When Mother's Day isn't rosy

Dreading Mother's Day? This article might help you change your attitude or help you realize you're not alone.

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  • Let’s be honest. Mother’s Day isn’t always full of flowers and chocolate and rosy-faced children giving sweet kisses to their perfectly-dressed mothers. For some women, the holiday dredges up mixed feelings, including inadequacy, guilt and sadness. Acknowledging the difficult parts of celebrating Mother’s Day with a little humor might be cathartic. Here are 20 reasons women hate Mother’s Day.

    1. Usually breakfast in bed means crumbs in the sheets and a mess in the kitchen.

    2. It’s hard not to eat the fruity cereal necklace.

    3. No one knows what to do with all of those handprints and poems.

    4. One day is not enough to show moms how much they mean to us. How about a weekend vacation, instead?

    5. Tearing up over how much we love our kids, or how much they frustrate us, makes our mascara run.

    6. No matter how many times we ask for no fighting on Mother’s Day, kids still fight.

    7. We are too hard on ourselves. Sometimes Mother’s Day reminds us of our shortcomings.

    8. Someone always tops our story of the worst or easiest birth ever.

    9. Trying to be the perfect mom for the day is too hard.

    10. Moms aren’t good at being the center of attention.

    11. There’s never enough chocolate.

    12. Occasionally Mother’s Day is so wonderful that we know we’ll have to bring our A-game for Father’s Day.

    13. Dad cooks the best meal ever, or the worst. But only once a year.

    14. Diapers need to be changed, tears need to be wiped, and we feel guilty when we don’t do it.

    15. All women can be mothers. But for those without their own children, the day can be painful.

    16. Sometimes relationships with our own mothers are strained, and it’s hard to be reminded of that.

    17. When children make bad choices, we take it personally and don’t feel much like being honored.

    18. The macaroni bracelet doesn’t match the cute outfit we picked out to wear to church, but we have to wear it anyway.

    19. Trying to relax and read a book is impossible with everyone trying to make you feel special.

    20. Pestering your husband to call his mom takes some fun out of the day.

  • If you identified with any of these feelings, don’t be discouraged! You’re not alone. Here are two tips to help you make it through Mother’s Day.

  • Lower your expectations

  • I used to pine for the perfect Mother’s Day. I wanted yummy meals, a long nap and quiet happy children who told me how great I was all day. Guess what? I was disappointed every year. Now that I have lowered my expectations (chocolate, a nap and maybe dinner), I am much happier on Mother’s Day. I’ve learned not to make too much of one day.

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  • Embrace your situation

  • You might be a single mother, childless or have grown children. Your own mother might be your best friend or someone you hardly speak to. Maybe your husband has to work on Mother’s Day or is serving in the military. Whatever the case, try not to put too much stock in what you think the perfect Mother’s Day should be. Instead, find small ways to celebrate and be grateful for the mothers in your life. Include yourself in that group.

  • This year, don’t let Mother’s Day get you down. Laugh a little about the joys and pains of motherhood, and celebrate in a way that makes you happy.

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Amy M. Peterson, a former high school English teacher, currently lives in Oregon with her husband and four children. She spends her days writing, reading, exercising and trying to get her family to eat more vegetables.

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