Mother’s Day (observed)

I’m hoping this little life hack comes in time for some folks to act on it!

Reader Lori Croall wrote me a few months ago with a genius idea for Mother’s Day, which is May 14th this year (in the US).

She noted that “Mother’s Day felt like a dilemma to me. People around me wanted to celebrate one way and I had a different idea of how to celebrate.”

[Laura’s note: If mom is having to chase the toddler around the Mother’s Day brunch, it’s not really a relaxing celebration for her.]

Lori reports that “A couple of years ago, I came up with the idea of Mother’s Day (observed). I schedule a day off from work the week after Mother’s Day. On that particular day, I do whatever I want. I usually get up early, get a coffee from Starbucks, and go for a long walk or run in a nearby park. Last year I painted my toes and read a book on my patio.

“It doesn’t really matter what I do, the point is that I get to have a day to myself. I find that I start looking forward to this day every year… It also really takes the pressure off of Mother’s Day, as I know that I have a day that week in which I can do whatever I want.

“I wanted to share this with you so that you could pass it onto other moms as a creative way to really embrace the Mother’s Day holiday!”

I love this idea. If you’ve got some PTO built up, or if you run your own schedule, consider acting like the Postal Service, which will observe a holiday on a Monday if it falls on a Sunday. You can observe Mother’s Day on some other day in May and do what you’d like while the kids are at school or at daycare. Then you can just roll with the experience of whatever the family has planned (or doesn’t have planned) on Sunday. Best of both worlds!

Do you have Mother’s Day plans this year? Has anyone ever brought you breakfast in bed? (Pro tip: Remind the children to bring you your coffee first, and if you have a partner, remind this person to remind the children about that. Then it’s a little less critical how long the breakfast prep turns out to be.)

In other news: Looking for a gift for the ambitious mother or mom-to-be in your life? Check out I Know How She Does It, my book on how real women manage big careers and families with time for fun as well. The Chicago Tribune called it “A refreshingly optimistic take on a topic rarely approached with a sunny outlook: having it all.”

17 thoughts on “Mother’s Day (observed)

  1. Oh that’s amazing, I love that. We don’t have local family so it’s just the three of us, and my son, aged 5, has my preferences down pat (books, brunch, flowers, vegan cake). When my son was 1, my husband forgot to book brunch and I was so salty about it that he never forgot again. I’m pretty sure he books it in October now.

    UK Mother’s Day is in March, so this year we went to brunch and the bookshop, I went to yoga while they went to the park, then we had some cake. Ideal day.

  2. Yes I’m all for mothers day (observed). I don’t work on Fridays (it’s my catch up/do all the house/kid administrative things day!) so this Friday I booked a pedicure and massage and am taking myself to lunch in between appointments! Since my mom is local I’ve also dedicated actual mothers day (Sunday) to a big family gathering that celebrates her (with my brother and his kids and my husband/kids) and then Saturday I declare MY mothers day when I ask for breakfast in bed and I get to call the shots. It’s not always a perfect day but I at least feel like I have one day I don’t’ have to accommodate everyone else! Bring on mother’s day weekend!!! All you moms are INCREDIBLE and deserve to be celebrated in style!

    1. @Kat – this is great, turn it into a 3-day celebration and everyone gets what they need.

    1. @Kamala – I think it was my daughter, but something like 7 years ago, when the current 8-year-old was a baby. It is cute! I have it up in my office.

  3. I can very clearly remember my first Mother’s Day. Oh how I had looked forward to it. It was 100% not the day I envisioned. No one whisked the 5 month old away. I don’t think I ate anything at the brunch, or at least not anything remotely warm. I remember paying the bill when the statement came in later that month. And I remember being very weepy because I thought it would be a picture perfect rom com day. Ha.
    It only took me four years to get wiser. This year, on May 5th, we did a relaxing night away. Mother’s Day Observed at the local Marriott. I could have gone with a friend or solo but we did it all together as a family of 3. Only this time, I knew a 4 year old would be a able to appreciate that this was special time to spoil mom. I enjoyed dinner poolside while she played and I was able to actually enjoy an adult beverage with my husband. While my daughter and husband joined me for this R and R short staycation, it was geared for me, someone else cleaned up and I was still able to have a nice time with the family. This Sunday we will do the traditional Mother’s Day, we will share it with my mom, my mother in law and a grandma or two. Now, that I had my day and night ahead of time, I can enjoy it as a daughter and not feel resentment!
    Maybe next year I will keep the same plan and take that Friday off like Lori for a day of me and then head to a hotel.

  4. Love that idea! I usually take my actual birthday off to enjoy as me-time, but my kids are now old enough that I can enjoy mother’s day a bit more. Although this year we’re doing an obstacle course race 😂 which I did actually propose in the first place. I think it’ll be a fun family thing to do, plus they are handing out goodie bags for moms.

  5. In spite of being the mother of three adults , no plans for Mother’s Day. My daughter is a mother herself. As for my two 40-something sons…let’s just say “boys will be boys.” Don’t think they are even aware that Mother’s Day is coming up! I’ll celebrate Sunday knowing I got the best gifts of all, three happy, healthy adult children (and two adorable little grand daughters!)

  6. We do my Mother’s Day on Saturday, then I go out to see my mom on Sunday and my husband brings the boy to see his mom on Sunday. I usually also sneak in a run or a stop at the mall – they have a big mall and a great bike trail. I tried to do something with both my mom and his one year so that no one’s feelings were hurt but my MIL got on my case so hard about not inviting another person in their family (who is a lot and not my favorite TBH) that I just gave up. There are already so many holidays to negotiate.

  7. I conceptually love this. I’m seeing all the posts abou telling your husband exactly what you want for Mother’s Day. And I get that and love it- but right now we have a 6 month old and a toddler and our lives are all hands on deck. So maybe another year we will try!

    Just need to make sure I feel this way tomorrow lol.

    1. But one should get what one wants at least on this day right… like what does that say that even on this day we cannot some of us get what we ask for ….

  8. Every day is Mother’s Day in our society and yet no day is really Mother’s Day… bc the society is still pretty anti-women anti-mother… and there is this sense that Mother’s Day is loosing its relevance right…

    Would be good to read something more specifically about that… a lot of the corporations were like hey we are going to let you opt out of “holiday greetings”

    A good hack say more practically speaking to make it relevant is to use it to ask for something one wants or wants done… like hey it is Mother’s Day week … by this date I need x, y, z bc …. set-asides for mothers in procurement, or like leveraging the sacred and also oppressive culture of motherhood in a capitalist patriarchy like ours…

    i.e . it is a good time to say hey I want or need, x, y, z and get it…. I think an article that tells women ask for it what you want or need this week or this day and get it.. etc
    the romantization of motherhood without the support or real valuing of it and of women without a robust say woman-owned free press and without a feminist press is vaguely (without a feminist press) dystopian @ this holiday and our culture at this time….

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