Mother’s Day Expectations

Mother’s Day Expectations

Hey friends! I did a post a few years back on Mother’s Day and decided I would revamp it. Much of this will be the same as that older post, with a few newer ideas thrown in. 

I wanted to start by sharing a funny Mother’s Day story. 

Last year I had the BEST Mother’s Day. And guess what? I didn’t see my kids. Ha! I was in a hotel in Nashville on a work trip with Nate. We slept in. We got breakfast. I drank hot coffee. It was so blissful. I was so content.

This was me on Mother’s Day Morning without my kids 🙂 

And what I realized is that what I received on Mother’s Day is what so many desperately want: a BREAK

Mother’s Day can be hard for that reason. In years past all I really wanted was a break, but there was a weird guilt that came in asking for a break from my kids on the day my kids are celebrating me. I’m the MOM after all; I put the “Mother” in Mother’s Day. It felt like having a birthday party thrown for you and then choosing not to attend. 

This day is going to change a lot over the next ten years. Now that the older two are in full-day school (and wipe their own bottoms), I can already feel it shifting. The clawing desire to get away has subsided (for the most part!). There will likely come a day when they are old enough to think for this day and I absolutely love it. There will also likely come a day when I long to have my kids close by and they aren’t around. It will also be much harder once my own mom is gone (Lord willing, many many years from now). All that to say, the best is yet to come and the best is also right here right now. Life is beautiful and so very complex in that way. 

I don’t think this post will address all the many feelings that Mother’s Day can bring up for each individual, but I do hope some of the words below help you to manage your expectations, whatever they may be. 

I want to start by addressing a few groups of women for which this day can be very painful. 

To those who have lost a child, a mother, or are in a season of longing to be a mother, in the adoption process, my heart aches for you. I have not experienced any of the above things, but I know that if I had, I think more than anything I would want to be seen. I would want to know that people love me and are praying for me. That I am not forgotten. And so, I will be praying for you as Mother’s Day approaches. I will be praying that you know that Jesus sees you, and He hears your cries. I will be praying that He fills your heart with “peace that surpasses understanding” and fills the void you feel this Mother’s Day. You are a rare warrior group of women in my mind. You are weathering one of the hardest storms life can throw at you. I will be praying that as the seas feel tumultuous and you feel scared, angry, and alone, that you would believe that Jesus is in the boat with you. But, not only is He in the boat, He is captain of the ship and controller of the entire sea. He is mighty. And He is good. And He loves you deeply and can enter in where the wounds feel so incredibly tender. I pray that people who know you show up in unexpected ways that remind you that you are deeply loved. 

For anyone searching for God in the mourning or waiting, this song could be a comfort: Drawn to You, Audrey Assad



  • Dear Mushka AID Necklace, for those who have suffered a miscarriage
  • Held: 31 Biblical Reflections on God’s Comfort and Care in the Sorrow of Miscarriage 
  • Dear Mushka promise pack scripture cards (if #ballinonabudget, try writing some scripture cards yourself)
  • A potted plant to bring a little life to their house (pythos is a very easy one to take care of and can be found at most plant/large hardware stores)
  • The entire Dear Mushka website is really a wonderful resource. This is not sponsored in any way; I have just bought things from them both for myself and others and love their stuff.
  • A simple card, text, or phone call. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be meaningful. Trader Joe’s always has a wonderful selection of blank cards for under $1.
  • An idea for someone who has lost a mother: plant a tree in honor of her mom so that she can watch it grow for years to come. Maybe one day her own children will play under this tree planted in honor of their grandmother.
  • Another idea for someone who has lost a mother: write her a card pointing out specific ways you see her mother living on in her daughter. It is a wonderful way to honor both the daughter in mourning and her mother.

I would also like to add a final note for single mothers. This particular group are such heroes, and can easily be overlooked on days like Mother’s Day, especially if their children are not old enough to know that such a day exists. As you think about the way you would love for your own spouse/children to love on you this Mother’s Day, consider what ways you could let any single mothers in your life know what they are seen and appreciated. A simple card, or flowers, or a gift card for a pedicure could be a balm to their soul this Mother’s Day. 

Here’s something amazing: when I start my own mother’s day expectations by focusing on the above groups of women, it automatically catapults me into gratitude for my own circumstances. And guess what really helps me have an amazing Mothers Day? Gratitude.

Now, to those of you who are mothers joyfully anticipating “their special day,” the truth is, Mother’s Day is about us, but it also isn’t about us. In theory, that fact that we have these little children to call us Mom is a gift enough and reason enough to be joyful and praise God. It is a day we get to simply sit in the blessing that the Lord allowed you to be a mother/have a mother. But I totally get it. You wipe butts all day and make countless meals and you just want this ONE DAY for someone to appreciate you and pamper you like Beyonce. 

Here’s Three Things That Help Me:

  1. Meet with God. Thank him for the gift of your kids and allow the joys of that reality to sink it. Hopefully, it will help give you a grateful rather than an entitled heart on the big day.
  2. TELL your spouse/significant other/child if there is something specific you would love to receive or experience (and that might be time AWAY from them). In talking with lots of friends, it appears as though most husbands actually love to receive some guidelines and it sets them up for success! Remember, they are not mind readers. They want to show you they love and care about you and you telling them the best ways to do that is helpful. 
  3. Set the bar low. I know, this sounds harsh, but gosh it’s so true. Especially if you have little kids. Unfortunately, they live most of their lives believing that they are, in fact, Beyonce, and they don’t like the fact that you would try and take that from them. Even if just for one day. 

Going off of point number 2 above, I thought it would be fun to do a little post on ideas for Mother’s Day and group them by the 5 Love Languages. Many are outside the box with some good #ballinonabudget ideas thrown in. I thought it might help you think about what would really bless you this Mother’s Day. Perhaps new pajamas seem nice, but what you really need is for someone to scrub your toilets (be that a professional cleaner or your twelve year old). Don’t know what the five love languages are? You can read about them HERE. I am writing this as if I was talking to your husband…


  • Buy a notebook/journal and write her a note in it; keep this journal and write her a note in it every Mother’s Day. Over the years this little book will be filled with amazing love notes and stories built over time. As your children get older, they can also contribute to the journal. Can you imagine being a mom whose children have all left the nest and you have this little book to look back and and read?! Makes me teary.
  • Dear Mushka Promise Pack scripture set


  • Schedule someone to come and clean the house (you can also clean it yourself for her, but if there is at all wiggle room in the budget, I highly suggest a professional for this task. They are so thorough and make your house sparkle!)
  • Get her car cleaned: there is nothing like a minivan rid of 6 month old french fries from between the seats and wiped clean of finger smudges! Moms tend to spend a LOT of time in the car and having this “second home” feel fresh and new can be a real treat. 
  • Hang the ferns on the front porch! (see below)
  • A mosquito control service to come throughout the summer and spray the yard so she and the kids don’t get eaten alive during the already stressful witching hour.
  • Ask her what her top two house projects are she would like done and set aside time to do them.
  • I stole this one from my friend Lindsay @theleangreenbean! For their anniversary, her husband started setting up the coffee pot every night for her. AMAZING if you ask me! So every early morning she wakes and hot coffee is in the pot ready and waiting.


(**pampering gifts are under the physical touch category)

  • Electric tea kettle and a box of her favorite tea, or perhaps a Nespresso if coffee is more her style 
  • Fiddle leaf fig (if you are a Charleston local, the selection at Abide-a-while is dreamy!)
  • Ferns for the front or back porch
  • Margarita mix, tequila, and salt for the glass rim
  • Avrynco wristlet and card wallet: I have used the wristlet on my keys for years and it’s the best around
  • For my birthday a few years back, Nate got the recipe for my favorite cocktail from a local restaurant, hunted down all the ingredients, and made it for me! Mind you: I told him this was what i wanted for my birthday, and it was perfection. 


  • Plan a date and get a babysitter! **don’t ask your wife to get the sitter
  • A session with a photographer for professional family photos
  • If #ballinonabudget, plan a romantic evening for after the kids go to bed; ask her some thoughtful questions, get her favorite dessert/candy
  • Also #ballinonabudget: give her some quality time alone! Send her to a coffee shop with $10. Tell her to spend it on a “fancy latte” and a treat and to enjoy some quiet while you watch the kids. Try to give her at least 2 hours. The first hour she will simply try and shut her brain off, the second hour is when the true relaxation occurs.


  • Schedule a massage or manicure/pedicure; if at all possible, make a time for her to actually go and use it. Maybe say “this is for you to use next Saturday. I will watch the kids!”
  • Indian Healing Clay Mask (could just get the mask for $11 or a set that contains everything you need for $25. I suggest the set bc the mixing bowl and paintbrush are awesome).
  • An electric heat pad (this might sound strange but I have bought at least 7 of these as gifts for people. It is one of my favorite things of all time. Wonderful for the back while pregnant, the stomach for postpartum nursing cramps, and all around comfort in the winter. I turn mine on every night before I get into bed and it automatically shuts off after 2 hours.)


Those are just a few ideas (if you have a good one leave it in the comments!). I would love to give a special shout out to “the Ninnies” (love you ladies!) for their amazing help with ideas for this post! Y’all are the best sounding board and Naptime Kitchen wouldn’t be what it is without you.

Related Posts

Wing and Grancie’s Kitchen

Wing and Grancie’s Kitchen

Growing up, I remember many weekends spent at my grandparents house, whom we affectionately called Wing and Grancie. No matter how early I woke up, they were always up earlier. Drinking coffee and reading the paper, ready to greet me with cinnamon raisin toast. It […]

The Inexhaustible Variety of Instagram

The Inexhaustible Variety of Instagram

Thoughts on Instagram: part 3 I got this visual while watching the girls look out the window at Times Square on our recent trip to New York. There was so much to take in! So many bright and shiny lights. And stores. And people! Sidewalks […]

1 thought on “Mother’s Day Expectations”

  • So well written Kate. I sent this to my kids and their spouses. My kids call you my 3 child ☺️ xo

Comments are closed.