'Post-Mother's Day Letdown' Is a Thing — & You're Not Alone in Feeling It

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My Mother’s Day was … fine. Half of my kids told me “happy Mother’s Day” without being reminded. My husband said, “I ordered you a present, but it’s going to come in late.” We went to the garden center, where I bought some veggie plants and a lilac bush. I grocery-shopped and made a variety of desserts for my extended family, who came over for a few hours in the afternoon. Then I capped off the day folding laundry — per usual — and feeling slightly bummed for no discernible reason. After all, my Mother’s Day had been a perfectly decent day. The occasion was at least acknowledged. And if the same series of events had happened on any other Sunday, I’d probably have ended it thinking, “What a nice day today was.”

But … it was Mother’s Day. And I felt like it should’ve been, well, a little bit more … celebratory?

I don’t know what I expected. Not a parade, not a gourmet breakfast in bed, not a bunch of extravagant gifts. I have four sons — three teenagers and a tween — who can barely see past their own noses some days. (And with a weekly grocery bill as steep as ours, extravagant gifts are definitely off the table.) Nobody acted like an a-hole or ignored the day entirely, so I couldn’t understand why I still felt a bit empty.

And then, on top of that empty feeling, the guilty voice in my head started nagging: Everyone told you “happy Mother’s Day.” You spent a zero-drama day with your family who loves you. You got stuff you wanted. Why are you being so freaking ungrateful?!

Because I tend to listen to that guilty voice pretty regularly (ugh), I had resigned myself to the fact that I must simply be a self-absorbed and unappreciative “me-monster” who couldn’t be happy with what I had.

But when I saw this priceless Instagram advice about “post-Mother’s Day letdown” from Dr. Becky Kennedy, psychologist and bestselling author of Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, everything suddenly made sense. More importantly, I no longer felt like such a colossal jerk. I wasn’t alone!

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