The Best Gift I’ll Get This Mother’s Day is The One I Give Myself

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Obviously being a mother is gift enough, but this year I’m getting a little something extra. This year I’m giving myself permission – permission to feel guilty. And I’m starting with the guilt I’ll allow myself to feel for missing the Friday morning Mother’s Day brunch at my son’s daycare. Let’s let that sink in a bit. 10 a.m. on a Friday to celebrate mothers at daycare. Going out on a limb here, but I’m assuming if our child is in daycare, it usually means WE can’t be with them during the day.

Originally I was going to give myself the gift of not feeling guilty. But that’s an exercise in futility. I actually end up feeling more guilty for not being better at practicing not feeling guilty. Oh the irony.

So this year I chose to embrace the guilt. Because that means I’m making decisions based on what I chose to prioritize. Is Mother’s Day brunch at school important? Yes. But at this point the celebration is more for me than him – he’s two. So I’ll carry on my usual Friday morning routine and just about the time his class is feasting on nut-free, store-bought contributions, I’ll be eyeballs deep in emails and guilt. I chose guilt over rearranging my already hectic schedule.

I also chose guilt over taking my son to soccer Saturday mornings. See, I could spend every minute of the weekend with him because of the guilt I feel not being a stay at home mom during the week. But I’ll choose to feel the guilt on Saturdays and let my husband take him to toddler soccer as I spend an hour at a gym I simultaneously love and hate (thank you Molly & Tony). Because for the first time in over three years I’m committing to making myself feel better physically. Not relying solely on my yoga just because I can practice anywhere in my house without leaving my son. Just an hour a weekend. I can live with that guilt.

I also choose guilt for taking a few hours Mother’s Day weekend for some much needed alone time. I noticed my husband doesn’t seem to harbor any guilt over planning his Father’s Day golf trip sans kids. And while I certainly couldn’t swallow a whole day-away worth of guilt, I could get away for a few hours for my own mental sanity and maybe a facial.

I’m learning motherhood is full of Monday morning quarterbacking. I hope I won’t always second guess my decisions but in the meantime I choose to make peace with the guilt I’ll inevitably feel regardless of my choices. So until I can give myself the gift of relinquishing all mom guilt-the gift of embracing it will have to do. It may be the best present I get this year, and I won’t even feel guilty for not sending a thank you.

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Angela Bosco is a native of Westchester. She chose Briarcliff Manor as her home after too many hurricanes in Florida and too many people in NYC. She’s mom to her son, Blaise (2016), who’s energy she simultaneously envies and fears. She shares a love of adult beverages with her husband Michael who, like her, is in the spirits industry. A self-proclaimed expert multi-tasker, you can find her on the Hudson Line cramming podcasts, emails and breakfast while penciling in her eyebrows and trying not to spill coffee on her seat mate during her morning commute to the city. On her free time she struggles to choose between doing yoga, reading NY Times best-seller’s or watching all things Real Housewives: the latter usually wins out. In her 20s you could hear her asking when her life would begin- now in her 30s you’ll find her reveling in it-chaos and all.