When you're a mom, almost every day is exhausting. That holds true whether you're a working a mom or a stay-at-home mom — little kids just need so much. As much as you love them, sometimes what you really need is a little child-free time to recharge your batteries. If that's what you want for Mother's Day, you should absolutely not feel guilty about telling your partner you want Mother's Day off — a day that celebrates you — because we all deserve one every now and then.
I spoke with licensed marriage and family therapist Mia Weinberg for tips on how to make that request in a healthy way. Whether you're feeling burnt out or simply just want to treat yourself to a day of fun and relaxation, let your partner know why — without making them feel guilty themselves. “You do want to talk about what it is you’re needing, from the place of “I…”, as opposed to starting anything with you, ‘You always have time off,’ or ‘You don’t think to ask if I need help.’” Keeping the conversation about you and what you want can help your partner be more receptive to what you're saying — as well as keep them from feeling defensive and that it's a competition to see who works harder around the house.
Even if you assume your partner won't totally be receptive to the idea of you taking a day off from parental responsibilities on Mother's Day, the idea of asking at all might make you feel anxious. “We can have a feeling of guilt, because I think the expectation is that there’s a norm that we’re going to have brunch with our children, or we’re going to be with our whole family,” says Weinberg. "We have to be OK that we might get pushback from some of our peers." But if taking any day off, whether it's Mother's Day or not, is going to help rejuvenate you and refresh you (and make you a better person overall), just go ahead and ignore the haters. "We have to remember that it's different for all of us," Weinberg says. And if it makes you feel better, you're definitely not alone in wanting a child-free Mother's Day — lots of moms dream about sleeping in, hitting the beach, or day-drinking without a kid in sight, according to Redbook.
Taking a day off means you'll probably have to cede some control though, and accept that things around the house may not run as smoothly as they would if you were home. But you know what? That's OK. "As moms we want our husbands to jump in and do and participate, but then we want them to do it exactly the way we want to do it. And of course, that will often lead to conflict." But your kids aren't going to suffer if the lunch your partner serves up isn't as nutritious as what you'd make, or if they get a little more screen time than you'd allow. "Just because it's different, doesn't mean it's wrong," says Weinberg. Don't leave your partner with a detailed check list of what they should and shouldn't be doing, because that's just added stress for both of you.
Your partner might actually be thrilled to hear that what you want for Mother's Day doesn't require hitting up the mall for a gift or shelling out money on expensive jewelry. Relaxation is actually kind of priceless, and they'll probably appreciate everything you do for the family after spending the day in your shoes.