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Today's Family Magazine

Mother’s Day challenges

By Kerrie McLoughlin

Remember Mother’s Day when you were a kid?  The day probably revolved around your own mom, stepmom, grandmother, aunt or other maternal figure.  Then maybe your mother-in-law came into the picture, and you were posed with the challenge of figuring out how to split your time every second Sunday in May. 

Once YOU became a mother, you probably realized that juggling Mother’s Day visits should be an Olympic event—or at least a reality TV show.  While it’s true you can’t make everyone happy all of the time, you CAN honor all the moms in your life — including yourself — every year.  Here are some ideas!

Challenge: So many moms, so little time.
Solution: Change it up.  Who says Mother’s Day should only be celebrated on that specific Sunday in May?  Have your stepmom over for dinner one night during the week leading up to Mother’s Day.  Then maybe take your mother-in-law out to dinner the night before.  When Sunday rolls around, have your own mom over to hang out with, showering her with cards, flowers and little gifts.  Serve up a special (easy or takeout) meal.  You can get the best of both worlds on Mother’s Day — being with your own mom and being with the little ones who made YOU a mom.

Challenge: A long-distance maternal relationship.
Solution: Technology in the form of FaceTime, Zoom or Skype.  You could also make different plans every now and then (e.g., have an out-of-town Mother’s Day one year, then the next year stay put; or have one of the moms come for a special weekend sleepover at your place).

Challenge: You feel selfish and guilty for wanting it to be about you.
Solution: Permission granted — you’re entitled to your own choice about spending your day or weekend once you become a mom yourself.  You might want to get away for a Saturday spa day or sit around at a coffeehouse on Sunday leisurely reading alone or maybe chat with a friend for a few hours.  Other years you might want to hang out around the house all day letting the kids pamper you.

Challenge: Your household inboxes (laundry hamper, kitchen sink, calendar, etc.) are always full.
Solution: Of all days, take TODAY off, which means no housework! Close your eyes as you walk by the sink full of dishes, hold your nose as you stroll by the laundry hamper. In anticipation of this holiday, make sure you have paper plates and cups on hand for when your family serves you like the queen you are.

Challenge: Your child is a baby, and your husband can’t cook.
Solution: If your husband and kids aren’t quite able to make you dinner on Mother’s Day, let them take you to a restaurant.  If wrestling with the kids at a restaurant isn’t your style, hit up DoorDash.  Make sure you have something indulgent on hand, like little cheesecake bites or a lovely double-chocolate cake because this is the day you get to spoil yourself or be spoiled and not feel one bit guilty!

Challenge: You’re a single mom.
Solution: If you’re parenting solo, hopefully your kids will take over or a trusted adult will assist them in making your day special.  If your ex has the kids for the weekend, focus on yourself.  The “no housework” rule applies to you, too, sister … do what you love to do all day long.  A few ideas are: Head outside or to an indoor track for a walk, read a juicy novel, see a movie, soak in the tub with a bath bomb, or hang out with your own mom. 
Mother’s Day is, of course, about mothers!  Whatever situation you’re in mom-wise, try to make today out-of-the-ordinary in some way.  Just as you work hard to make sure your children enjoy their own birthdays and other holidays to the fullest, please consider that you also deserve to be adored and cherished.  It’s all about balance, and it CAN be done!

Kerrie McLoughlin is the home-
schooling mom of five and author of The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook.