I am in Paris (where Fetes de Meres is not until June 7). This coming Sunday, May 7, is the first American Mother’s Day (if memory serves me,which it often doesn’t!) that I haven’t been with at least one of my two children. I suppose I’m fortunate to have had so many other Mother’s Days with them Or maybe I should consider myself lucky this year. We all know that it’s just a Hallmark holiday. And isn’t every day supposed to be Mother’s Day? Yeah, right.
Cynicism aside, this can be a hard day for mothers and daughters. Those of us whose mothers have died feel the loss even more acutely. And some women can’t stand being with their mothers, not even for one day. But even close mother/daughter duos have “moments.” Who needs the pressure to have a “good” Mother’s Day? As the family grows and changes, you also step parents and in-laws and all their ideas, potentially making the day more strained than celebratory. Plans bump up against prior traditions: “Mother’s Day has always been at my sister’s house” is met with, “But our family goes to the Pancake House.”
The good news is that any relationship can shift toward a more positive direction. In her “5 Ways to Strengthen the Bond with Mom”– just published on The Buzz — relationship expert Terry Orbuch directs her advice to daughters. Here’s a few points we older-generation mothers ought to remember as Mother’s Day approaches. After all, now it’s their day, too!
1. Make a gratitude list. Just as Orbach advises daughters not to focus on what Mom does wrong, it’s a good idea for mothers to “take 10 minutes and write down a handful of things you really appreciate” about your daughter, too. No one is all bad all the time, and humans have an unfortunate tendency to elevate the negatives. Consciously listing the good will help you gain a balanced perspective. And by the way, if you have trouble thinking of what’s she’s “given” you, just look at your grandchildren! (more…)