How to Have a Guilt Free Mother’s Day

Cut a waffle into thirty two bite sized pieces while guzzling down a mimosa. Wrap up brunch #1 so you can make it to brunch #2 in time. Call every single mother-like figure in your life to wish her a happy day. Spend the day with your kids, because God forbid you want to be away from your kids on Mother’s Day. End the day at yet another family gathering.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Well, this was what my Mother’s Day looked like for three years and I HATED it. So much so that I actually dreaded Mother’s Day. That is, until I realized that Mother’s Day is the one day a year when I actually get to be selfish and do exactly what I want. And so should you.

Photo by Tucker Pierce 

Just the other day, someone was deliberately trying to make me feel guilty about how I wanted to spend Mother’s Day. I was told that I was selfish and not thinking about others. But you know what I have to say about that? TOO DAMN BAD. Because we moms do just about everything, from bringing home the bacon to frying it up in a pan and than scrubbing all of those obnoxious grease stains off of the stovetop, and for one day a year (at the very least), that has to change.

I am writing this article to remind you, dear mama, that you can spend your day absolutely ANY WAY YOU PLEASE. Want to spend it in bed by yourself? Go for it! Prefer to have a boozy brunch and spend the rest of it at the spa? Enjoy! Planning a hike, run, bike ride, or something else outside? Soak up that sunshine! And if you are like me and want to spend some of your with your family but lots of it in bed watching romantic comedies and eating junk food, I raise my remote control to yours! Because there is no wrong way to spend Mother’s Day…except when you are following someone else’s predetermined plan for you.

Photo by Tucker Pierce

Since we moms have become accustomed to taking care of everyone else instead of ourselves, I have a few quick tips on how to enjoy a guilt free Mother’s Day. They are short and easy so you can spend more of your time doing whatever the heck you please:

  • Explain your “dream Mother’s Day”…the more specific, the better. Your partner/husband/baby daddy isn’t a mind reader, so be sure to explain your hopes for the day. Simply reminding him to chill a bottle of champagene isn’t going to cut it. Tell him what you would like and that his ability to follow your hopes and goals is a gift in and of itself. Because seriously, it is.
  • Acknowledge all of the moms in your life…but on another day. I have three different mother figures in my life, and it is absolutely impossible to see all of them in one day, as well as have a relaxing Mother’s Day. So we celebrate Mother’s Day with them individually…on random days. I mean, it doesn’t have to be the second Sunday in May in order to tell your mom how much you love her, right?!?
  • Send a little love to your mom squad…over Mother’s Day weekend. I don’t know what I would do without the community of moms who have talked me through teething, tantrums, and then some. So I show them how much I appreciate them with a card, cup of coffee, or bouquet of flowers. But on Saturday. Or Friday. Even Thursday. That way their families can spoil them on Sunday, along with mine.
  • Relax and let it go. So many people get all caught up in having the perfect social media post on holidays such as Mother’s Day. It’s so incredibly dumb, because as everyone knows, those photos are staged. I’m so proud that so many publications have singled out my Instagram feed for being a great one (Thanks, Red Tricycle and Mommy Nearest!), but I’ve got to tell you, parenting and motherhood isn’t as “carefree” as it looks. Unplug for the day. You won’t regret it.

For more about how to have the best Mother’s Day (including what gifts to ask for and give to those special mamas in your life), check out my Mother’s Day Guide.

Happy Mother’s Day!
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  1. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    I LOVE this post! Mother’s Day guilt is real. It took me forever to get over it, but these days, I feel no shame that my Mother’s Day request is that my family just take care of themselves for one day. LOL

  2. Marysa says

    I can definitely relate to this. While I usually do have somewhat of a relaxing day, there is also lots of chaos. It gets too crazy trying to go to lunch and do a bunch of stuff especially when the kids are really young. This year I am actually working, so I get to get out of the house and make money too 🙂

  3. Bill Sweeney says

    I try to help make sure my wife has no Mother’s Day guilt or guilt at any time for making time for herself. We ALL need that, and every mom in my life tends to forget that.

