The affordable, perfectly sized, unforgettable Mother’s Day Gift: Time

Flowers. Handmade cards. Sweet treats. Brunch. These are all cherished Mother’s Day gifts that celebrate this May day dedicated to moms. And they’re nice to get. They really, really are.

But what if the gift you really want is an hour or two by yourself? You probably feel bad for even thinking that, much less saying it out loud. The kids are what make you a mom, right? Shouldn’t you want to spend the day with them?

Let’s stop worrying so much about what we should do. And let’s, for once, say how we’d really like to celebrate Mother’s Day. Our one day.

“I’d like an hour or two of mommy time, please.”

To read with coffee that’s actually hot. To watch a movie and not share popcorn. To pull out the craft supplies and get inspired. To walk quietly in nature, carrying nothing but your thoughts. To soak in a bath with a face mask on. To purge your closet in peace. To nap, dig in your garden, do yoga, or anything else that recharges you. You get to pick what makes you feel like you.  

Prioritizing your own well-being is not only good for you, it benefits your family, too. Restoring your own energy means there’s more to share during play time. Centering your thoughts refills the buckets of patience you’ll need later. Taking time to enjoy a task that makes you feel whole and accomplished allows you to be more present helping your kids do the same thing. And modeling good self-care practices yourself might make those habits easier for your kids to pick up. You know the saying. “When momma ain’t happy…”

Alone time is scarce these days – and that’s why it’s more important than ever to consider making it a priority. We use birthdays as a permission slip to do whatever we want. How come it’s harder to consider for Mother’s Day?

Of course, the kid-free time doesn’t have to be all day (unless that’s what you want and you can make that happen). Maybe you could have brunch in the morning with the family, then take time in the afternoon for yourself. Or, maybe you can ask your partner to parent the morning so you can sleep in or cuddle with your book, then join everyone for lunch. And if you’re momming solo, we’re especially talking to you. Please sneak some time. There is absolutely no shame in parking them in front of their most favorite movie, with their most favorite snacks, and slipping into the next quiet room to just be. You deserve it, mom. Happy Mother’s Day!


If you feel that you’re in deep depression and you fear that there is immediate danger, such as self-harm or harm to your baby, please call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) for help.

To find support and resources outside of Western PA, contact Postpartum Support International at or call 1-800-944-4773.

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