What Parks & Recreation Taught Me About Mother’s Day

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Mother's Day

It’s the Saturday night before Mother’s Day, and I’m crying in the bathroom. I finallyput dinner on the stove, after holding out for a while, thinking my dear husband had some spectacular plan for our holiday weekend meals. I waited, and got angry, then gave up. I knew this weekend would turn out this way. Each year, I try to be a helpful wife and mother by inferring, suggesting, and encouraging my family to celebrate me in some kind of way. When you become a mom, let alone a mom of 3, you start to really invest in Mother’s Day. It’s the day where you allow your family to pamper the hell out of you and give you gifts that are heartfelt (and something that you’ve wanted for a really long time). Well, for yet another year, that wasn’t the case. But this year, I learned a new lesson, thanks to one of my favorite shows, Parks and Recreation.

If I had to blame someone else, I definitely place it on my Dad. Growing up, my dad made a big deal about holidays and birthdays. For the 14 years that I was an only child, my father made sure to let me know how important Mother’s Day was for all of the women in my life, including grandmothers and aunts. When it came to my mother’s gifts, we planned weeks before the holiday. My dad asked me what I wanted to get her, we spent almost a whole day at the mall searching, and we (well, he) purchased the gift, wrapping paper, and such. My mom had a much deserved full weekend of fun planned by us.

No mimosas

Once I created my own family, I thought this is how things worked. I was supposed to be celebrated on my special day, and my family would have planned it weeks ahead of time to make sure it was perfect. 9 years later, that hasn’t come into fruition. My husband is great at so many things, but he just hasn’t lived up to Daddy’s standard of celebration. Although, this year he did ROCK my birthday. I mean, he did the damn thing. But again, I had been asking for certain things that he bought and did for me for about 4 years. Maybe it just takes time, but should I really wait?

On Mother’s Day, I still tried to be optimistic. I received my Mother’s Day gift the day before, but was so sure there was something else coming. I loved what I got (who doesn’t love a Star Wars tee?), but I just KNEW there was more in store. My 4 year old had been waxing poetic about the “fun gift” she, her dad and her brothers were going to get me. She’s the best hype man ever. I was excited. The day started with breakfast in bed of the usual things I eat every morning. It was super sweet, since the kids made it for me this time. Then, that was it. By 2pm, I got real and knew I would have to take a page from one of my favorite Parks and Recreation episodes.

Treat yo self

Treat. Yo. Self. That was it. Instead of hiding in the bathroom crying over the day that never was, I got up, did my hair, put on my new favorite skirt, and created the best day I could. A trip to Panera for a hot broth bowl, use of their wifi to watch some of my favorite YouTube videos, and then hours spent at Barnes & Nobles checking out books I’d love to buy, and reading the book I brought with me. I have to learn to treat myself like I wanted to be treated, as well as treat others that way. I’ll still make a huge deal out of my husband’s and children’s birthdays. The plans I put together for Father’s Day will still go on without a hitch. They deserve it all, and so do I. No one like a self-imposed martyr, so there’s no reason for me to be one.

My (second half of) Mother’s Day was simple, but it was glorious. It also prompted me to do exactly what Tom and Donna planned for themselves each year. Next Mother’s Day, I’m gonna treat myself. How? A trip to Disney World. With friends. BOOYAH. Go hard or go home.

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 5.11.15
    Melissa said:

    I totally get this! But I was away from my hubby and kids this Mother’s Day at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and I had a blast but come Sunday, morning at the farewell breakfast I lost it when I saw all the moms their celebrating with their families. I hadn’t planned for that to happen, in fact, I was kinda excited to have some alone time with my best friend I brought along. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun but felt a little left out with all the Mother’s Day joy. Sometimes, you can’t win. I guess that’s part of being a mom too.

  2. 5.11.15

    If you are taking reservations, I’ll make one.
    I think the biggest disappointments spring from unmet expectation. Being married to an engineer, I’ve learned to be explicit or do it myself.
    Yesterday morning there was a minute when I said, “I don’t feel special!” but later they did such a good job I was a little embarrassed. I’m going to have to do a good job on Father’s Day!

