Why spending Mother’s Day alone doesn’t make you a bad mom

girl with a facemask relaxing
Photo credit: Envato Elements

Admit it, Mama: Just once, when someone asks you what you want for Mother’s Day, you want to say the thing. You know the thing — the thing we all want to say but don’t out of fear that mom guilt might actually take physical form, unhinge its jaws and consume our entire being. Yep, I’m talking about telling your family that you want to spend Mother’s Day alone. Instead, you say any number of other things that all involve hanging out with the tiny humans who made you a mom in the first place.

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Real talk: Put your listening cap on (now I sound like my mom), because you need to hear this truth. Ready? Spending Mother’s Day alone doesn’t make you a bad mom. Like, at all. In fact, it kinda just makes you a mom, period.

Think about it. You spend practically every waking minute worrying about the well-being of your children. You make sacrifices for them. You wipe their tiny tushes. You use that weird snot ball to suction out their boogies. Motherhood is a million things and, while they’re obviously #worthit, most of them are also exhausting.

But for one day a year, everyone stops for a minute to celebrate you, Mama. It’s a day when you should be able to do whatever you want (or need) to do.

Want to go to Target, grab a frothy bev from the in-store Starbucks, and spend an inordinate amount of time staring at decor from Leanne Ford’s new Project 62 collaboration? Do the damn thing. Want to live your best life at the local spa? Book that seaweed wrap.

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The point is, if you want to spend Mother’s Day alone, you should. You love your kids every single day of the year — not spending one holiday with them won’t change that. What’s so great about Mother’s Day is that it is the one day a year that doesn’t have to be about being a mom.

Sounds counterintuitive, I know. Here’s the deal, though. We aren’t just mothers.

Every other day of the year, that part of us takes precedence. If the goal of Mother’s Day is to celebrate moms by giving them something they need or want, why shouldn’t it be a break? Just for one day. One day where we actually make it through an entire cup of coffee while it’s still hot (or at all, since most days we forget we put it in the microwave for the third time). One day where we don’t have to be “on” every second. One day where we take time for all the things inside us that need to be replenished.

Self-care isn’t selfish. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

Just as there is no one right way to be a mom, there’s no one right way to enjoy Mother’s Day. It should be up to Mama to decide how she spends the holiday. If basking in your own company for a few hours on this one day of the year makes you happy, you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

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You may only make it through half an hour of that hot yoga class you’ve been dying to try before you realize you miss those messy, beautiful, gross, perfect, funny little people who made you a mom. And that’s OK, too.