Mother’s Day for single moms can sometimes feel like Valentine’s Day for single people, AKA, “You’re-Doing-This-Alone-Awareness-Day”. For those of us with infants and small children, the day has a tendency to whoosh by completely unrecognized. This can be a painful reality to face, because it means that we may have to be the ones to initiate a celebration and that can end up feeling awkward and depressing.
Last year, I had the Mother’s Day blues. It was my third one alone and my kiddo still wasn’t old enough to understand that I really wanted him to draw me a card and be extra endearing toward me that day. Nothing was working out and I was making it worse. So, I took my son to an empty playground and I sat down on one of the park benches and cried. I was having a really, really rough day. It was not at all what I thought I should be experiencing. It was not at all what I saw portrayed on my married friends social media pages.
I felt forgotten, worthless and alone. I wanted to be acknowledged for all of the hard work I was putting into raising my son. I wanted to be celebrated for doing it all with a steadfast heart and a solitary set of hands, but there was no one there to affirm me.
When we got home from the park, I was surprised to find that there was a little potted plant on my doorstep with a card from one of my dear friends. She had taken the time out of her own Mother’s Day to write a kind note, buy a plant and drive to my house to drop it off. I was filled with joy and gratitude from head to toe. That one — seemingly small — action made such an impact on my day and on my attitude. So much so, that a year later it still resonates with me.
If you’re in a similar spot, don’t let the Mother’s Day blues get the best of you this year. Fearlessly celebrate your motherhood. You deserve it! As mothers we are doing the most significant thing with our lives by raising our children and we are doing the best that we possibly can. So set yourself up for success this Sunday by planning something fun for yourself and your little one.
Here are some ideas for free and easy things to do to get the ball rolling:
Do A 5K Run Or Walk In Your Neighborhood
This is something free that you can do with your kids and will make you feel physically great in the meantime! Call up a friend and invite him or her to join you. They can bring their kids as well and it could make for a very fun morning or afternoon. There are loads of 5K runs or walks on Mother’s Day. Just start by looking up what events may be going on in your community.
Set Up A Playdate With Another Single Mom
If you think you’re the only single mom dealing with the Mother’s Day blues, think again! You’ll be surprised to find that a handful of other single mothers don’t have anything planned for Mother’s Day. Reach out to a friend to get together for a playdate. It doesn’t have to be a big “to-do”, just keep it simple. The point is to be surrounded by a good support system on this day. Have fun and encourage one another during you’re playdate. You’ll walk away feeling inspired and uplifted and so will your friend.
Get Outside With A Picnic
Brunch is great, but if you’re on a budget and don’t want to deal with your kids at a restaurant, pack a picnic and head to the park or to the beach. Better yet, invite a friend to come along with you! While the kiddos play, you can catch a little break and drink up some warm rays from the sun.
Leave A Gift On A Friends Doorstep
Everyone loves a little gift elf. Do something sweet for a friend this Mother’s Day by leaving a thoughtful note, a packet of seeds or some wild flowers from your garden or green belt. It doesn’t have to be super time consuming or cost a lot of money. Again, keep it simple. I have found through my own experiences though, that on my bluest of bluest days, giving to others is the absolute best medicine. So give it a try!
Get An Hour of Alone Time At Ikea
I know this one sounds strange, but just bear with me here. We’ve all been at that point where we feel like we’re going to rip our hair out if we don’t get some alone time. And an hour can do miracles when you’ve reached your breaking point. So, if drop-off childcare is not an option for you this Mother’s Day, consider going to Ikea. They offer a free hour of childcare at their stores while you shop. But, even if you don’t choose to shop, you can still head to their café and sip a coffee or munch on a Danish whilst you soak up an hour of childfree bliss. (P.S. Don’t feel bad if you need a break from your children on Mother’s Day. That’s completely normal). Check out Ikea’s website to see if they offer free childcare in your area.
Every mother, married or not, will tell you that Mother’s Day does not negate responsibility. Children still need to be fed, clothed, cleaned, wiped and tucked away in bed no matter what day of the year it is. So, this Sunday, as you pick up the phone to wish someone close to you a happy Mother’s Day, consider calling one of your single mom friends as well. By simply reaching out and acknowledging what she does each and every day, you are communicating to her that you see her and that you care. That makes all the difference in the world. Friendship is a huge part of Mother’s Day, so lets make sure to show our single mother friends just how much we love and appreciate them.
Is there someone you know who could benefit from a little extra love this Mother’s Day?
Image via Emily Reiter