5 Ways to Ruin Your Own Mothers’ Day

5 Ways to Ruin Your Mother's Day // jessconnell.com
Wanna know five ways to ruin Mother’s Day for yourself?

Expect the kids– no matter how young– to be dressed to perfection, on their own, or by someone else, without your help. Expect that you will be waited on, hand and foot. Though more may be crammed into this day than a normal Sunday, expect that it will be entirely easy, joyful, and without any stress whatsoever.

Expect that everyone will rise up to praise you in exactly the way you desire. Expect gifts that are just what you would have chosen yourself, plans that are exactly to your specification, and for every card to say exactly what you need to hear. Anticipate that, by the end of the day, your love tank will be full to the brim, and overflowing.

If something goes wrong, someone else wasn’t thinking about you. If the baby spits up on your dress, bring on the self-pity: “Of all the days! Can’t I just have one special day without this?” If the restaurant worker is slow, let it ruin everything. If your toddler has a meltdown, or the ten-year-old does bunny fingers on his younger sibling and foils the perfect family picture you were hoping to get, say something like, “for JUST ONE DAY, couldn’t you get your act together?” The louder and huffier, the better.

If they forget to say it, or it’s a cheesy or poorly-planned day, give yourself full license to display all manner of uncontrolled emotions and sputter out the most unfiltered words your mouth can speak. Self-control, schmelf-control. No need to display Christlikeness on a day that’s all about you!

Don’t offer grace to the human people around you. Forget all the grace you’ve needed in your life. Don’t call to mind all the times you’ve botched it. Don’t worry about honoring God with your attitude. Be more concerned about everyone’s adherence to your self-honoring law that places your feelings and desires at the center of the world.


And if, right now, you feel a little chided, just know that I’m chiding myself right alongside you. I’ve cherished disappointment in my heart at various holidays because of my own expectations.

So this is a challenge for MY heart right alongside yours.

I don’t want to live through a lifetime of disappointed, grumpy, self-centered Mother’s Days.

I want to be joyful no matter which card the kids choose (or don’t choose), no matter whether they write something that is delightful or disappointingly trivial, whether the gifts are perfect or non-existent.

Let’s be God-honoring, Spirit-filled, joyful women no matter how this Mother’s Day goes.


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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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8 Responses

  1. Madely Lang says:

    Very good! The expectations for Mothers’ Day almost necessarily result in a day of disappointment, while on any other day these things would be normal, and really fine.
    I decided a long time ago that the only expectation I have for this day is the understanding that I would take a day off from cooking dinner. And no expectation that anyone else would serve up a gourmet feast! Even if we all “fend for ourselves”, a break from making dinner is OK by me. No gifts required.
    Anything else is gravy.

  2. Kondwani says:

    We don’t really do anything differently on Mothers’ day. Maybe things are different in the UK – because when I was international, there was much more made of it, but there it was more a celebration of motherhood rather than an individual family thing. I struggle a bit with it (like Valentine’s Day and other ‘festivals’) because it is a man-made thing and there can be this problem with expectations and self-focus. Our approach is to avoid these things, but to try and celebrate one another all year round – so my children give flowers or bake lovely things on random occasions and if feels a lot more spontaneous than ‘because’ it is a certain day.

    But maybe I need to heed this around other special days – like when I am celebrating something and nobody else seems to care at all! Your advice is wise!

  3. shannon bradbury says:

    Good reminders! Convicting! But so true! I need to remind myself of this…there’s no perfect days…

  4. Jess Connell says:

    I loved it, and shared on Twitter! Thanks, K!

  1. June 8, 2016

    […] Holiday/Birthday Stress: 5 Ways to Ruin Your Own Mother’s Day […]

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