I recently learned that many moms want to fly solo on Mother's Day. There — I said it.
As shocking as it sounds, we do not want to be with our offspring. Of course we love our children to the moon and back, but for this day to truly be about us, we need to be free. It doesn't matter if it's four hours, 24 hours or an entire weekend. Momma bears need a break, too.
This is a new feeling for me. Since becoming a mother, I have spent Mother's Day weekend either hosting a birthday party for my older daughter or executing details for her upcoming event. I have spent my day glued to the kitchen table with goody bags and a label maker, stuffing piñatas. And worse, cleaning up a playroom that looked like there was a frat party in it the night before.
Really, I am not complaining. It brought me great joy to celebrate my baby. However, this year is different. The last six months have been incredibly stressful with the girls, from overall poor behavior to sleep issues and school challenges. I feel tired, on the verge of snapping and in desperate need of some rest and relaxation.
I began to think about what I want for Mother's Day, because my husband always asks. And the only answer I could come up with was to be alone. Saying this out loud made me feel like the Antichrist. What mother wants to be without her kids on her special day? Would I Iose my mom card?
When I told my husband I wanted to disappear like David Copperfield, he thought I was nuts.
"But you're their mother! You're supposed to be with them!" he said.
Yes, I know honey, I am with them 24/7, 365 days a year. Poof! There it was — my epiphany. I am with them ALL the time.
So in the spirit of self-preservation I am claiming a spa day and maybe a nice quiet hotel room where I can get a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Sure, diamonds are nice but this year I want the gift of peace and quiet. I wonder what my 20-something self would say about that?
I decided to confess my feelings to other mothers in an effort to make sure I am sane. I was so relieved when the majority of moms felt the same way. Many told me they wanted a day at the spa, a low-key getaway with friends, a day at the beach or even just reading a good book by the pool. All answers reflected the need to unwind and take care of ourselves — and not tiny humans — for just one day.
One friend told me she is unapologetically selfish and does whatever she wants on Mother's Day, because she deserves it and has been doing this for years! Mind. Blown.
I truly believe many women feel this way but have too much guilt to admit it.
My husband could make every effort to play offensive lineman and shield me from my motherly duties, but he will fail. You know that saying, "A mother's work is never done?" If I am at home celebrating with my kids I will eventually end up waiting on them, breaking up fights and probably cleaning up poop at some point. None of those things are symbolic of relaxation.
This year I am taking back Mother's Day. I am planning to have breakfast with my family, maybe a mimosa or two, and then peace out. I am off for a massage and facial. As I exit the house I want to hear my husband announce to our girls that mommy has left the building. Don't worry, I will be back. But for now you're daddy's little sweethearts.
Some of you might be wondering, what about the Dads? They need a break, too. I completely agree! Whatever amazing escape package I receive will be completely reciprocated.
This year give the mother in your life a gift card and then kick her out of the house. She might be mad at first, but I am confident she will thank you later.
Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. The girls' names are changed here so as not to embarrass their momma. She and her family love living in Wesley Chapel. Contact her at LCristina@tampabay.com.