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The One Thing You Should Do On Mother’s Day When You’re Pregnant

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Hey, congratulations on your pregnancy! What a miracle, right? I hope you’re feeling well and you're not too sick, and the stage of pregnancy where you feel cute in maternity clothes lasts forever. As if pregnancy isn't already a flood of emotions and feelings and complicated conversations, let’s add Mother’s Day into the mix, shall we? As far as I know, there’s no right or wrong answers for pregnant women celebrating Mother’s Day (other than, I suppose, not hitting the mimosa bar especially hard), but I have one solid suggestion that I think is worth mentioning. After all, once your baby is no longer inside your body, things are going to get real.

Your view of the holiday will take a whole new meaning when your role is not longer to just celebrate someone, but to be celebrated.

Spending Mother’s Day as a pregnant lady makes it pretty clear this is your last time celebrating just your mom or your grandmother or any other mother or mother-type figure in your life. Starting next year, you too will be on someone’s mind when it comes time to shop for Mother's Day, make a special home-made something, or call in a reservation for brunch. Technically, your baby will probably be too young to understand the whole concept, but your partner will, as will other loved ones in your life. Most of all, you will understand it, too. Your view of the holiday will take a whole new meaning when your job is not longer to just celebrate someone, but to be celebrated.

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And so, however you feel about your mom, this is probably your last mother’s day as just a daughter. I think that’s worth recognizing and embracing, however you see fit. Maybe that looks like flowers, or brunch, or coffee with your mom. Maybe it’s a long walk by yourself if you’re not able to be with her, silently speaking to her as if she was beside you. Maybe it's a quiet afternoon spent with pictures of your childhood (no, you have something in your eye) or maybe it's avoiding any thoughts about your mother or your childhood, because those memories are anything but pleasant.

However it looks for you, you can appreciate what it means to be a daughter on mother’s day, especially now that you are preparing for the next steps in your life.

Maybe your ideal Mother's Day means listening to the Backstreet Boys because they make you feel young and like a petulant teenager again, and nothing makes you appreciate your mom more than waxing nostalgic about your angsty high school days. Or maybe it’s staying busy and putting your mind on something else because, actually, acknowledging this day as the last Mother's Day you're not someone's mom might feel kind of intense. However it looks for you, you should try to appreciate what it means to be a daughter on mother’s day now that you are preparing for the next steps in your life.

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I felt like I was in some kind of weird adult-limbo during pregnancy, like I wasn’t a mom but I wasn't not not a mom, either. Really, it depended on the day and what I was doing. Registering for baby? Going to doctor’s appointments? Decorating the nursery? Skipping wine and coffee? Sure, yes, those tasks make me feel motherly. Hanging out with my husband for the day? Forgoing chores to make magazine collages and watch movies? Playing iPhone apps to my heart’s content? Um, no. Those activities didn’t feel very motherly.

After all, the moment my baby was going to be born I was going to be that person for someone else. I knew the relationship with my mother would shift, once again, as she started to fill her role as grandmother and I started parenting my own child.

While that was somewhat disconcerting at times, or at least confusing, it also allowed me more time to process my own relationship with my own mother. I was able to kind of sink into the pre-mom parts of myself, and rely on my mother the same way I have throughout my entire life. After all, the moment my baby was going to be born I was going to be that person for someone else. I knew the relationship with my mother would shift, once again, as she started to fill her role as grandmother and I started parenting my own child. So, when you're pregnant on Mother's Day, I think it does a whole mess of good to allow yourself to not be a mom and, instead, to let someone be a mom to you (whoever that person is, whether it's your own mother or someone who stepped up to the plate).

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So whatever your own relationship with your own mother (or someone acting as your mother) looks like, I hope you're able to allow someone to parent you in this time of pregnancy. No, that doesn't mean they get to tell you what to say or do or eat or drink. It does mean, however, that they should be caring for you the way you're going to be caring for another human being next year: with unconditional, all-encompassing love.