Mother’s Day Expectations

Happy Monday, my peeps! Two posts in one day is not usually my style, but I had something on my heart that I felt I needed to share because I am willing to bet there are some of you who can relate to what I about to dish out. I want to reiterate the fact I love my children with all my heart and I am truly blessed and thankful to be their mom. I love being a mom. I wanted to discuss some of the tough stuff today. I think it’s easy to assume that lots of us who do what I do, have perfect lives, because our pictures often look perfect, but that is far from the truth and life is just as messy around these parts.

So, yesterday was Mother’s Day. I try not to let these “holidays” change my perspective or thinking, but almost every time, every year, they do. I’m reminded of Valentine’s Day. This year, we had agreed not to do gifts, yet I was still disappointed when there wasn’t a gift on the table waiting for me that morning (there were flowers). So, I spent the whole day feeling bummed and down and it was my own doing! Ridiculous, because WE BOTH agreed to not do gifts. These “hallmark holidays” can really do a number on your mind. And after I thought about it a few days later, I realized how stupid it was for me to spend the day bummed. Expectations of how a certain day “should” be, because that is what we are told.

So, fast forward to Mother’s Day. I can already feel myself feeling under appreciated on Saturday when I see Mr. Fancy and the kids go shopping that afternoon. Because, I mean, hello, it’s so last minute and it seemed like such an afterthought. Never mind the fact that he has been out of town all week and this is the first day that he has been able to even take them. Nope, that doesn’t even cross my mind at the time. Rolling my eyes at myself, you guys, don’t worry. I wake up on Mother’s Day to coffee in bed, a few thoughtful gifts from the kids, flowers and a fun balloon that the kids had picked out. Breakfast was made and served and the morning was going well and I was glad to be with my people.

Before church, all, I wanted to do was to get a picture of the 3 of us, smiling, because really, that’s not that much to ask, right? So, me wanting a picture basically set the tone for the day. Reagan was NOT having it. On a side note, five has been the toughest age yet, in my opinion. The tantrums and crying fits. Goodness! I found myself almost in tears by 10am because all I wanted was a damn picture! Don’t they know it’s MY day!? My one day to be pampered and have everyone do what I want them to, when I want them to! Expectations of how this day should be, because we are told this is our one day…

We are made to believe that this ONE day a year, we should get more appreciation. We should be pampered. We shouldn’t lift a finger. We should have one day with no tantrums, no whining, no fighting. This is the expectation. And while, I’ve had some good Mother’s Days in the past. This year was a rough one and I think partly because I expected it to be such a glorious day and it just wasn’t. It was still messy. There were still tantrums and fighting. It was like every other day, but not, because it was Mother’s Day.

Look at this picture of us. Sweet and happy. This sweet picture took numerous takes and tears were involved before even going outside to attempt a picture…I can’t even remember why she was crying or why she didn’t want to take a picture, now. But, at the time, it was stressful and frustrating and all I could think was “this is supposed to be my day.” It sounds ridiculous, but again, expectations of how this day should be and how everyone should act. We are made to believe that this one, magical day, everything will fall into place and all will be well. I think in some cases, in some families, it was this type of day and if your day was amazing, then I am thrilled for you because you deserve it!!! But, here, in my house, it was not. By the time we were headed to dinner (which involved more tears because we said no to bringing the iPads), I was spent, my husband was spent. We were both praying we could just make it through the dinner with no issues and I think both of us were wondering why we even still went to dinner. I think my husband was trying to salvage what was left of the day. He truly wanted me to feel special. And you’ll be glad to know that we did have a quick, but nice dinner. But, by 9pm, we fell into bed, exhausted from the day.

The point of why I share this is, I want you to know that my day was not perfect, even though, my picture was. My days rarely are perfect. I can’t remember the last time I had a “perfect” day…maybe never. Motherhood is wonderful and messy and amazing and tough, all at the same time. Trying to raise the best humans that we possibly can is a huge responsibility. It definitely deserves a day to celebrate us, but honestly, we are moms, so one day out of the year is not even enough if you ask me. We need to feel celebrated and appreciated all days, but lets face it, there will be more days than not that the laundry, cooking, carpooling, etc doesn’t get a celebration. I always think some day, when our kids have their own kids, they’ll realize just how much we did for them. And that’s okay. I just wanted to you know that if your Mother’s Day wasn’t picture perfect, mine wasn’t either. I’m with you.


