You can honor your Mom
while still honoring Mother Earth.
For many, Mother’s Day is a complicated holiday, and let’s be real, it is another one of those marketing holidays that screams, “buy stuff!” as if a sappy haiku on a card with butterflies will make up for the days we don’t necessarily celebrate mom.
My mother has been gone for over 25 years, but when she was around, she didn’t have any heavy expectations about this holiday, which is good because I was never good at nailing it with gifts and cards. She knew I loved her and respected her, and in those last few years, I let her know how very grateful I was for everything.
Is it just me or have these kinds of holidays just gotten more insane over the last decade or two? What used to be an excuse to get together and celebrate mom is now this massive push to give the “perfect” gift.
As a mother myself, I nipped that in the bud when my three girls were small. I expected nothing, but some quality time to play in the garden or make something fun and have an indulgent meal (that maybe I didn’t have to cook).
You can honor your Mom while still honoring Mother Earth by following the Green Divas consumer motto: buy less, make more, and when you have to buy, buy green and local! So, here are a few ideas to help you celebrate Mother’s Day, whether you are a mother, have a mother, hate your mother or want to celebrate mama earth…
Stop judging your mother, yourself as a mother, other mothers, your siblings, all of it. Don’t compare yourself to all the glorified images of perfect motherhood being blasted at us during this time. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t love your mother perfectly. Give yourself a break if you feel like a slacker mom. And it’s OK to not be a mom, whether you wanted kids or not!
In my experience, the best most nurturing mother energy is a creative force manifesting love. If you are a mother, you are a creator. I much prefer gifts that were made for me, even if they suck. If you are going to give me something, please make it for me. Write me a handwritten note, rather than a store-bought card. Make me a simple meal that we can enjoy together. Getting creative doesn’t necessarily mean “stuff” of any kind. Maybe sing a special song together, take a walk, watch a movie together or laugh at stupid cat videos. “Together” is the key.
Keep it simple.
Easier said than done, I know, but minimize the cat wrangling of various family obligations and try to focus on what is most important, which may be different from year to year. Perhaps one mother or family member is sick or really needs support this year. It’s all about balance. Rather than trying to juggle like a rockstar to keep everyone happy, find a gentle way to minimize the trauma for you, your kids, your extended family. Be willing to compromise on the things that are less important and get clear on what is important to you (as a mother?) and your mother and the other mother’s that call for honoring.
We all have some twisted history with mom. Whether it is crazy sibling rivalry, family break-ups, illness, alcoholism, or a variety of other traumatic dysfunctional attributes, try to let the past be the past and do your best to be present. For me, the present on Mother’s Day is bittersweet—I feel my mother’s absence acutely, but being with my own family brings me incredible joy. Sometimes at times like Mother’s Day when we are all together, I just sit and watch the little dramas of their lives unfold across the table with chattering banter or stinging sarcasm, and immerse myself in this presence; which is so abundant with life, craziness, love, all of it; and my heart just about bursts through my eyes.
Be THE present. Whoever you are with (mother, children, friends, lovers), be sure to give them the gift of your presence. Try to stop obsessing about the past or anxiously worrying about the future when you are with someone trying to honor them. Can’t do it all. So, pick the present and focus your love and attention on whoever you are with.
mother’s are the gardeners
of the human race
~ Anna A. Rogers
Connect with nature.
Hey why not make the connection between Mom and Mother Earth? Seriously, who doesn’t love nature? Take a walk outside or a hike if that is possible. An outdoor picnic if weather and circumstances allow. I have always loved digging in the dirt on Mother’s Day as it is generally a safe frost-free time to start putting plants in the ground. My kids used to grumble, but they learned about gardening and at least one of them seems to enjoy it now.
Check out my Tech Timeout mediation and strategies for disconnecting from devices and reconnecting with nature.
Well, motherhood is all about nurturing, right? The idea of motherhood brings up all kinds of images of self-sacrifice in the name of nurturing. I vote be good and nurturing to yourself first, then let it overflow to all those who you want to honor on Mother’s Day. I certainly can’t give what I haven’t got. As a mother I learned (the hard way) that when I allowed myself to get drained, I wasn’t very good at being patient, loving or remotely nurturing with my kids. But conversely, when I was feeling spiritually, emotionally, physically nourished, I could be the fun mom I envisioned myself to be. So, however you do Mother’s Day, be it by yourself or with a crowd, be good to yourself and then you will find that you’ll be able to be more giving with whoever you are with or encounter on this often fraught holiday.
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May 7, 2016 at 2:54 pm
Great ideas, thank you.
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