Mother’s Day is For Those Actively Mothering

Mother’s Day is For Those Actively Mothering

- in April 2021, Parenting
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In 2018, I wrote an article for the magazine about giving moms a mental day off for Mother’s Day.

You can read it here: Give Mom the Best Gift for Mother’s Day: A Mental Load Day Off

Recent experiences have made me realize, I need to dial back expectations even further and share who Mother’s Day is really for in the first place.

I was recently chatting with a local mom about Mother’s Day. Yes, we are still weeks away from Mother’s Day, but mothers are planners, so it’s not unusual for us to talk about the winter holidays months away let alone a holiday a month or two away.

“Mother’s Day is for those actively mothering….

…unless someone is on-call to clean up a kid’s vomit at a moment’s notice in any given 24 hours, they are not actively mothering.”

Luckily my husband views Mother’s Day the same way I do. It’s a day to celebrate our own family of five and what I contribute to our family every day of my life. We are an equitable couple and our marriage is something we have painstakingly built on a foundation of communication and trust. There was no roadmap or role model marriage for us to emulate when we first got together, but what we have created is nothing short of magical and I would love to see others find their own version of a similarly meaningful and fulfilling relationship.

This post is really for the partners of mothers out there

(if you’re a mom reading this now – send your partner a link to this post with a message akin to “nudge nudge”).

To the partners of moms putting in the long hours of motherhood right now

Mothering is an often an emotionally and physically exhausting job with no paid time off, sick days, vacation days, a salary, or benefits beyond hugs and kisses.

Being a mother lays your soul bare and carving out Mother’s Day for the mother of your children is one day you can let your partner know, “I see you. I see everything you do and I so appreciate you.”

Moms are often the parent who keeps the house and family running. We are aware of what laundry load needs to be done next, what’s the plan for dinner today (and probably tomorrow too, so what needs to be defrosted to make it), what the kids’ plans are for weekend play dates, soccer games, music lessons, and homework or school projects due. We know what school supplies are needed (the supply lists are SO detailed!) and the status of how many pencils, glue sticks and markers the kids have in their backpacks right now. We also know who needs a new pair of shoes in the next size up soon, and who needs a new spring jacket because they outgrew their winter coat this past season.

Moms are doing it all because we’re compelled to do it, we want to do it, but we also want you to recognize everything we do.

So this Mother’s Day, focus on the mother who made you a parent too. Chances are, she’s already planning a Father’s Day gift for you in June.

About the author

Michelle Dickstein is a Midwest transplant from the East Coast with her husband. Michelle wears many hats as a life coach, writer, public health professional, certified lactation counselor, and certified project manager. Her most rewarding role is mother to three young daughters — two of whom are identical twins — who all get their curly hair from their father, but more than enough personality from Michelle. Her real passion is helping others by sharing her life experiences and she has made appearances on CBS 19 and Fox 8 news as a lifestyle and parenting "expert" (whatever that means). Learn more about Michelle Dickstein Life Coaching, LLC at michelledickstein.com.

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