Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day. All these special days in our calendar. Whether we celebrate it or not, all mothers like to be appreciated and it is nice to be publicly acknowledged on a day like Mother’s Day!
But here’s a caveat: This is true only if you have children old enough to celebrate you, or a very hands-on husband who helps the children celebrate you.
How will it be for you? Do you look forward to these special days—or do you dread them? Does your family remember your special days—or do you have to remind them?
And when you finally get your gift, will you be happy with what you get? Will it make you feel special? Loved? Appreciated?
Or, will you be angry and upset that despite the reminders, they forgot? Or worse, made a mess that you had to clean up?
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How Will You React?
I think that is the whole problem with days deemed “special” by society, especially in these days of social media. If you are on Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok, you would probably see photos and/or videos posted by your mum friends of the beautiful and thoughtful gifts of breakfast in bed, flowers, cards, or even jewellery.
You may start out thinking that you don’t really care whether you receive a gift or not. But then you see the gifts your friends receive, and you start feeling a tad jealous, resentful, or even bitter that no one cares enough to even write a note of appreciation. We start comparing and start feeling upset.
So what are we to do? Here are some practical approaches I’ve personally found useful:
1. Be Honest
If your love language isn’t gift-giving, then tell your family. And if you really do not want a fuss over something like Mother’s Day, tell them, too, and mean what you say. If, despite what you tell them, they choose to make that day a special one, be gracious about it and receive their tokens of love with appreciation.
2. Ask For What You Want
But, if you really would like to at least have breakfast in bed, even if it is hotcakes from McDonald’s, or go out for dinner, say it—in advance, not just before dinner.
There’s no shame telling them what you want. Let not our Asian reticence make us martyrs. Stay-at-home mothers, especially, work very hard, 24/7. And if we cope without live-in or part-time helpers, we get no off days.
Just say: “It would be nice if we went out for dinner on Mother’s Day.” Or, if you have older children: “It would be nice if you guys could make me breakfast in bed as a special treat.”
There’s no shame telling them what you want. Let not our Asian reticence make us martyrs.
3. Celebrate Yourself
Now, if your husband or children are truly dense and do not get it, celebrate yourself. Don’t act the martyr, sulk, and be all miserable. Order dinner in, take a nap, read a non-fiction book, eat some chocolates. Don’t wait for someone to appreciate you. You appreciate you!
And now, for some tough love.
Do As To the Lord
Most of the time, we get all upset because we feel that we are entitled to special days and special treatment. I am not saying that we do not deserve to be treated special. But often, it is our expectations that makes us unhappy.
We expect to be treated right. We feel entitled to it. But why? Has our attitude led us to feel the way we do? Can we, instead, as Colossians 3:23 tells us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord”?
Regardless of whether Man appreciates the work of your hands or even you, God does.
And please remember, regardless of whether Man appreciates the work of your hands or even you, God does. He sees us. He sees the work we do. Let us, then, do our best to do everything as unto the Lord.
Have a blessed Mother’s Day, sisters!
This article was originally published in www.buildingupmoms.com. Adapted with permission.