A mindful Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day, mamas!

This year we’re celebrated on May 14. That means, if we’re lucky, on this day we’ll be honored with handmade cards and gifts from our little ones.

We might even receive special recognition from the father of our children or others who are supporting us in our mothering experience.

Mother’s Day can be a trigger for mixed emotions. As with any holiday or special event, there’s a natural feeling of anticipation as well as the potential feeling of letdown after the day comes and goes. We can feel joy and gratitude if all of the cards line up, so to speak.

However, this holiday can trigger feelings of sadness or grief, depending on your situation.

Mother’s Day has been defined as a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.

We as mothers can approach the holiday with a mindset of both giving and receiving.

Throughout the month of May, I invite you to join me in celebrating and supporting the art of mothering in the following ways:

Soak it all in. 

If you’re a mom of an early elementary school-age child, you’ll likely be gifted with some little creative token, made just for you by your child in his or her classroom. When you’re presented with this gift, accept it with love and more so, make a point to savor the joy your child expresses when presenting handmade gifts.

Mirror the joy and love your child shares with you. This stage of childhood will pass quickly; enjoy these special moments with your children, who love you so much.

Send love to your mother. 

I’m grateful that my own mother is able to share the joy of my growing children as their “Nana,” and that she’s been able to be involved in their lives — and offer me support in my mothering journey.

I feel fortunate too, for the two grandmas (my two mothers-in-law) my children have in their life. They, too, share their love with our family as our children are growing up. If you’re fortunate enough to have your mother (or mothers!) in your life, make a point to reach out to recognize, celebrate and honor them on Mother’s Day.

Keep memories alive. 

If you have a mom, grandma or great-grandma who’s no longer living, pay your respects and honor them by keeping memories of their spirits alive. Look through photo albums and share memories from their days on earth. Acknowledge how they helped shape your life.

Support grieving mothers. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a family member, friend, colleague or acquaintance who has lost a child or a mother. It doesn’t take much time or effort to offer a caring gesture, kind words or a simple outreach of support.

Mother’s Day can be a difficult holiday to experience if you’re grieving a loss. Small acts of kindness can make these hard times more bearable for those who are suffering as their feelings are acknowledged and they feel recognized and supported.

Celebrate your tribe.

What women in your life support you in your mothering journey? Who do you know you can reach out to when you need to vent your frustrations? Who helps you celebrate your parenting successes (and also doesn’t judge you)?

Thank the mamas who are in your tribe this Mother’s Day. Recognize the value in their camaraderie and celebrate those maternal bonds!

Do a little something for you! 

Give yourself permission to do something special for yourself — yes, even if it takes you away from your kids for a while.

It could be something simple like a treating yourself to a mocha at Caribou or maybe something a bit more extravagant like a massage at a spa.

Don’t neglect the importance of self-care — not on Mother’s Day! Small indulgences make life a little more fun. Being a mom isn’t easy; we deserve a little reward every once in a while.

From one mom to another, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day! I hope these ideas inspire you to make it even just a little more special.

Megan Devine is an elementary school teacher who lives with her husband and four children in Northeastern Minnesota. She blogs at kidsandeggs.com.