Does this scenario sound familiar? Right before Mother's Day weekend, your husband or in-laws announce, with glee, they have a big surprise for you for Mother's Day morning: a great brunch at the fancy local hotel. Imagine, they say, a big buffet filled with fabulous fruit, fresh salmon, flaky croissants and more, in a beautiful room, with no time table. They think it sounds like a dream, but it's your biggest nightmare.
You hear this and envision this: your kids loading up on three kinds of sugar cereal, you chasing your toddler throughout the gigantic room, the baby who can't sit leisurely at the table for hours on end, your kid growing restless and cranky as you stand on line at the omelet-made-to order station. Yes, it will be your day, but will it be a dream or nightmare? That, mom, is up to you.
As a mom, you exert your power all year long, making key decisions about your family's schedule. This Mother's Day, do the same, and empower yourself to make the day you deserve the day you really want.
Don't Feel Guilty
It's natural to feel guilty or worried about telling your family you want to be alone on Mother's Day, says Diane Lang, a Positive Living Expert, Educator and author of "Creating Balance and Finding Happiness." "Moms need to realize this time is important to refuel and re-energize," she says emphasizing that a happy mom equals happy children. Plus, taking care of yourself is a great lesson for kids to see first-hand. At heart, many moms know this is true, but in the rush of the everyday, it's hard to remember. Mother's Day is one day to pause and actually do it.
Just Book It
Let's face it, if you're around the house, your kids will find you. Guarantee alone time by making an appointment on a day (or time period) when you know you have child care coverage - whether that's Mother's Day or another day without mandatory family commitments. If beauty or relaxation time is what you long for, book a pedicure, massage, facial or makeover. If you've been meaning to start a new fitness routine, make an appointment to tour and try a new gym or schedule a session with a personal trainer. Want something simpler? Consider going on a morning bike ride alone and meeting up with your family for lunch, wandering around the latest exhibit at a favorite art museum, or curling up with a new book (or your Kindle) at a cozy coffee shop. The point is to block off the time - ahead of time.
Alert Your Significant Other
Have a heart-to-heart with your husband or partner to convey you want some 'Me Time' on Mother's Day and describe the role he will play while you take it. Many partners may even be grateful or relieved to discover something you really want to do that day; it takes a bit of the pressure of them to have to guess (and saves you from any generic gifts!).
Schedule the Weekend to Fit Your Needs
Parents consistently struggle with how to spend their time, says Patricia O'Laughlin, a psychotherapist who works with many moms in the Los Angeles, Ca. Silver Lake community. If plans with your mom or your mother-in-law are an obligation, plan the weekend around your scheduled time away. Arrange one big pot-lucky event and invite everyone. Another option? Give the people you want (or need) to celebrate with choices that work around your schedule, "Would you rather do dinner Friday or breakfast on Saturday?"
Make One Meal Your Ideal
Moms can't escape reality completely. Family meals are often hectic. But planning ahead and picking the right restaurant, food or setting can make it more enjoyable (unless you hire a babysitter). Your family may have special plans for one meal, be it making you breakfast in bed, brunch with the extended family, or a backyard dinner barbeque. But get involved in planning another meal so it's how and where you want it (even if it's spent alone, a date with your spouse, or catching up with a bff).
The point is to be honest, plan ahead and manage your time - you do this every other day, so why not do so to make this Mother's Day the one you really want?