Last weekend I attended a bonfire and as we huddled around the fire making smores and cooking hot dogs for the kids, all the moms in the group forgot about Mother’s Day. We were so busy with Teacher Appreciation Week this week that we forgot it was going to be Mother’s Day weekend 2016. Actually it was more like “we forgot to remind everyone that it was going to be Mother’s Day,” Hint! Hint! I have been a divorced and single mom for a long time and at this time of year many single mothers feel left out. Countless stories and articles with tips and gift guides for mom ALWAYS include Dad doing the heavy lifting and planning for this holiday. I sometimes think these articles are clearly written for them. For many years I had no partner to commemorate this day. My kids are all young so they aren’t exactly going to the store themselves. I still enjoy their artwork they bring home from school but for the most part Mother’s Day planning for a single mom is done solely by me.
Mother’s Day Planning for Yourself
I don’t have the luxury of having someone else make plans, decide on breakfast in bed or brunch on the patio. Nobody helps set up the production of a Mother’s Day surprise for me. In fact I have never been surprised or had a surprise party thrown for me. I once went out to brunch with my kids for mother’s day and it stressed me out. Getting ready, putting on makeup, breaking out the Spanx and keeping the kids clean to go to a nice restaurant seemed like any other day. So why was I sad being there if it was truly like any other day? Well when you are surrounded by other families where husbands or partners shower mom with flowers, gifts and bottomless mimosas at their table it can be a reminder that you are alone. If you are estranged from your children’s dad or barely co-parenting the stigma that you somehow failed to make this team work haunts you on days like Mother’s Day. Many single moms choose to avoid the holiday altogether and avoid being reminded of this “Mom guilt” so they don’t have to be reminded. I used to think like that but I eventually got over it as year after year of mother’s days and holidays passed. I enjoyed the Mother’s Days I spent with extended family. You really take stock of the happiness you find within you rather than external things you can’t control.
The Mother’s Day that almost Wasn’t
Many single mothers don’t plan to be single mothers. We try our best to stick to plans but remaining flexible when plans change. This year was the Mother’s Day that almost wasn’t. This year I have plans to go to Six Flags over Texas and I couldn’t be more excited, or so I thought. Last year, I accidentally spent my Mother’s Day with my kids and Ironman while his kids went to their moms. It really wasn’t a big deal and it was more about helping him out as we had plans with his mom for lunch. I even picked up the flowers for his mom and his kids’ mom. He cooked me breakfast last year but refused to say it was a Mother’s Day breakfast (we had just started dating). It was mainly because his attentiveness is something he does every day. So fast forward to this year and we had a lot of plans but those went out the window. His kids will not be seeing mom this year for Mother’s Day based upon her own actions and I won’t get into the personal drama associated with that. My heart can’t help but feel a little bad for his situation and for the kids. The kids will wonder why they are not seeing mom for mother’s day. I was once alienated from my oldest daughter by her dad for a bit so I know what it’s like not to spend a special day or days with your child. It really is heartbreaking but that experience helped me put holidays like mother’s day into perspective. It helped me to value what I have in the everyday and not just the holiday. So while I won’t get a promised breakfast in bed from Ironman it doesn’t bother me. In fact his situation has brought me closer to realizing that this is the man I truly want to be with and it’s not just about me or him, but about our children and ensuring they all grow up in a secure and safe environment. It is what is important to us. I feel like the more the merrier at Six Flags so we our taking our kids together to Six Flags on Mother’s Day and maybe a breakfast at IHOP. It’s my mother’s day gift to me and to him since he is the primary conservator over his kids. Single parenting is tough and it truly takes a village. If there was one gift I would like it would be acknowledgment. Just acknowledge mother’s day and not my relationship status. Hey as long as I don’t have to cook or clean up on my special day I think I am good with that.
Tell me about how you traditionally celebrate Mother’s Day and feel free to check out all my Mother’s Day promotions and gift ideas!