  1. Haley wrote:

    Love this!!! My day was so similar!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Posted 5.15.17
  2. Lauren M wrote:

    So much this ????????
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Posted 5.15.17
  3. Mary Beth Alexander wrote:

    Amen to the not so perfect Mother’s Day! I am not sure any of my 16 Mother’s Days have ever been just a day about me. I feel your pain 100%. Not sure why on Mother’s Day you are expected to be with your children. Somehow Father’s Day they get to golf, fish, go out of town with the guys or just do whatever they want. I love my kids to the moon and back and believe me I do 110% them everyday, but ONE day out of the whole year it would be nice to receive a gift or something that you would never buy for yourself because the kids need something or you couldn’t justify it or I would just take being off duty for the day. I understand the disappointment and the tears. I shed a few myself yesterday. Oh well today is a new day and next year we will be disappointed all over again. Cheers to being an awesome mom. ????????????????

    Posted 5.15.17
    • Aja wrote:

      I know a TON of mom’s who take Mother’s Day for themselves. Here in Florida it’s very common to see mom’s or a group of mom’s at the beach with no kids in sight on MD weekend. Try to do something alone next year. The kids will be fine!

      Posted 5.15.17
  4. Sara wrote:

    I am sorry the day was not perfect. Honestly, I’ve had those days and yesterday was a really nice, good day for me. There was still a little fighting but overall a good day. I am starting to believe it is a hit or miss kind of thing.

    You never know what is happening behind closed doors, that is why we should never judge. But with social media, I think it has come easy to judge others quickly based on a post.

    God bless!

    Posted 5.15.17
  5. Ashley wrote:

    I did my own gift shopping, house cleaning and cooking for my mom to come over, because otherwise it wouldn’t have gotten done. So, right there with you. Definitely hurts my feelings but what are you going to do?!?! Sigh.

    Posted 5.15.17
  6. Meagan Ruse wrote:

    Thank you 🙂 That was my yesterday:)

    Posted 5.15.17
  7. Sidney wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this! Definitely something I needed to read. Mine was far from perfect with my 2.5 year old!

    Posted 5.15.17
  8. Hailey wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your heart! My day was far from perfect as we ran out of gas on way home from church. Of course I wanted to scream and yell at my husband for letting his truck run out of gas on my Mother’s Day. I held it in for kids but it was tough.
    Thanks for being real!!

    Posted 5.15.17
  9. Tiffany wrote:

    Totally agree! I’ve had those kinds of Mother’s Days too. This year was actually the best but i think my expectations were low 😉 we skipped church and canceled the fancy brunch (my choice). I decided we should go casual to our favorite burger place then spend the rest of the day at home swimming. It was relaxing and fun! I was able to sit back and appreciate those kids who made me a momma while watching them have fun. no rushing around, forcing kids to sit through a meal that’s expensive and they don’t like or complain about (mine are 8 and 5).

    Posted 5.15.17
  10. Tiffany wrote:

    Oh Ashley! I am so with you on this one. This one was only my second one ever and my husband waiting until Saturday to get me something. I got a card from him but not one “from my son”. I couldn’t understand why that didn’t occur to him. It did last year. And I got a wooden handmade (by god knows who) sign that says our neighborhood name on it to hang in the house. No flowers. No special breakfast. Nothing different. And we ended with Taco Bell at 8pm. I kid you not. I just couldn’t wait for the darn day to be over. It was so disappointing. And not really “like” my husband. But – I did get to spend the day with my family so that made it great. But dang sometimes we just want that picture perfect day…

    Posted 5.15.17
  11. Stephanie wrote:

    I am with you. Mine are hardly ever about me and I didn’t even get a picture. My oldest I didn’t even see but talked to her so how can I enjoy MY day without all of my kids and no real reason as to why?? I made it a day for them, movies they wanted to see, a jumping place that we could all participate in and ice cream at a place that I like but mostly I figured it’d be easiest to not stand in line to a restaurant only to hear them complain and this way they could enjoy and not complain. Not a whole lot of thought goes into my day and every year I’m disappointed because it doesn’t seem that I’m given much thought. I feel your pain and thank you for your honesty for those of us who don’t get that perfect day.

    Posted 5.15.17
  12. Kate wrote:

    Thank you for sharing! I actually felt the same way you did! I was mad at my husband cause he was having flowers delivered like he “always” does. Meanwhile I would of loved him to take the time go to a store and pick out a $10 bouquet. It’s all I wanted yet I was bummed cause I feel like he never puts in the effort. I also felt like a brat so
    I tried to grin and bear it. Thanks for being so honest !