    • 5.11.15
      Amiyrah said:

      You are wise, my friend. I think that coming to this realization makes it even easier for me to do it up on their special days. I love to give, especially when it comes to my family. But, the reciprocation has to come from me first in order for them to know that it’s important to me. I can be direct all I want, but if I can’t do something nice for myself and let them see that, they’ll never get it. I don’t mind giving them examples. Mama needs to pamper Mama.

  3. 5.11.15
    Jen said:

    A day at Disney on my own (and periodically with great friends who also attended DisneySMMC) was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had on Mother’s Day – including a special late night Victoria & Alberts meal. Treat yo self, friend! You earned it!!

    • 5.11.15
      Amiyrah said:

      That’s what I think will be key for me, Jen. I do love to hug on my kids for Mother’s Day, but I want to be able to say “girl, you worked it this year. Here’s a dinner and a drink just for you.” At Disney. On my own. Then I won’t feel guilty that I let the holiday pass by, and my family won’t feel guilty about not planning something nice. I have to finally learn to take care of myself first, just like they say on the airplane.

  4. 5.11.15

    Aww honey.. I’m sorry it went down that way.. but I have to echo Anne.. it’s the expectation that creates disappointment. A closed mouth don’t get fed so SPEAK UP! Be clear about what you want/expect. Every year I want one thing.. to be left alone. I make it clear.. and I get it every year. XO

    • 5.11.15
      Amiyrah said:

      Totally agree! Now I have it documented on my blog so no one can say that I sprung my Mother’s Day fun on them. Disney or bust. Ha!

  5. 5.11.15

    Oh man, do I hear you on this! You would think with 7 kids, Mother’s Day would be great for me but Nooo! I got a “Happy Mother’s Day!” from a kid or two and that was it. No breakfast, no dinner, no card, nothing. But as moms, we live and learn. I’m in for Disney next year too! Maybe an impromptu bloggers gathering?

    • 5.11.15
      Amiyrah said:

      Let’s do it, Nancy!

  6. 5.11.15
    Elaine A. said:

    I gave up on “expectations” a while ago. I do like breakfast in bed though… 😉

    Happy belated Mother’s Day!

  7. 5.11.15

    Sigh …
    My mom had taken the girls shopping the day before .. but on Sunday morning .. they seemed to have forgotten.
    Oldest was in a bit of a foul mood, youngest tried to be helpful .. but not so much.
    My parents came over and my dad was in a super pissy mood (thanks houses/thanks Ian)
    my mom couldn’t believe the girls didn’t do anything.
    – so I fed all .. and gave up on the day … but did enjoy a bottle of sparkly … alone.
    Sign me up next year girlfriend.
    And belated Happy Mother’s Day … 😉

    • 5.11.15
      Amiyrah said:

      You’re in. We need a do-over! At least now we know it’s OK to claim the day for ourselves and do some wonderful. Next year will be so much better!

  8. 5.11.15
    Bay said:

    amen sister. I try to have very low expectations & this year I explicitly laid out the two things I wanted. Well one of them didn’t happen, and I was crabby about it. I plan on treating myself to it next weekend! 😉

    • 5.11.15
      Amiyrah said:

      Good! Treat Yo Self 😀

  9. 5.11.15

    yes. This. Um, can I come next year? LOL. I seriously told my husband the same thing. Next year, I want a vacation… alone. haha! We have to take care of ourselves and treat ourselves. xo Happy belated Mama’s day!

  10. 5.11.15
    Cristie said:

    Yep. This year, I learned. Bought myself a bike and instructed him to put it together for me by Sunday. He did and when it wasn’t perfect and he said he’d work on fixing it “tomorrow” I stared at him side-eyed until he walked into the basement and got the tools to fix it and I made myself not feel guilty for it at all. Now, the bike is lovely. Everyone is happy. Treat. Yo. Self. Indeed.;) Happy Mother’s Day!

  11. 6.17.15
    Dana said:

    Amiyrah, Where did you get this skirt? I love it! Did you make it yourself?

    • 6.17.15
      Amiyrah said:

      Thanks Dana! It’s actually from the site http://www.grass-fields.com. It’s my investment piece for this summer’s wardrobe 😀