Once a year we set aside a single Sunday to acknowledge the hard work mothers put into their families. Some might say one day is not enough to honor these special parents, who often give not just their love but their bodies and minds to rear their children, but at least it's a start. And when you're a new mom, this day feels pretty huge. That's why I asked moms to describe their first Mother's Day and what made the celebration so special. Whether you're looking to bask in a little nostalgia or in need of some ideas for the new mom in your life, hearing how other moms felt appreciated on their special day can only help highlight how important Mother's Day can be.
Because no two moms are alike, what constitutes a "special" Mother's Day varies from mom to mom. Some might consider their first Mother’s Day card, recognizing them as a mom for the first time, to be more than enough. Others might enjoy a DIY craft or a framed picture of the moment they held their little one for the very first time. Everyone is different, so finding out what the mom in your life would enjoy is a vital part of making that first Mother's Day a meaningful, memorable experience.
For me, it was a combination of things. I spent my first Mother’s Day with my family, but without a child. My daughter had been born the year prior, but died shortly after birth. What made that day a special, albeit difficult, one was the fact that my family did acknowledge me as a mother. It was painful, sure, but together we all got through it. My second Mother’s Day was difficult too, but I spent the majority of the day celebrating the fact that I not did I have a baby to hold, my rainbow son, but that he had finally come home after two months in the NICU. So, yes, each mother’s story is different, and the following moms prove it:
“We moved out of state (New York City to Boston) so I could take a major career step. Hardly "mom-ish," but it was a huge positive step for our family.”
“Aside from Halloween, I'm not one to go all out for non-major holidays. In fact I often go out of my way not to make them a big deal. So before I had my son I told my husband, ‘I would like grocery store flowers for my first Mother's Day, please. But just my first one. After that I don't really care.’ That's all he did, per my request... and he's now a victim of his own success. Because he wound up getting me such lovely flowers and writing me such a sweet, funny card that I was like, 'Actually, could you do this every year? It makes me feel really special.' And he has."
“My first baby was born the Friday before Mother's Day, and we went home Saturday afternoon, so Mother's Day was actually our first full day home with him. My in-laws came and made brunch in our kitchen and while I was exhausted and terrified because my baby wasn't even 48 hours old. The whole thing was really sweet.”
“I gave birth a couple of days before Mother's Day (unplanned C-section) so I was still in the hospital. They had a super yummy Mother's Day brunch catered, and were super on time — or 30 minutes early! — with my pain meds all day (that was the best gift). And my husband secretly had James Avery add "mom" charms to my bracelet.”
“My grandmother (our family’s matriarch) had died on April 1 that year, and my mom — in addition to mourning the loss of her mother — was still undergoing treatment for stage IV colon cancer (she died the following September). I barely remember it because the entire family was just horribly depressed.
For the record, I started really celebrating Mother’s Day after year three. I also got two wonderful ‘Bonus Moms’ when I married my husband in 2012! I hope those who are having a rough Mother’s Day will hang in there because it will get better.”
“My first Mother’s Day was really special because it was my first weekend with my daughter, as she was in the NICU for 110 days. We didn’t do anything special but it was a moment I longed for so much.”
“I struggled with infertility so my first Mother’s Day was so special! My mom and sister even sent me cards. I don't remember a lot about the day itself much, but just the feelings of gratitude and happiness since I finally got to celebrate the day!”
“I had my son in April two years ago, so we were still getting into the swing of things when Mother’s Day came up. We juggle having two sets of parents in town, so we spent most of Mother’s Day celebrating with the grandparents. I remember my husband taking the baby so I could go out for my first decent postpartum run. Tt was a very short and slow two miles, but that alone time felt so luxurious and special after weeks of pumping and nursing around the clock.”
“I wasn’t expecting much for my first Mother’s, Day since I’d had my baby only the month before. I was surprised when I woke up to find my partner had made me breakfast in bed and told me to go get my nails done while they watched the baby (I love getting my nails done, but it’s a rare treat for me). It was nice to have some 'me' time and also to be remembered. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was nice to have someone recognize all the hard work I put in.”
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.