    Posted 5.15.17
  13. Cory wrote:

    I soo needed to hear this. Bc mine was fAr from perfect too and I had such high expectations. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 5.15.17
  14. Bekki wrote:

    Thankyou!!! Thankyou for sharing. My girlfriend and i just had a conversation this morning about expectations..bc of let down mothers day! I apreciate your honesty and perspective.

    Posted 5.15.17
  15. Meghan wrote:

    Didn’t even be recieve a card from husband or 5 year old daughter and I am 9 months pregnant with my second! Needless to say pregnancy hormones were at a high! And I agree 5 has been the toughest stage yet of raising my daughter! We were too lucky to pass right through the terrible two’s. I love my family very much and felt better after a much needed nap. But thank you for posting this! Glad to read wasn’t the only one feeling defeated on Mothers Day

    Posted 5.15.17
  16. Lori wrote:

    Yep! Right there with ya! Thanks for sharing..

    Posted 5.15.17
  17. Kimm wrote:

    Social media makes it all look so perfect, but life isn’t perfect! Thanks for sharing! I used to make such a big deal about my birthday, mothers day, etc…but the reality is they are just “another” day, and being a mom for 25 years and having 5 kids I have learned that perfection simply doesn’t exist…but I can tell you that now that 2 of my 5 are now grown, they do truly appreciate all we do for them as their mom! And girl I am with you about 5 being TOUGH…Olivia was dramatic and crying for a solid year…but it passed…so hang tight my friend!

    Posted 5.15.17
  18. Kelli wrote:

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this! This was my yesterday to a T! Last minute gifts, uncooperative kids (whom I love and spend every waking day with since I’m a SAHM who homeschools), no dinner since I didn’t plan it or go to the store to prepare it, years she’d (, my own), etc. I hate that you had that kind of day too but so relieved to know it isn’t just me. Here’s to our future mother’s days being a ton better than this one!!

    Posted 5.15.17
  19. Keisha Dawson wrote:

    You are so sweet to put yourself out there and be vulnerable! I know this was exactly what a lot of mommas needed to hear. You have such a sweet spirit!

    Posted 5.15.17

    Posted 5.16.17
  21. Anna wrote:

    This was a very sweet, real, post. Thank you! I do not even have kids yet, but in a similar way, find myself comparing to social media pictures and wishing for their experiences. But as you said, we do not know what else is happening before and after that “perfect picture.” You are a breath of fresh air!

    Posted 5.16.17
  22. Andrea wrote:

    At least I’m not the only person who sets these unattainable expectations for holidays like this. My kids are 1 and 3 and my husband works all the time so let’s face it he’s not taking them out shopping yet so he ordered a necklace online like a week before Mother’s Day and he handed me the confirmation email of the purchase and it said it could take 18-20 days for delivery…haha. I appreciate the gesture very much and I Know I’ll love it when I get it but of course I was disappointed. I didn’t get one picture of myself with the kids. I am horrible at remembering to get pictures on holidays. I try to be in the moment and avoid my phone when I’m with the kids and then forget all about it. Thanks for sharing that your Mother’s Day wasn’t perfect either. It’s hard on social media seeing all these perfect pictures and I try to not compare but it’s hard. Thanks for being so transparent.

    Posted 5.16.17
  23. Corinne wrote:

    Oh, bless… This was me, too. I’m learning that lower expectations are better. Lower, lower, lower. I expected my husband to do SOMETHING. He didn’t. It was just a regular Sunday for me. Then, towards the end of the day, feeling very unappreciated, I told him I would like to NOT pick what’s for dinner. So he did. Lovely. And he picked a place where I am OK, but it’s not my favorite. And there was nothing either of my kids wanted to eat. GRrRRR. It was not the day I was hoping for.

    Posted 5.16.17
  24. Kristen wrote:

    I’m with you on setting expectations too high. It’s so easy to imagine just how you want a day to play out and then be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. Thanks for keeping it real.

    Posted 5.16.17
  25. Andrea wrote:

    I am right there with you. I handle the finances in our household so I often say no gifts because I would rather have the money towards a bigger project. I think the best gifts are those that they make at school. My sons teacher is awesome and she had the kids make a book, coaster and gift bag they designed themselves by doing a collage of their moms face which they handed out at Mother’s Day tea. He was so proud of all his hard work and the gift. She even had them serve us.

