How Mother’s Day Changes Over Time

How Mother’s Day Changes Over Time

May 11, 2023

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As we move through the journey of motherhood, the way we experience Mother’s Day, and what we need from it, changes. Today, I’m reflecting on my own experience of how Mother’s Day changes over time and connecting to different stages of motherhood. 

Different stages of parenting are challenging in different ways. When they’re younger, what we want most might just be a break from our kids, but as they get older we might crave more time with them.

Very early on, I realized that I wanted to create a day that worked best for me, so I started to create an intentional Mother's Day. 

And I want to give you permission (and tools) to create whatever it is that you want for your Mother's Day experience.


Mother’s Day Over Time

My oldest son, Lincoln, is almost 19 years old. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately, including thinking back to the past 18 Mother’s Days I’ve experienced. 

My needs have changed over the period of time that I've been a mom. And what the caregiving to my kids looked like had a lot to do with what my emotional needs were at that time. 

And I can look back at the different Mother's Day choices that I've made and I can see how those different needs showed up. 

When I first became a mom, it was really important to me to create some sort of family dynamic. I wanted to have this idyllic version of our family. I wanted to create a cherished memory on Mother’s Day, and I was trying to create this Instagram-worthy Mother’s Day that I had in my mind (before the actual days of Instagram).

A few years in, I realized that this Mother’s Day thing wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t getting my needs met. So, I started to think about what I actually wanted and needed out of this day? How did I want to feel? 

In those early years, I just wanted to be alone. I wanted to shop, get a cup of coffee, lay in bed and be in my house by myself. 

And I know it might feel strange to you to have a Mother’s Day where you don’t spend time with your kids, but if they’re little, you might be spending a LOT of time with them every other day. 

Once the kids were in school, I started to notice that I was really craving time with my friends, with other mothers. So maybe we’d do something as a family in the morning, and I’d go have coffee or dinner with friends.

I also noticed that I wanted to be more active, doing things like going for hikes or to the beach. I wanted to get outside and move my body. There was also a season when I wanted to spend time with each kid alone on Mother’s Day.

And as my kids got into middle school, I started to notice that my experience of Mother’s Day, and motherhood in general, was a little bit less about my needs because my needs were already being met pretty well.

This year, I want to go on an adventure and do something totally different with my teenagers. We spend less time as a full family lately. Our kids have jobs and school and social lives. I want us all to be together just having fun.

I share all of this not because you need to do the same things that I did, but because sometimes as moms, we’re not even tuned in to what it is we want and need.

If you had a whole day to do whatever you wanted, what would that look like?

Your answer will give clues to what kinds of activities you’re craving or missing. 


Mother’s Day Boundaries

Now I’m guessing you are not the only mother in your life. Maybe your own mother, mother-in-law or other women close to you are celebrating Mother’s Day, too, and they want you to be a part of it. 

This becomes a little complicated once you’re a mom yourself. It’s hard to satisfy your own needs AND you mom’s needs. 

My maybe unpopular opinion…The person who is currently raising children should have dibs on Mother’s Day. You can celebrate with your mom or mother-in-law on Saturday or next weekend. 

This might be hard. You might feel guilty. 

But I want you to feel like you have the right to take excellent care of yourself in whatever way you need and want. You’re not responsible for designing the perfect Mother’s Day for your mother. You can advocate for yourself and find a solution that will work for everyone.

What I don’t want is for you to make it work for everyone but you. I don't want you to spend Mother's Day celebrating and honoring everybody, all the other mothers, and then not and not honoring yourself. 

It is 100% okay for you to say, I'm tired and I have some needs here. I'm lonely and I have some needs here. I'm bored and I have some needs here. And use Mother's Day as a way to get those needs met.

I wish you the most precious Mother’s Day. I hope that you fill your cup and have a really wonderful, intentional day. Decide what you want, ask for it and make it happen.


You’ll Learn:

  • How our needs as moms change over time
  • Questions to figure out what your ideal Mother’s Day looks like
  • How to balance your wishes for Mother’s Day with celebrating your own mother (or the other mothers in your life)


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