My Un-Mother’s Day Mother’s Day

I’m sure most of you can relate to holidays being more stressful than relaxing. Carting tired kids around to multiple stops. Making sure you see everyone and that nobody feels left out. I am very grateful and blessed that we have family nearby. I wouldn’t want it any other way. But there’s good and bad to everything, right? Running around on special occasions often means I sacrifice what I’d really like to do with my limited time. This year on Mother’s Day I was chaperoning my son’s prom group on a weekend away, so I was gone the entire day. Since I wasn’t going to be around on Mother’s Day, I declared that we would celebrate the following Sunday, when we would all be home together.

Celebrating on a day other than the actual day seemed to make it more exciting for my kids. A few days beforehand someone declared it my Un-Mother’s Day Mother’s Day. My family suggested we go to brunch, and Top Golf. Nope. I wanted to stay home the entire day, and work in the yard with them. The night before, my daughter exclaimed that I got to sleep in as late as I wanted, and her brothers were not to wake me up. With three teenagers in the house I’m usually up before them anyway, but I was touched by her thoughtfulness. After breakfast we headed outside. We worked all morning on getting our vegetable and fruit gardens weeded and planted (tomatoes, peppers, kale, cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe and a new raspberry bush – yum!). My kids bantered back and forth, and while they never offer to help me garden, they didn’t seem to mind doing it. After working all morning we stopped for lunch – tacos! My favorite. We then went to a pop up flower stand for flowers to plant. We proceeded to work outside all afternoon, taking occasional breaks to talk over a drink, or chat with a neighbor.

After an accomplished day of working in the yard together, we stopped for the day and ate dinner. Dinner was followed by opening Mother’s Day gifts for me and my mom, playing a game of Scattegories, and eating strawberry rhubarb crisp, made with rhubarb from our garden! The day was perfect. Not having to be anywhere – no kids’ activities, no other obligations – allowed us all to relax and just enjoy our time together.

When my kids were little and I was a stay home mom I loved being with them all the time, but I also cherished when I could sneak away to Target or the mall. For a few years in a row my husband gave me a gift certificate and on Mother’s Day I would go spend the afternoon by myself at an outdoor mall. Now that my kids are older and away from home more with jobs, activities and friends, I cherish the time we are all together. My Un-Mother’s Day Mother’s Day will go down as one of my favorite Mother’s Days. It just might be our new tradition.


Jennifer Strilko

Jennifer is the Director of Operations at DI/LDM, keeping the train moving for several operational teams and helping them meet their goals. Jennifer believes that everything happens for a reason and that we don’t meet anyone by accident. She’s looking forward to meeting new people and widening her tribe through this blog project. In her spare time Jennifer enjoys DIY projects (upcycling curbside finds is her favorite past time). Her Mom Hustle includes being a dance and baseball mom, maneuvering teen drama, and preparing her kids for college. She lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, three teenagers and two dogs.