Eight Suggestions for Making 364 Days Special!
My friend said to me, “are you ready for the great high feast?” I looked at her confused and realized she was talking about Mother’s Day! For some of us, it is the best day of the year, but for many others, high expectations can leave a mom feeling disappointed and upset the day after! I’ll admit, there have been times when I had hurt feelings and was disappointed in how the day went as the children went back to school and my husband went to work, and I was left with a messy house, but this is no way to kick off the rest of the year!
Jesus loves his Mother and all mothers as well!
After 23 years of Mother’s Day celebrations and many more to come, I have come to appreciate a few things about this day and how to allow this holiday to inspire you every day of the rest of the year!
- The Blessed Mother is the only perfect Mother ever. We can agree that Mary, the Mother of God, had mothering “down,” and her Christ-centered love is the formula for us as mothers. We nestle this holiday right in the middle of a month dedicated to her. Don’t be too busy to miss going to Mss. Why not have a family May crowning in her honor? Pray the Rosary as a family on Mother’s Day and the days to follow. Ask Mary for the graces you need in your life.
- Don’t wait a whole year to take a break. If this day is all about rest, relaxation, and renewal, it might signify that you need holy balance. Create some better “reset” opportunities, especially retreats and days away to be renewed. If you “don’t want to do anything,” maybe you need some more help for the other 364 days. Just a thought!
- Saying thank you to your Mother needs to happen more than once a year. Make sure that you “train up” your children to appreciate you on ordinary days. Teaching people to appreciate their mom can be as simple as working on the culture in your home. Do you use manners? Do you thank each other for the little things, like when someone goes out of their way to do a kind act?
- The Perfect Sunday- For many families, this day involves wonderful meals, family time, and going to Mass is a priority. Isn’t this a great formula for every Sunday? Just think, every Sunday can be a day of rest, relaxation, family time, and an opportunity to honor each other. Sorry moms, you might not get center stage every Sunday, but I think you would agree better life balance will lead to a happier life.
- Gifts do not fill the soul on Mother’s Day- you might need to hit the reset button if you are crying about the gifts given. I suppose you need something that badly; I suggest that you don’t wait for your family to read your mind. Go out and get your needs met. Holidays like this one are more about slowing down, taking time to be with those that love you, and reflecting on the gift of family. We’ve shifted the focus to expressing feelings through cards and actions in our house. Having the children show appreciation through their words or deeds, such as helping in the kitchen, goes much farther than a significant gift. I appreciate an extra house project done in “honor of mother” and words of kindness. Hint – This formula is doable for the rest of the year too!
- Mother’s Day is a celebration, not a Rejection. Mother’s Day is a day about appreciation, not about “selfishness.” My husband lovingly teased me, saying, “I can’t wait to see your mothering skills shine on Mother’s day- what a great day for you to showcase all you have learned.” Although he was only kidding, it did make me think. Why do we often focus so much on the idea of a day off from our vocation and reject doing all the things we usually associate with being a mother? It can be tempting to focus too much on being appropriately honored by our children or husband rather than simply being thankful for the blessings we receive from God through our service to this extraordinary vocation.
- You are teaching your children what it means to be a mother. What is your attitude towards your vocation? How do you cherish children? This is a powerful witness in the culture. Simply learn to celebrate new life and support those around you who welcome children into their lives.
- Seek healing if you are pained by your childhood. If Mother’s Day or the discussion of your childhood is painful, get the healing you need to forgive and be set free from those pains. Jesus wants to heal your heart. Open your heart to the love of Christ so you can be set free from the pain of the past. Healing is significant, so I always share about the Sacred Heart Devotion as a bedrock for all Christian/Catholic families. Part of the healing process is learning to forgive and be forgiven.
Mother’s Day is an excellent opportunity to be celebrated as Mother, and yet, we as mothers shouldn’t wait 364 days to hear nice words, have a family day, or get the items we need. As Catholic mothers, we have the perfect example of motherhood, the Blessed Mother, which will soften our hearts and renew our love for God, our family, and our vocation if we turn to her lovingly in prayer. Cast out all bitterness and resentment and embrace today, the day after Mother’s Day.