    Posted 5.16.17
  26. Crystal Robinson wrote:

    Oh Girl, mine was not great either. It was also my son’s birthday. And we spent the day with his sick daughter and then the evening in the ER. Praise to God that she is better now. But it was not a hallmark card day for us either.

    Posted 5.16.17
  27. Michele wrote:

    I can totally relate, as I felt the same, but my kids are almost 17 & 19!! My 19 year old is just back from college, and I think I was upset because she and her brother did not even get me a card. At one point, I told them in the afternoon, just make me a card. My son did (after I asked), but I still haven’t received one from her! I think it’s more about the instragram than a card these days for teens, but I could not get over feeling under appreciated, not to mention them fighting at the restaurant! I did have expectations, especially since 5 months ago I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast cancer! I fear that my kids are way too self-centered, and I’m not sure if it’s their ages or what? My sweet husband did buy me a card & gift, but I feel my kids are old enough to understand the concepts of gratitude & giving!

    Posted 5.16.17
  28. Erin H. wrote:

    Im sorry your day was crummy, but I have to tell you it’s such a relief reading this. Sometimes we read these blogs and see the pretty pictures and play the comparison game no matter how many times we tell ourselves not to. I love reading your work because you are inspirational but also very real at the same time, thanks for that!

    Posted 5.16.17
  29. Mary wrote:

    I had zero expectations and that’s what I received. Zip. Zero. Not even a Happy Mother’s Day from my husband til evening. Our anniversary was the day before and guess what? Yep, not even a card. I used to be really embarrassed by this! Now, I’m just hurt.

    Posted 5.16.17
  30. Amy wrote:

    Thanks for sharing, Ash! I had a terrible Mother’s Day too. Robert decided to take an hour long potty/shower in the morning. So I was stuck with both kids making breakfast for 20 of our friends while all the other moms we were getting pampered and got coffee brought to them by their hubs, while mine was taking his sweet ass time like always???? I was in tears before 8am. Then he leaves for a work trip and sticks me alone with the kids for the rest of the day, including a 4hr long drive home. It was so bad and I couldn’t stop crying all day. Next year I’ll have little to no expectations and maybe the day will be better. We just want to fell appreciate for ONE DAY!

    Posted 5.16.17
  31. Niki wrote:

    Girl, I was right there with you! I posted a similar post about my disappointing Mother’s Day where I cried in the parking lot of Home Depot. I agree that the whole idea of it being “our one day” puts a lot of pressure on the kids and ourselves. When things done go as planned, it’s even more frustrating then any other day. Much love! Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 5.16.17
  32. Shelly wrote:

    Things I’ve learned after 26 years of being a mom…celebrate myself as often as I can and don’t throw my expectations on anyone else. It has always led to disappointment when I do. Truth be told…my perfect mother’s day would not even involve spending the day with my…and that probably makes me sound awful! I love them, I truly do and I love the time we have together but sometimes only I truly know what I need to feel appreciated.

    Posted 5.16.17
    • Mary wrote:


      Posted 5.16.17
  33. Marybeth wrote:

    Thank you for posting this. This was definitely not one of my better Mother’s Days, and I was honestly feeling like I was the only one who had a less-than-stellar day. Your post and the comments that followed have made me feel immensely better. ????

    Posted 5.16.17
  34. Lori wrote:

    The two best Mother’s Days I have had were without the husband or kids. (does that make me a bad Mom) One year my best friend & I went shopping all day and had a great lunch that included wine and girl talk. No tantrums! Another year we got a mani & pedi and a long lunch. Like someone said above, guys have their golf day, etc. Why not us!

    Posted 5.16.17
  35. Amy Muir wrote:

    Amazing Post! obviously by the comments, we all are with you! I can relate on all levels.

    Posted 5.16.17
  36. Courtney wrote:

    Amen sister! My day was a wreck! It did get better by dinner but thanks for posting!!

    Posted 5.16.17
  37. Elizabeth wrote:

    Love this post! I remember last year I had high expectations and just really wanted to sleep in (but didn’t get to). This year we had a nice morning but it was back to dishes and laundry by the night time. Love my little and Hubby too but I feel everything you are saying!

    Posted 5.16.17
  38. Melissa wrote:

    Thank you so much for being honest! I am the same way, you took the words from my mouth!!!! So great to hear I am not the only one who feels or thinks this way!

    Posted 5.16.17
  39. Kristy wrote:

    Oh goodness! My girlfriend and I were just talking about expectations and holidays like this. This is why I follow you and read your posts. You are real and transparent.
    Also, I’m glad to hear that the fifth year has been tough for you as well. My son has always been so “easy” until this point. He will be five next month. Whew that boy can test me sometimes ????

