For those women who, like myself, are childless not by choice (CNBC), Mother’s Day brings a mixture of feelings: love and appreciation for our own mothers (and mothers everywhere), and sadness that we will never experience motherhood ourselves.
If you are a mum, I hope this Sunday brings you all the treats that you deserve, be that a lie-in (depending on the age of your children this may be possible... or as likely as a trip to the moon), flowers, chocolates, breakfast in bed... or maybe a Sunday lunch out with your family. Perhaps even all of the above, if you’re really lucky! It’s your day - make the most of it.
If you’re a childless woman who struggles through Mothers Day with a smile, all the while holding it together and praying the day passes by as quickly as possible, here are a few tips for getting through the day as painlessly as you can:
1. Focus on your own mum
If you’re lucky enough to have your mum around, cherish her. If she’s anything like my amazing mum (aka De Mama) then she probably deserves a medal. None of us know how long we have with our loved ones, but the fact is, we’re all on borrowed time. I’ve been fortunate enough to have two amazing holidays with my mum recently, and have written about both our Costa Rica and Thailand trips on my blog. Make memories and capture them. They are far more valuable than buying ‘stuff’.
2. Be kind to yourself
If you don’t have children to buy you flowers on Mother’s Day, why not treat yourself to some? You don’t have to be a mum to be worthy of some beautiful blooms. They brighten up your home and your mood. Childless women can feel down in the run-up to occasions like Mother’s Day and Christmas, as well as the big days themselves, as it reminds us of what we don’t have. Allow yourself a short period of reflection, then remind yourself how strong you are and how far you’ve come and slay the day, girlfriend! You are a warrior woman! And warriors deserve treats.
3. Book a trip
It’s not Mother’s Day everywhere in the world! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by sadness at the prospect of Mother’s Day, book a trip to a place where it’s not Mother’s Day at all! Here’s the list of who celebrates when. I know people who have lost mothers or children who do this, and it helps to take their mind off the day’s celebrations back home. Ditto Christmas. Of course, Christmas is Christmas wherever you are, but if you’ve ever had December 25th somewhere hot when you’re from a cold climate or vice versa, you’ll know that it feels so unlike your traditional celebrations that it hardly seems like Christmas at all. I still can’t get over the feeling of spending Christmas Day on the beach in Sydney one year - weird, but fun!
4. Have a Non-Mother’s Day date
Get together with your childless/childfree mates (if you can find some - we’re a rare species) and have an alternative Non-Mother’s Day celebration. If you don’t have non-mum mates, join a group (like mine: The Non Mum Network) and find your tribe! Avoid traditional family eateries as they’ll be full of families and Mums Go Free! offers (ahem, what about us?!). Choose a swanky, family-unfriendly establishment and enjoy the chilled ambience and (uninterrupted!) chat.
5. Stay off social media
You know your newsfeed will be clogged up with proud mummies showing off their gifts and family snaps. In the name of self-preservation, stay away. It’s just one day. Tomorrow those same mums will be back to bemoaning bad behaviour and asking if it’s wine o’clock yet. Count your blessings ;-)
Whether you’re a mum, or a non-mum, I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day this Sunday, filled with love and laughter.
PS - Non-Mums, did you know that there’s a CNBC Magazine, and World Childless Week? I told you we count too! To read more about Otherhood, as well as many other topics, check out my blog Life: A Bird’s Eye View.