Lowering your expectations to have a successful Mother's Day

About seven years ago, I had one of the worst Mother's Day's ever.  We were in counseling with our oldest son and I was starting to come out of the fog of post postpartum depression with our youngest. My husband didn't get me a single gift. Not even a card. He barely acknowledged that it was Mother's Day. I was broken. And then sitting through church service, I wept the whole time as the pastor spoke lovely Mother's Day sentiments while a collection of pictures of mother's with their children scrolled by on the screen.  My picture with my kids...my life...was absent because my husband hadn't submitted one.  It was a rough day that still feels raw when I think about it. But if anything good came from it, it's that I have a whole new take on Mother's Day. It's called lowering your expectations. 




I promise, there is nothing genius about lowering your expectations, but it has been life changing. The funny thing is, if I ask any of my mom friends what they really want for Mother's Day it's usually somehow related to time away from their kids. Ironic right?  Moms want to sleep in.  They want to take a bath by them self.  They want to stroll the aisles of Target without pushing a double wide cart and wiping noses and answering complaints about when they can leave and if they can get the latest Lego toy. 

My husband and I had some long conversations after that miserable Mother's Day. We were young when we got married {I was 19, he was 20} and we had an instant family not long after we walked down the aisle.  We were growing into this adulthood thing together and it took some time to figure out how this looked in our lives.

My husband {god bless him} told me that he didn't think much of Mother's Day because I am not his mother.  To be honest, he doesn't think much about it for his own mother either {sorry Carol!}. However, some come to Jesus moments of conversation made him realize that I am the mother of his three children and lawd help me if that doesn't at least get a card one Sunday in May.

So, with groundwork laid, I communicated to my sometimes oblivious {though adorably loving} husband that I expected at least a card on Mother's Day. I didn't realize that sometimes in marriage, in order to get what you want, you have to actually express your wants out loud instead of just hoping that they happen.  

Perhaps this is only true if you are married to an engineer, but dear readers, I'm hoping that this obvious nugget of truth will help you too.  

If I don't want to cook on Mother's Day, I have to say "I don't want to cook on Mother's Day".  If I want a particular gift I have to send him the link to order that gift {or post it in a Mother's Day gift round up...perks of being a blogger!}. If I want to sleep in, all I have to do is tell him the night before that I am not getting up at zero dark thirty to hang out with my early risers because it's {drumroll} Mother's Day.  

I don't have grand expectations.  I don't want to spend my day at the spa and I don't expect a blue box from Tiffany's. I just want some acknowledgement of the many {many many, many, many} things that I do the other 364 days of the year that aren't set aside to honor me.  That's it.

So moms, lower those expectations.  And if you have to, say what you do want out loud to your husband.  If there is anything that I have learned in my seventeen years of marriage it's that men are not mind readers. So if you are reading this, Mike, my dear husband, I want a card that makes me laugh and fresh flowers cut from the roadside that you went to find with our adorable children.  That's it. 

Low expectations are the best expectations.

1 comment

2justByou said...

I never really had super high expectations for Mother's Day. It's nice to celebrate, and it's nice to be recognized (like maybe someone else actually doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen that day, or something like that). But I would be fine with just a hug and a "Happy Mother's Day, Mom" too.

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