  4. candy says

    Mothers Day for me really isn’t about receiving a gift. Not that I am going to turn it down mind you. All I ever wanted was a day of not having to cook or do dishes and few hours of quiet. Just me time to take a nap, read a book.

  5. Jeanette says

    This is a great post! Although I do like to spend time with my family Mother’s Day that is my choice and I would not make somebody else feel guilty for wanting to spoil themselves and be away from their family. Good for you for doing it the way you want to do it.

  6. Joely Smith says

    Guilt is a waste of energy. Granted if you have done something truly despicable than that is different. No need to waste energy on feeling bad for taking any day of the year to yourself. Mother’s Day and all holidays are wonderful but if we treat people with kindness, love, and respect through the other days of the year, then this one day should not matter much.

  7. Yeu Doi says

    Mother’s day is special and people can do whatever makes them happy! Everyday can be special too.

  8. Mandee says

    Yes!!! I’m so glad someone finally said it! Moms often feel pressure to do what everyone else wants on Mother’s Day! It’s time we take a moment to ask the Mommas what they want to do. 🙂

  9. David Elliott says

    I can certainly understand wanting to celebrate all of the mother’s that have been a part of your life in one way or another. Hopefully they will be understanding about all of that.

  10. Melissa Dixon says

    MY husband is always trying to get me to tell him what I want as a gift and where I want to go but I just can’t ever name something that sounds fun to them. I really just want to chill at home and maybe work in the garden or go frisbee golfing at the local park, pretty low key.

  11. Michelle Waller says

    I couldn’t love this more! This Mother’s Day I am taking a vacation without kids.

  12. Rebecca Swenor says

    These are great tips for getting rid of Mother’s day guilt. Every mother needs time to herself and not just on mother’s day. I love the idea of meeting up with friends before mother’s day. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  13. Terri Beavers says

    I love that Mother’s can do what they want without feeling guilt. We should be able to. I did something really crazy this year and got a nose piercing for my Mother’s Day gift to myself, lol.

  14. Chrishelle Ebner says

    I have never experience Mother’s Day Guilt, but my fast paced year may be leading that way. I am definitely going to take a few of your tips to ensure I am able to relax and enjoy MY day.

  15. uprunforlife says

    I leave the Mother’s day guilt behind. IT is my day and I usually spend it doing things that I want to do ie nap or coloring. This year won’t be any different. 🙂

  16. Beeb Ashcroft says

    I usually give mother figures a call but I keep it short. I never try to get together with all of them though unless it’s on another day. Not worth it!

  17. E H says

    I love your advice about explaining what it is that I want for Mother’s Day exactly. I find my family sometimes has an idea to make the best of it on this day, but that is not necessarily what I want. I need to make my voice heard better. 🙂

    • Amanda says

      I have found that communication is key. Sometimes I even write it all down for my hubby. #controlfreak

  18. Victoria Heckstall says

    The moment your new baby comes into your arms, a whole new set of emotions rushes in—pride, joy, wonderment, fear, and, yes, guilt. Because everything you do or don’t do as a guardian of this child is all your fault forevermore.

    • Amanda says

      Very true. But in this article, I’m talking about the guilt of everyone wanting your time on Mother’s Day.

  19. Practical Mama says

    I might be one of the few mothers who doesn’t feel guilty when I indulge myself in “me time”, both on mother’s day as well as any other day. I feel like – my mental justification – I can be a better mom, wife or a better person when I just have that quite time for myself. What’s the use of a burnt out, physically and mentally worn out mom to anyone?

    • Amanda says

      You are 100% correct. It took me quite a few years to realize how important “me time” is. I simply can’t be a good mom if I don’t take care of myself first!

  20. sara says

    I love this post. Mother’s day guilt is no joke! I rarely take time for myself, but if I do I try not to feel guilty about it.

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