Mother’s Day brings to mind brunches and big family gatherings. I’m imagining hats, but I may be confusing it with Easter.
While coming together to celebrate can be joyous, this day may also be fraught. Anytime we gather as a family it’s a mixed bag of love, resentment, laughs and stress.
Resentment, stress and food often don’t play well together, so over the years, I’ve honed a strategy to get through the day with more ease:
First, get clear on what YOU want for the day: mothers of small kids may want a day off, mothers of older ones may crave connection, people without mothers may want to skip the day altogether, still others with challenging mother situations may desire peace.
What would make you happiest this Sunday?
Once you’ve identified your desires, the next step is to make a plan for them to be realized.
This can be the tricky part. You have to be prepared to ask for what you want. And if you are being honest with yourself and your family, it may be different from what you’ve done in the past.
Boats may be rocked.
But think of the reward—a day you are happy with.
Now for some that may be too big of a leap. Mother’s Day may be a day of obligation and paid respect, so your identified primary desire may be “peace at all costs”.
You may then end up doing the same old, but this year you will have made a conscious choice about it. This way any resentment around the event is released. What a huge difference that can make!
Conscious decisions make for calmer, saner reactions to triggers, which translates into better choices around food.
You know what they say about best-laid plans . . . which is why there’s step number 3, go with the flow. The only person you can control is yourself (unfortunately)—so even with the best intention and plan, stuff happens.
You can decide you’re not going to sit next to your brother-in-law this year, but you were running 5 minutes late and it’s the only seat left. Coloring with your niece, avoiding certain subjects with Jeff or asking Mom about her High School days balance out the experience and can get you closer to your original desired feeling.
When we are co-creators of our circumstance, we will be less inclined to have the 2nd drink, finish the breadbasket or order the cheesiest, fried thing on the menu to reward ourselves for getting through the meal.
That’s not to say it’s a time of deprivation. If you wait all year for the bottomless mimosas then have at it, just be conscious about it.
When we identify our desire, plan for it, then surrender the outcome, we make room for the love.
Happy Mother’s Day!