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Monday, May 2, 2016

To the New Mama on Mother's Day

Dear New Mom,

This is your first Mother's Day since meeting your baby face-to-face and you may not have realized the weight this holiday can have on your new mama heart. Or maybe you already have a strong relationship with the Hallmark holiday because of a painful relationship you have/had with your own mother. Or maybe you dreaded the day because your mom is no longer living.

Whatever your previous relationship to Mother's Day was, you now have a clean slate. You can start afresh. Although you may not be able to "leave your baggage at the door," you can look at Mother's Day through a new lens: as a mother.

My advice is simple.

Do not place too much expectation on the day. While your child is young, the burden of planning a Mother's Day celebration will likely fall to your husband and he may not realize the emphasis so many others put on this day. If he does surprise you, enjoy it. If he doesn't, lovingly let him know you'd like to celebrate differently next year (and maybe wait a week or so to bring it up).

Stay away from Facebook. I'm serious, it can be your worst enemy on Mother's Day. You will be tempted to compare your day to all the other moms out there who got breakfast in bed, personalized jewelry and handmade gifts from their elementary aged cherubs. Don't let Facebook (or any other social media) rob you of the joy of your first Mother's Day.

Think about your new mom friends. Chances are you have some same stage of life friends who are also new moms. Consider how you may cheer them on in their motherhood journey rather than compare your experience to theirs. Do they like tea or coffee? Pickup a box of their favorite next time you're grocery shopping and give it to them with a simple handwritten note the week after Mother's Day or think of something that would speak to their new mama heart.

Just remember, Mama, you are now a mother 365 days of the year and just because all those other Americans you know are celebrating Mother's Day in big ways on this one day, you are no more or less of a mother because of what was said or done.

Motherhood is beautiful and exhausting and downright emotional.


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