Happy Mother’s Day!
Christine Sweeney, LICSW Program Manager, Parent Connection, BIDMC
MAY 07, 2020
Sunday is Mother's Day, and whether this is your first, second or third, this Mother's Day is not like the others. There will be no lines or reservations being made for Mother's Day Brunch, and no crowds flooding the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain for the annual Lilac Sunday Events. (While the Arboretum remains open and the flowers will be blooming, all buildings and restrooms are closed, no picnicking is allowed and all of the activities typically part of this event are cancelled.)
Still, the day is special, the day set aside to celebrate you as a mom, and that's a big deal regardless of what you can or cannot do. There's been a lot of adjustments we've had to make in the past few months, things we could have never anticipated. In all likelihood, you had other ideas on how you might be spending the day on Sunday. And that's OK, it's another shift, but there may be some ways to look at this in a more positive light.
Take some time, time for reflection. We don't typically get to do that in our day to day, especially if you have a newborn at home where your days and nights can feel blended together in marathon feeding/diapering sessions, with minutes in between to feed yourself or just close your eyes for however long you can before you are needed again. Sleep and rest are priorities. Other priorities you may set up for yourself, writing birth announcements, writing thank you notes, cleaning the bathroom should all come after sleep and rest.
If you do have a co-parenting partner, or someone available who can give you 40 minutes or so, just for yourself, ask for it. Think of it as a Mother's Day gift to yourself. I realize that not everyone is a writer, but I'd like to encourage you. Don't worry about grammar or sentence structure; this can simply be a stream of consciousness. Whether you write for 5 minutes or longer, there is something very powerful for the soul in putting pen to paper.
Write a Mother's Day message to yourself. Acknowledge your journey to motherhood. Whether your journey was marked with struggles to become/maintain pregnancy, whether your delivery was traumatic or easy, your story is your own. Take a moment to reflect, to write your experience, the lessons you've learned thus far and your hopes for yourself as the mom you hope to be. Allow yourself your humanness.
There are so many unrealistic expectations on what we think mothers look like, or should be. Embrace yourself with gentleness, compassion and humor for the mother you are today. Focus on your strengths, and let go of whatever thoughts you have that make you feel like you're coming up short. Think of this as a letter you will look back on, when you're child/children are grown, and you've learned the wisdom of motherhood that only comes with time.
Happy Mother's Day to you.