#SWAAYthenarrative

What Mother's Day Means To Me —  Even In Our "New Normal"

5 Min Read
Lifestyle

I feel as though right now is such a transitional time for so many moms. I am at home with my kids' homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, and trying to be a sexy wife. All while trying not to go crazy. I don't know about you, but I have gained so much more respect for teachers and mothers. On Mother's Day, even though I cannot go anywhere, I am going to put makeup on, get dressed up, and take some pictures with my family to celebrate.

The meaning behind Mother's Day is so amazing, and I think Mother's should be celebrated daily. I hate when moms say, "Well, I am just a mom," as if it's not a worthwhile adventure! Being a mom has been the hardest, most rewarding adventure of my life. I believe that my greatest lessons and deepest insecurities have been shown in motherhood. I think that being a mom has shown me the purest form of love, not because I love my kids unconditionally (I do), but because they love me unconditionally. My kids have shown me to love without expectation, especially when they are so little. You can hurt their feelings and they will forgive you quickly. They look up to me. They cheer for me. They love me in all my mess and in all the chaos, sometimes I think they love me more than I love me.

On Mother's Day, even though I cannot go anywhere, I am going to put makeup on, get dressed up, and take some pictures with my family to celebrate.

Even so, I have found a lot of mixed emotions around Mother's Day. Mother's Day can be happy for some because they get to spend it with their children and family. On the other hand, it can be extremely hard for mothers who have lost a child or had a miscarriage. My heart also goes out to the moms who don't get to be with their children — those with strained relationships with their mother or mother-in-law, with moms in prison, in the hospital, in the military, or who have passed on. Mother's Day may be a special day for me, but it is also an extremely difficult one for so many others.

I think even men, specifically husbands and significant others have it difficult! I know, don't roll your eyes just yet. They are expected to buy their wife something from the kids and then make sure they get something for their own mother, all while trying to balance who they spend the day with. Do I try to get dinner with my mom before Mother's Day? Do I send her flowers? While most of the time our partners forget to take the garbage out or pick up something from the store.

They love me in all my mess and in all the chaos, sometimes I think they love me more than I love me.

Seriously, maybe it is just me, but I want to feel special on Mother's day and be thought of! But when kids are young they can't go buy you a gift, and if your husband doesn't take the time, he (insert eye roll) forgets. Or, if you are divorced or separated, then what? Even if they remember, what should they get? Fresh flowers? A necklace? I'll be honest, I can be challenging to buy for. Half the time my husband picks something out for me and it's not exactly what I wanted anyway. Then he feels bad and unappreciated as if it was a waste of his time to try.

Then there are women like me. I know that my husband is most likely going to forget, so I buy his mom something, my mom something, and myself something. I think that there are so many things to think about that we miss. I am a mom, I have a mom, and my husband has a mom. I also have a blended family and want to make sure that my kids recognize all their grandmas. You put all that together and it can be difficult to manage. I am by nature a people pleaser, so it's hard for me to demand that I get all the attention. I want to celebrate all the moms in my life, but I have spent years on mother's day exhausted going from one place to the next with the hopes of getting home in time to maybe celebrate me. It's a challenge for me to balance it all in one day — even on a day, that's supposed to be about celebrating me.

Self-care is different for every woman I know, even in this new normal we are all living in. Some women lock themselves in a closet just to get away because they need some quiet time. I know some moms who like to relax and take a bath with a glass of wine, while others just want to take a nap. I do not believe there is a one size fits all. Self-care for me is coloring my grays, putting on a face mask, and taking a bath.

It's a challenge for me to balance it all in one day — even on a day, that's supposed to be about celebrating me.

Some would say that "self-care" is selfish, but I believe that I cannot fully show up without taking care of myself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually first. I can't pour from an empty cup. Be sure to take time for yourself and your heart. What makes you feel celebrated? How do you feel loved the most? Do those things. Here are a few ideas of my own to get you started.

Self-care Tips For Mother's Day

  • Take a bath
  • Paint your nails
  • Walk around the block alone
  • Put some headphones on and listen to your favorite song
  • Ask your kids to tell you things that they love about you
  • Plant a garden
  • Buy yourself flowers
  • Buy some new shoes
  • Do a 10-minute work out video
  • Make a new habit body ritual — dry brushing, happiness oil, and lotion.

