How To Have A Great Mother's Day - Mother Zen & Gillian Reid
Gillian Reid & Mother Zen provides integrative psychotherapy combining mindfulness, holistic nutrition and talk therapy. We help women who have experienced maternal mental health challenges have healthy motherhood journeys so they can deeply connect with their babies and rise to their full mother potential.
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How To Have A Great Mother’s Day

How To Have A Great Mother’s Day

My first Mother’s Day was a terrible day….one that is actually difficult for me to even think about in order to write this for you.

I was literally not even 4 weeks postpartum and in a haze of pride, fear, overwhelm, joy and all the feelings all at once.

When the day came, I was really touched by friends and family members that reached out to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to me. It was such a new, special feeling. To be thought of and recognized for the important job that I was doing.

Except there was no card, no flowers, no breakfast in bed or anything out of the ordinary from my husband.

So, I got mad.

After waiting most of the day for something to happen, and getting more and more upset as the hours ticked by, I finally asked him what the problem was.

He was surprised that I even thought I was getting something from him.

And of course, because I was angry and snappy at him for something that completely caught him off guard, he got angry at me.

So now, we were arguing and spent the last half of my first ever Mother’s Day not speaking.

It’s really a memory I would rather forget.


I now understand the issue

Looking back, I understand what the problem was. And this is something that I talk to the mamas that I work with often:

He didn’t know because I didn’t tell him. There was a communication issue.

Now, of course many people think this should be common sense, but to him it wasn’t. He was also in a new parent haze and didn’t stop to think that the responsibility of me having a good Mother’s Day fell on him.

Which leads us to a bigger question which is: Does it really fall on them? Is it our partner’s responsibility to make Mother’s Day good for us?

Some of you may be shouting YES OF COURSE IT IS!!!!!

But I’m going to suggest 2 things:

1. Whether or not it is your partner’s responsibility to make your day great, depends on your unique relationship. Some people would say yes, some people would say no.

2.  Either way, if you want them to do something for you, that needs to be communicated

If we hope that something happens, and then it doesn’t, the problem came up because the expectations in our mind and what happened in reality aren’t the same.

This is the actual definition of disappointment! When we expect something that is different than reality.

Me being angry with him was really me putting my disappointment on him, because I hoped that Mother’s Day would be something different than it was.


Here’s what I suggest:

o here are my 3 tips to make sure that from now on, we have not just a decent mother’s day, but THE BEST MOTHER’S DAY EVER!!!

1.  Communicate your needs. This is the thing I talk to moms about a lot. So often, we don’t say what it is what we need, then when it doesn’t happen, we get angry and disappointed. But people aren’t mind-readers. It’s not always fair to be disappointed if we didn’t communicate effectively.

In other words: Tell your partner what you want to do on Mother’s Day! Just be blunt and it’s most likely that they will do it.

2.  Do it yourself. Yes, this one is kind of annoying but it ensures that you will be happy and that you will enjoy the day. Buy yourself a new pair of shoes (yup, I’m doing that this year and no one is going to tell me I can’t!!!), make your own favourite breakfast, tell them you’re sleeping in. Make your own great day and it’s very likely your family will support whatever you want.

3.  Let go of your expectations. I don’t mean lower them. I mean just see if you can be open to possibility. Let the day take you wherever it does. So that whatever happens is good and there is no discrepancy between our hopes and reality.

And from me to you….I truly wish you the best Mother’s Day. You are doing the world’s MOST IMPORTANT JOB. Nothing is more important than raising healthy human beings.

BUT….the way to raising healthy children is by being healthy ourselves.

We just cannot do a good job parenting if we are mentally unwell.

So please remember how valuable you are in all of this. How much you do, and how important it is that you take breaks, do things that nourish your soul and make you feel good… so you can keep on giving to the others around you. Ask for help, communicate your needs.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!