Mother's Day Is Not Really About Me—Because, Grandmas

Are you putting yourself last this Mother's Day? Possibly even hosting? Perhaps there's a different way to think about Mother's Day when you're not the only mom to celebrate.

Woman serving a meal to family

Klaus Vedfelt / Getty

This year for Mother's Day, I'll be hosting my mom and mother-in-law for brunch. For the past few days, I've been planning a menu. Saturday evening, I'll head to the market to shop for ingredients for the dishes I'm preparing.

Sunday morning, I'll wake up early and cook for a few hours before everyone arrives. I'll set the table, fret over how clean the house looks (or doesn't), then lay out the meal. Once the grandmas get here, I'll serve the food, and do my best to make sure everyone has their drinks refilled and gets enough to eat. Following our meal, I'll start the cleanup process, and put away leftovers.

It's exhausting just thinking about all of it—so much so, that I've almost forgotten that I'm a mom, too. And, well, I can't help but feel a little stab of bitterness that Mother's Day isn't really about me when I'm not the only mom in the family.

Making matters worse is my kids are the worst ages to think about anyone but themselves: teenagers and toddlers. My teens didn't even know it was Mother's Day until I reminded them—not because I'm hoping they'll do anything for me, but since I'd like them to be around on Sunday to spend time with their grandmothers.

Meanwhile, the toddlers don't know the difference between a weekday and a weekend, so I hardly imagine that simply because it's Mother's Day will mean they won't want what they want, when they want it, like every other day of their lives.

I know what you're thinking—what about my husband? Can't he form a clean-up crew with the older kids and give me a break? Maybe. I mean, stranger things have happened. But I know I'm not alone when I say that I want him to figure that out, rather than having to tell him that's what he should do. Right moms?

So, we'll see how it goes.

Ultimately, I guess I am imagining that Mother's Day won't be all that different from any other day—except I'll have more to do. Sure, I hope somewhere in there I might get to put my feet up and feel special. But it's easier to expect nothing, and be surprised by, say, my husband getting me flowers, or my kids insisting that I don't do dishes, rather than just skulk around in disappointment that no one really gets it.

The truth is, I'm already disappointed, but mostly in myself. My expectations are so low this Mother's Day, it makes me wonder if I don't value myself like I should. Why didn't I book a winery tour with friends, like my sister did? Or plan a spa day, as my neighbor did? Instead, I have resigned myself to another Mother's Day that won't be about me and what I might want to be doing. I'm trying to make everyone else happy—sound familiar to anyone reading this?

I thought so.

Close up of a multi generational family celebrating Mother's Day together

Marko Geber/Getty Iamges

To be fair, I did invite the grandmas over to my house for brunch—but, also to be fair, did I really have the choice to ignore them on Mother's Day, and expect they'd feel special with a simple phone call to wish them well?

The winery moms are like, "Um, yeah! Just send a card and flowers, too." Sigh. They might be onto something. Although, even if I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed by what's in it for me this year, the reality is that the grandmas are getting older and won't always be around for Mother's Day, at which point I'll miss them and probably wish I could just enjoy one more brunch with a full house of moms to celebrate with.

Maybe that's when I'll finally book that winery tour, or that spa day, and try to make Mother's Day about me. Of course, by then, my kids will be grown up, and may even have kids of their own. At which point maybe I'll get that invite to come over for a Mother's Day brunch at their house. Huh. I'm starting to get what the grandmas may have gone through all those years before I became a mom. Perhaps they do deserve to be the ones who don't plan a brunch menu, shop, cook, and clean up—for a change.

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