” – is something most of us struggle with at some point.
And do you know one of the times when that overwhelm is strongest? You guessed it – Mother’s Day! The day that’s supposed to be all about us and self-care for moms!
So, I started trying to figure out why that is, and then figure out how to ditch the overwhelmed mom syndrome once and for all…especially this year. Turns out, it’s all about realistic expectations and a bit of a shift in perspective! Here’s what I came up with.
I expect my husband to magically become a pro at planning Mother’s Day (in advance!) for us.
The reality is, he probably didn’t even start “planning” the day for me until 11:59pm the night before. And then, his idea of “planning” the day likely consisted of waking me up to ask me what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day.
A far healthier expectation would be to have to remind him two or three times about Mother’s Day, offer up three or four fun ideas for him to “plan,” and then expect to still have to plan something myself that morning anyway because ultimately, that’s what ends up happening every birthday and Mother’s Day.
And really, it could be worse…he could just forget entirely!
I expect my baby to wake up as a perfect little angel baby cherub on Mother’s Day, refreshed and ready for snuggles.
Don’t get me wrong: my baby’s a precious little morning person most of the time. But you better bet that if you’re expecting perfect moods and behavior (or are really counting on them) on any given day…she’ll wake up and begin a terrifying, only-slightly-cute reign of terror that begins in stoic silence and ends in tears (sometimes mine more than hers).
Birthday party day? Christmas morning? Mother’s Days of yore? Yep. Reigns of terror. Random Tuesday in the middle of the month? Perfect little angel baby cherub.
The reality is, I’ve learned to expect the reign of terror on important days so that I’m pleasantly surprised if I get the perfect little angel baby cherub instead. No disappointment if you’re expecting to be disappointed…just pleasantness if you’re surprised with the alternative!
I expect to kick up my feet and relax on Mother’s Day.
Every mom on the face of the planet can attest that a mother’s work is never, ever, ever, ever, EVER done. Laundry and dishes wait for no (wo)man. The hubs will forget where his socks are. The baby will decide you’re the only one who can care for her that day. (PERIOD.) The Internet will go down, so streaming your fave new show on Netflix is a no-go. The reality is, I might get to sit down alone for five minutes without a tiny human crawling all over me. Maybe. (Okay, probably not.)
I can (and will, dang it!) choose not to do chores on Mother’s Day, though. Even if it means we all leave a smelly house wrinkly, covered in dog hair, looking partially homeless…and missing socks.
I can – and should – choose to give myself a break this one day. It’s no one’s fault but my own if I don’t.
I expect Mother’s Day to be about me.
I think once you have kids, the reality is that life is no longer all about you, even for one day out of the year. Mother’s Day is still a day about you in name, no doubt, but it’s also not. Because the baby still has to eat, everyone needs to be clean, and you’re not the only mom in the family.
You’ll still be wiping butts, peeling food out of your hair, angrily rejecting robocalls from LifeAlert claiming you’re at extreme danger of falling and not getting back up in your 30s (?!), calling your mom, and wondering how to work the schedule best so your hubs has time to hang out with his own mom but you still get your five minutes of not having a tiny human crawling all over you that day.
As mentioned earlier, a mother’s work is never, ever, ever, ever, EVER done, especially in relation to taking care of others.
So, I expect to get a few extra hugs and greetings, but otherwise, I expect to be happy by keeping those around me happy.
And…that’s not so bad a gig.
I expect perfection on Mother’s Day.
Ha…well, I used to expect this. I would plan every little detail myself and then call the day a total failure when something went opposite my plans. (Which was basically, everything.)
Now, though, I’m learning to expect so much more than perfection.
I’m learning to find joy in the unplanned, to roll with the punches, to expect little so I’m impressed with a lot, to wait patiently when the toddler isn’t at her happiest, and – most importantly – to choose joy in every situation.
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We really do have to choose joy instead of overwhelm today, on Mother’s Day, and every day!
We can’t wait for our imperfect, overwhelmed mom life to fulfill our unattainable dreams. Instead, we have to view the imperfect, possibly overwhelming parts as a privilege – because they really are.
It could be different. We could be overwhelmed by something other than motherhood…which almost certainly wouldn’t be as worth it as motherhood.
That’s why I created the free Mother’s Day printable you see above…to help all of us remember to Choose Joy each and every day.
Handy little treat that you can use a dry-erase marker to record the day’s date on the line provided! (I literally NEVER know the date, so this was a must-have addition.)
I’ll email you a copy right now. Just sign up for my mailing list below to get it!
Are you an overwhelmed mom on Mother’s Day?
Tell me your tips for coping below. I’d love to hear from you!
Happy Mother’s Day, girlfriend!
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