On Mother’s Day, many of us will probably give ourselves permission to do something that we love, something that makes us feel good, something that refreshes us — we might sit outside with a new book, let our kids or our partner serve us a snack or breakfast in bed (anyone else think this is a better idea in thought than reality? Just me?), and take time out just to breathe.
We give ourselves permission to take a “time out” and do the things that make us happy because we tell ourselves that it’s Mother’s Day! It’s a special occasion! We deserve it!
But the truth is, every day is Mother’s Day. We shouldn’t need a holiday, or a date on the calendar or a reminder from the store to give ourselves what we need to refresh and recharge as mothers. I read once that women believe that they need to “earn” their me time. Like Mother’s Day, we feel like we need to do all the hard things before we feel like we deserve that small little break.
I know I do this in my daily life. I tell myself that I’ll let myself have that second cup of coffee once I get the dishwasher loaded or I’ll sit down to read at the end of the day, after the laundry is folded. (Even though, let’s be real, we all know, I fall asleep the instant I climb into bed.) I put off anything for myself and instead rush through my days trying to get just one more thing done until I feel like I “earn” a little break.
And then, whenever I get a “free” moment, it’s almost impossible to let myself relax and do something for myself. I might run the dishwasher “real quick,” throw on a load of laundry “really fast,” sweep the floor “super fast” and then, before I know it, the baby is awake and the kids are clamoring for a snack. Instead of using even the few minutes I have to sit down, fix myself some tea or coffee, and read that new book I haven’t cracked open yet, my alone time gets sucked back into the never-ending duties of motherhood.
If you’re a mom, I probably don’t need to tell you what the statistics about Mother’s Day are, but just for fun, can you guess what the number one thing mothers across the nation declared they want for Mother’s Day?
Yup, you guessed it. It’s alone time. We love our little darlings, of course, but when it comes to what we really, really want for our special day, it comes down to escaping them. Just for a little while. It’s the one thing that is completely free, completely refreshing, and completely within our reach that can really make a huge difference.
In one poll, 71 percent of moms said all they wanted for Mother’s Day is alone time, and almost every single mom wanted a snack or some other food prepared for them. And 19 percent of women said their perfect Mother’s Day would most definitely include catching up on their favorite reading.
These women are definitely my spirit animals. There is absolutely nothing in this world that sounds more incredible than alone time, a snack that I did not have to prepare (now might be a good time to talk about how delicious the Irish shortbread cookies in the April box were…), and getting lost in a good book. Even just the thought of doing that makes me happy.
We all know that alone time is a rare commodity as a mom, but chances are, on Mother’s Day, we will make time for exactly that. Why? Because we feel like we deserve it — so it will happen. We believe it will be OK to take a time-out and eat the desert or let the dishes go or indulge in a nap, so we carve out room for those things on our special day. We believe that we are worth the investment of time because it’s Mother’s Day.
But what if we took that same belief into the rest of our days? What if we believed that we deserved a break or an indulgence, or just a small pat on the back from ourselves for a job well done, however small, every day? What if we treated every day like Mother’s Day?
You make time in your life for the things that are important to you. Most of us brush our teeth or make coffee or get the kids dressed because we see these things as essential and deserving of our time.
So imagine what would happen if we treated ourselves as mothers the same way? How different would your life look if you believed that you deserved time, or a break, or just the permission to pay attention to what your mind and body need, every single day?