Mother’s Day Expectations

Historically, I have had big expectations for my husband on Mother’s Day, my birthday, Christmas presents, etc. I have learned to communicate my requests ahead of time which has helped at least 50% of the time. This year on Mother’s Day, my husband was working all day. He is a doctor and Mother’s Day hit in the middle of his 14 days in a row of working. Being a Sunday, I also knew I would go to church without him, with my two little kids (who are generally very difficult to entertain for the first hour of church).

After listening to your recent podcasts, I decided to be proactive about my expectations (or the lack there-of). I bought myself a Mother’s Day dress to wear to church, so that I still felt fabulous even if my kids were a disaster. I bought myself my favorite type of chocolate and a bath bomb–those were the gifts I would have been sad not receiving. So I bought them for myself ahead of time. And you know what–my Mother’s Day was fabulous!! My husband ended up waking up early (and waking me up early lol) so that he could make me breakfast in bed. He didn’t clean up the dishes, but he made me breakfast in bed, and it was much more than I was expecting! I was so excited. It was a wonderful day, and I really enjoyed myself. Any moment where I started to feel sorry for myself for not having my husband home that day, I reminded myself “I have a husband!! I have children!! They are all wonderful, and many people are not blessed with a husband and (crazy) children.”

Yesterday, I went to lunch with 6 of my friends. Every single one of them complained about having a crappy Mother’s Day. One of them said, “my husband didn’t do anything. He only made me breakfast in bed and let me take a nap and made dinner. I was so disappointed.” One friend said she had a bad day because her husband “only made her breakfast, gave her a mother’s day card, and chocolate. It was a really hard day.” Another friend suggested that her day was terrible because her husband was working too. I saw my past self in them, and I was shocked to see their perceptions of their days compared to mine. This work is so so good Brooke! Managing expectations (read: dropping expectations) is so powerful! And finding ways to meet our own needs is so freeing! Then when our spouse does do something kind and thoughtful, we are grateful and surprised, and the act is that much more wonderful! Maybe I sound like I am bragging because I had the most wonderful day and I have the most wonderful husband and family. However, my past self had the same husband and same family, and same opportunities, but couldn’t find joy amidst the heavy expectations. Learning how to manage my mind has brought me so much joy and I just had to share and say thank you!