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Viral arguments over grandmothers and Mother’s Day may have a simple solution

In the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, there have been several viral posts on social media about who Mother’s Day actually belongs to. A younger mom started an intense debate when she posted a video saying that the holiday should only be celebrated by the young moms currently in the trenches. The woman doesn’t believe that people should be required to spend the day with the “grandmas.”

Clearly this stance caused a few feathers to be ruffled with older moms who might happen to be grandparents. There were arguments saying that moms don’t stop being moms because their children are grown, so they too deserve to be celebrated. But through the comments of different posts making their points, a theme seemed to be developing.

There was an expectation of how things should be, whether it came from the older moms or the younger moms. There also seemed to be a lack of boundaries and clear communication. These are all things that can lead to misunderstandings and resentment.

On both sides of this viral disagreement are differing expectations. Younger moms are expecting to have a chance to be pampered while some may also be assuming their mothers and mother-in-laws are expecting the same, or at the very least expecting their adult children to visit them. Older moms are expecting recognition for the special day and some may also be expecting to be doted on by their adult children and grandchildren. Either way, both seem to be expressing unspoken and un-agreed-upon expectations.

When adult children have children, dynamics and priorities change in families. Now may be a good time to establish boundaries and new traditions around Mother’s Day that better suit everyone’s needs. Maybe there’s no lugging multiple children from grandma to grandma on Mother’s Day. That doesn’t seem fun or relaxing to the mom of those grandchildren who likely just wants a break for the day.

Instead think about setting a boundary while still honoring the grandmothers in your life. After all, motherhood doesn’t end because your children grow up. Setting a boundary around this special day can sound like, “We’re staying home on Mother’s Day from now on, but the kids made you crafts and I have something for you. We will drop it off on Saturday.”

This sort of boundary not only takes care of the expectation of both parties, but it also allows the grandmother to feel honored. There’s not always a need for big flashy gifts. Most grandmothers would be thrilled to get a flower made out of their grandchild’s handprint with a short poem expressing their love written on the bottom.

Some families value quality time over things, so instead of going from house to house, a new tradition can be started where your partner has a Mother’s Day cookout or brunch. All the moms in the family get together in one spot and the emphasis is on the guys and kids waiting on the moms. This way moms still get to relax and grandmas still get to be included.

There’s also the option of having Mother’s Day festivities the weekend prior for grandmas so you don’t have to feel pulled in multiple directions the day of. No matter which way you decide to go with this day dedicated to appreciating moms, make sure that you’re clear with your expectations and boundaries. It’s true that some people have a difficult time setting boundaries with their parents, but it’s a necessary step if you want to have the kind of Mother’s Day you envisioned.

This article was written by Jacalyn Wetzel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and practicing therapist.

Source: Upworthy
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