    Posted 5.16.17
  40. Paige wrote:

    Why is 5 so hard?! I’m in the same boat with my daughter!! Kind of dreading summer ????

    Posted 5.16.17
  41. Bethany wrote:

    This is so darn true! We set these crazy dreams and our hearts are broken if it is not what we wanted. I think it has a lot to do with comparison. Comparison in truly the thief of joy.

    Posted 5.16.17
  42. No wrote:

    Wow I literally can’t even deal with this post. Wah wah. You are no better than your 5 year old, who threw a tantrum over a picture taking moment, and so you are now throwing a tantrum over not getting the day you wanted. A day that was literally created to sell cards and boost shopping. A commercial holiday. And don’t get me started on the oh but it’s hard being a mom shtick. You know what is also hard? Being a Surgeon. There’s no surgeons day though, and I don’t see them posting and complaining about their stress. This was my first “Mother’s Day” after a horrific miscarriage of a deeply longed for baby, and to read that your day wasn’t “quite” what you wanted, even though you 1., were given gifts, 2. Got to put on fancy clothes and go to church, 3., got to use a nice camera to take a pic, even with tears, 4., got to go out to eat and 5., got to eat?? Yeah, it didn’t sit well with me. You are the epitome of a white privileged, ignorant woman who is so spoiled she can’t get her head out of her ass and realize that she has everything she could desire. Don’t let hallmark try to tell you otherwise, and I hope you fall to your knees and thank God for the amazing Mothers Day you just had.

    Posted 5.17.17
  43. Kayla wrote:

    I agree that it’s the expectations that make these days hard! If we didn’t have them, then we wouldn’t even realize it wasn’t a great day. It would just be the normal day where the kids fight taking the pics we want or throw fits per usual. Thanks for putting your honesty out there!

    Posted 5.17.17
  44. cwelch wrote:

    this post is perfection-a blessed mess! We all have it in different ways. thank you! Honesty is so refreshing these days!

    Posted 5.17.17
  45. D wrote:

    I guess I disagree with everyone. See I had/have no expectations. I just got back that day from visiting my dad in ICU in another state. My husband and I decided long ago that presents were not important. Relationships and experiences are. We are also trying to raise our kids to think this way. Life at the end of the day is not about stuff….Think about this. How blessed are you to have a healthy family, a new home and to be able to remodel and decorate as you wish, shop, travel, etc…..Perhaps don’t look for joy in things, but the people you spend your life with. Lastly, yes, parenting is hard, but remember one day they leave your home .Not judging you, just some observations and my 2 cents!

    Posted 5.17.17
  46. Anon wrote:

    This post was hard to read. There are far too many people who don’t have a fraction of what you have, not even material- but a husband, children, family- and you are disappointed because why? Because he waited until the day before to buy a gift? Be glad he makes enough money to afford a gift. Because you couldn’t take a picture? A 5 year old is a 5 year old- they don’t understand that it’s “your” day. I think this post has made me want to unfollow this blog. Perhaps when you were at church you should have been praying for selflessness. The world needs more kindness. Try spreading it. Your “peeps” don’t want to hear what a let down your day was.

    Posted 5.17.17
    • also anon wrote:

      agree…. maybe blogger consumerism is to blame for people expectations? Poor Hallmark always gettin’ the blame

      Posted 5.18.17
  47. Hannah D wrote:

    Try not to let the negative comments get to you! This post is so true and resonates with so many people. I am not a mother, I am only 22, but I can relate so well to having expectations for these “one day a year” holidays. Sometimes it can be hard! No one knows every detail of your life and we are so lucky that you share it with us! Keep your head up! It is completely fine to have expectations, just don’t let them get you down and try not to compare to others’ days! You are wonderful Ashley and I enjoy your blog soooo much!!!!

    Posted 5.21.17
  48. Kaci wrote:

    5 is definitely a tough age… and I was not prepared for it! 4 was fantastic and I thought it would just continue to get better. My 5 year old daughter is suddenly sassy and has an attitude about everything. I’ve never seen more eye rolls and heard more sighs in my life. I’m not ready for the teenage years.

    I actually asked my daughter if everyone is sassy when they turn 5 and she said maybe. I asked her what happens when you turn 6 and her response, “I don’t know. I’ve never been 6 before”. And with that answer, I was reminded that she’s still so little and I just need to soak her up while I can.

    Posted 5.23.17

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