I am a mom every day. Some days are the best days of my life; other days are miserable, challenging, and absolutely exhausting. Sometimes I feel like I am messing everything up — including my kids. (It scares me when I think of all the therapy they are going to need.) But at the end of the day, I believe with all my heart that every mom is the perfect mom for her kids, though it is not an adventure to be taken lightly. You were chosen to be a mom. Celebrate that every day, especially on Mother's Day.

3 Min Read
Lifestyle

Tempted To Dial Your Ex: 5 Ways To Know Whether Or Not You Should Contact An Old Flame

Thinking of ringing up your ex during these uncertain times? Maybe you want an excuse to contact your ex, or maybe you genuinely feel the need to connect with someone on an emotional level. As a matchmaker and relationship expert, I was surprised at the start of the coronavirus quarantine when friends were telling me that they were contacting their exes! But as social distancing has grown to be more than a short-term situation, we must avoid seeking short-term solutions—and resist the urge to dial an ex.

It stands to reason that you would contact an ex for support. After all, who knows you and your fears better than an ex? This all translates into someone who you think can provide comfort and support. As a matchmaker, I already know that people can spark and ignite relationships virtually that can lead to offline love, but lonely singles didn't necessarily believe this or understand this initially, which drives them straight back to a familiar ex. You only need to tune into Love Is Blind to test this theory or look to Dina Lohan and her virtual boyfriend.

At the start of lockdown, singles were already feeling lonely. There were studies that said as much as 3 out of 4 people were lonely, and that was before lockdown. Singles were worried that dating someone was going to be off limits for a very long time. Now when you factor in a widespread pandemic and the psychological impact that hits when you have to be in isolation and can't see anyone but your takeout delivery person, we end up understanding this urge to contact an ex.

So, what should you do if you are tempted to ring up an old flame? How do you know if it's the wrong thing or the right thing to do in a time like this? Check out a few of my points before deciding on picking up that phone to text, much less call an ex.

Before You Dial The Ex...

First, you need to phone a friend! It's the person that got you through this breakup to begin with. Let them remind you of the good, the bad and the ugly before taking this first step and risk getting sucked back in.

What was the reason for your breakup? As I mentioned before, you could get sucked back in… but that might not be a bad thing. It depends; when you phoned that friend to remind you, did she remind you of good or bad things during the breakup? It's possible that you both just had to take jobs in different cities, and the breakup wasn't due to a problem in the relationship. Have these problems resolved if there were issues?

You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you.

Depending on the reason for the breakup, set your boundaries for how much contact beforehand. If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.

If you know you shouldn't be contacting this ex but feel lonely, set up a support system ahead of time. Set up activities or things to fall back on to resist the urge. Maybe you phone a different friend, join a virtual happy hour for singles, or binge watch Netflix. Anything else is acceptable, but don't phone that ex.

Write down your reasons for wanting to contact the ex. Ask yourself if this is worth the pain. Are you flea-bagging again, or is there a friendship to be had, which will provide you with genuine comfort? If it's the latter, it's okay to go there. If it's an excuse to go back together and make contact, don't.

Decide how far you are willing to take the relationship this time, without it being a rinse and repeat. If you broke up for reasons beyond your control, it's okay. If your ex was a serial cheater, phone a friend instead.

If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.

As life returns to a more normal state and you adjust to the new normal, we will slowly begin to notice more balance in our lives. You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you. Some do's and don'ts for this time would be:

  • Do: exercise ⁠— taking care of you is important during this time. It's self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Do: shower, brush your teeth, and get out of your sweats.
  • Don't: be a couch potato.
  • Don't: drink or eat excessively during this time. Again, remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Do: think positive thoughts everyday and write down the 3 things you are grateful for. Look at the impact of John Krasinksi's SGN. It's uplifting and when you feel good, you won't want to slide backwards.
  • Don't: contact a toxic ex. It's a backward move in a moment of uncertainty that could have a long term impact. Why continue flea bagging yourself?