Your first Mother’s Day is a day you’ll likely treasure forever. Whether your baby is six-weeks-old or six-months-old, you’re still a relatively new mom, and like the saying goes, it goes too fast. This year, you’re celebrating so much from growing and birthing a baby, to all those little milestones that baby is moving through. Most profoundly, you’re learning just how much learning there is for you to do, too. Often, it’s learning feels intense and hard and meaningful. Becoming a mother is one of life’s most beautiful, if not most jarring, transitions, which means mothers should truly be celebrated each and every day for just how much we give and how deeply we love. All the more reason why this Mother’s Day, your first one as a parent, should be treated like the most special day of the year. It’s a day to celebrate you and the amazing mother you’re becoming, no matter how you do it.
Here are six ways to embrace your first Mother’s Day:
1) Be honest about what you want to do
Whether it’s brunch, heading out on a hike, to a baseball game, or just getting in a nice long nap, be upfront about what you want to do today. Too often, mothers get caught in the trap of pleasing everyone else (even on the day that’s supposed to be designed for us!). Instead of worrying about how to keep the rest of your family happy, think about what would improve your mood. I know. I know. It’s hard to think about yourself. After all, you’re a mom now! You probably haven’t spend a lot of time catering to your own needs so far this year. But today, you really should. And honestly? You should make a habit of it thereafter, too.
2) Have reasonable expectations
If you’re like a lot of new moms, you’re probably still getting used to a new, slowed down pace of life. It can be hard to balance the things you want to do with the reality of how those things may turn out. When you have a newborn in tow, you have to adjust your expectations and sometimes, that takes time, practice, and a lot of trial and error. When it comes to having a great Mother’s Day, you’ll want to plan within reason. Make time for breaks, for both you and baby, and know that it’s okay to change your plans if things are becoming complicated. Sometimes even the most well-laid plans go off the rails when there’s a fussy baby who came to party. Above all, be flexible and go with the flow.
3) Take time to acknowledge how much you’ve grown
While everyone should really be waiting on your hand and foot, handing your flowers and spoon-feeding your pudding today, what’s really important is that you show yourself some love, too. Today of all days, taking a bit of time to reflect on your time as a new mother and how much you’ve already grown and changed can be an important and healthy practice. It’s not unlikely that you’ve already adjusted to life with a baby in huge, triumphant ways. And not all of them are easy or come as naturally as you thought they might! Take a few minutes to acknowledge those efforts and give thanks to yourself for how well you rallied to every task that came your way.
4) Give thanks to other mothers, too
Now that you’re a mom, you can appreciate the efforts of all the mothers who came before you even more. The truth is, motherhood is one of those things that is hard to completely appreciate until you’re there yourself. You don’t know the struggles, the anxiety, and just how exhausting it can be. There is nothing that demands quite so much time, energy, love and self-sacrifice as mother, that’s for sure. If you weren’t as grateful as maybe you could’ve been in the past (because you didn’t understand yet!), make sure you take time to give thanks this year to whatever mothers may be in your life- family, friends, mothers, step-mother’s, grandmothers, and any other important mother figures you know and love. Now that you’re a mom, you totally get it. And those hugs and “thank you”s, no matter how belated, go a long way.
5) Be gentle with your body
Whether you birthed months ago or recently, your body went through epic changes since you became a parent! Don’t underestimate those and push yourself too hard simply because that’s the trend you see happening all around you. In a culture where we don’t value pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking we aren’t doing enough. The truth is, you’re doing a ton simply by caring for your baby and giving your body time to heal. Be gentle with your body, today and all days. Don’t push too hard, and make some time to relax.
6) Remember, you’re allowed to have a drink
Listen, it’s Mother’s Day and you’re allowed to have a cocktail or a glass of bubbly. While popular opinion tells new moms to stay completely away from drinking, it’s not evidence-based! Instead of avoiding alcohol altogether, if having a drink or two is something that brings you joy, strive for balance instead. Know that too much alcohol can dehydrate you and that it’s not safe to bedshare after you’ve been drinking. But remember that balance is always a better alternative than making harsh rules for yourself. So, take a load off, kick up your feet, and have that Mom-mosa without the guilt. You deserve it.