If this is your first Mother’s Day as a mom, please accept my humble internet hugs and the imaginary flowers I’m sending you right now. You probably don’t need me to tell you that becoming a mom is a big damn deal so, yes, you’ve earned this holiday. In fact, hearing the words "you deserve a break" is just one of the many things all new moms actually want to hear on Mother's Day. Well, at least that's what I wanted to hear when I was a new mom being celebrated as someone's parent for the very first time.
That first Mother's Day as a new parent made me realize a few things, one of them being the following: gone are the days when Mother’s Day will always be about someone else. It was no longer my job to pick out cards and remember to make brunch reservations and buy gifts. Well, sometimes I still had to do the aforementioned because, well, I have a mom, but someone was now doing those things for me, too. That's a big deal, if you ask me. My baby arrived just a few days before Mother’s Day a couple years ago, so I joked that about having just started with this whole motherhood thing. I mean, did I really deserve to have a holiday so soon? Deep down, though, the answer to my question was, “Of course I get a holiday. I just delivered a baby and I can barely even sit down."
Regardless of how new or experienced you are with motherhood, hopefully it’s a day that brings you many warm fuzzy feelings. If perhaps you know of anyone celebrating for the first time, I offer you the following suggestions for what to say to help them feel special:
"You’re Doing Great"
This one seems obvious, but I don't think it can be said enough. Sometimes the only benchmark we have for how our parenting is faring is the fact that our kids made it through the day. Needless to say, the occasional compliment can do wonders.
"It's Cool, No One Has It Figured Out"
Speaking of just getting through the day, it's not unusual for it to seem like everyone else has it more together (seriously, step away from Facebook) than you do. It's nice to be reminded that, actually, we're all just getting by and sharing the highlights.
"Here’s A Giant Cup Of Coffee For You"
Perhaps you've heard that moms like coffee?
"I Got You These Tickets To That Show You've Been Wanting To See"
No big deal guys, just hoping to spend Mother's Day with the cast of Hamilton. That's totally realistic for a non-celebrity who lives on the West Coast, right? We can totally make this work.
"You Can Do Whatever You Want Today"
If Hamilton isn't in the cards, perhaps there are other things the new mom in your life would enjoy. Manicure? Movie in one of those theaters with the comfortable leather recliners? Slow swinging in a hammock somewhere that isn't your own backyard? Get it, ladies.
"Don't Get Up, I'll Do It"
This one is almost always a good idea, especially if "it" involves diapers, snot, or tears.
Bonus points if anyone in the household can clean while pulling off Betty White's pants.
"I'd Like You To Meet Your New Nanny"
To the mothers with nannies: ain't no shame in that parenting game, ladies. If you are willing and financial able to afford help, I say Mother's Day is as perfect a day as any to seek it out.
"I Already Did The Laundry"
This only counts if it's been folded and put away, because those are the steps that always trips me up.
"You Look Awesome"
A non-scientific rule of thumb, in my opinion, when it comes to complimenting a new mother goes as follows: the younger her baby, the more she will appreciate hearing that she doesn't look so damn tired. It's less about the actual compliment to her appearance and more about acknowledging that she's still a functioning human.
"Here's A Meal You Didn't Have To Cook, Served On Plates You Don't Have To Wash"
Oh, and the meal didn't come out of a bag.
"You're The Best Mother Of All Time"
Because she is, you guys. She totally is, especially today.