“Table for Five; Three Highchairs.” {Or, “Why Mother’s Day Doesn’t Work For Us”}



One of my best days as a mother was the day I decided that I am allowed to do {or not do} anything with my family in any way I want. So, for reasons both practical and personal, I am reconstructing Mother’s Day.

Instead of breakfast in bed, sweet little gifts or dining out as a family, {things I will miss, by the way.} I’m taking each of my children out on a date! I’m sneaking them away from the distractions and the siblings to spend a few rare hours of undivided time together.

My twin daughters were only 9 months old when I unexpectedly became pregnant with my son. Having three babies within 18 months was both exciting and overwhelming. {Ummm…mostly overwhelming.} Needless to say, time alone with me has been scarce, especially for the twins. The process of bonding has been uniquely challenging for us. Sadly, connecting has at times felt more like a task than a gift. Even though we are constantly together, the quality and the quantity of our connection has suffered. Certainly most parents can relate. Life with three young children is abundant with disconnection. Competition for attention is a dire reality in my home. While my children are great playmates, they are also rivals. Rivals over Mommy. Why does it seem like there is never enough Mommy?

In the past, Mother’s Day has been a chance for me to escape that battle zone and forget about it for a while. I’ve celebrated with self-care marathons or by becoming “queen for a day”. I’ve tried lowering my expectations or pretending like I didn’t care. But when my special day had come and gone I still had to come home and face the mommy deficit.

Things started improving for us after I came across a parenting approach which emphasizes connection as a solution to all parenting agonies. A light bulb came on as I started applying these connection principles and my graduate school knowledge of attachment and relationships with my own children. However, it wasn’t until a fellow twin mom friend mentioned this “Mother’s Day dates idea” to me that I realized the typical traditions just weren’t going to cut it anymore.

Of course there’s also the practical side of it. Expecting my husband to take over all parenting, cleaning and cooking duties for the day as well as organize a memorable time for me is unrealistic with this many children. Breakfast in bed would break my kids’ hearts and possibly our bedroom door as they pounded on it. I can hear them now, “Why can’t we eat with you, Mommy?!” Restaurants aren’t any better. It’s chaos from the moment we arrive and request three highchairs. We endure mass liquid spills, sibling squabbles, chair topples, multiple bathroom trips, lectures on manners and just general loudness until everyone’s eyes glaze over. I’ve hardly had a chance to eat anything before it’s time to wrangle everyone back into the car. Sigh.

What sealed the deal for me was thinking about childhood memories of celebrating my own mother. We would spend the morning at church, where all the children would be invited to pick through flats of potted flowers and take one to our mothers. Mom would receive three plants from her three children and after the sermon, we would go have a special meal. Truly my sweet mother never made a fuss about herself, and yet the humble gifts we had given her always left me feeling wistful. The key to knowing and enjoying my wonderful mother still eluded me. Obviously, I wanted more connection with my lovely mother; a dedicated teacher who juggled full time work and the three of us. I don’t doubt that she wanted more connection with me too, but it didn’t really work that way back then. So, who says things have to stay the same?

I want to make Mother’s Day about “us”, our unique relationship taking center stage. When my kids look back on this holiday, I want them to remember the pleasure of being wanted, the bliss of spending time together and the experience of being loved without any expectations or requirements. I want them to understand the value of making time for us, that connection is a way to celebrate someone and that sheer presence is a gift. I makes me think, if Motherhood is an equation with equal parts me and my children (with the sum being love) then why should Mother’s Day be any different?

I think the best part of this new reconstructed plan is my excitement. I’m really looking forward to Sunday.

Have you ever realized something wasn’t working for your family? What changes did you make and how did it turn out?



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As a beautifully ordinary, ​​wanna-be poet with her heart on her sleeve, Lorissa ​married right ​out of college. She and her new husband​ took themselves to Denver where rich with hope and student loans (read: young and broke)​ she put a counseling degree in her back pocket. With a heart tightly wound, she worked many years with children and families as a play therapist. ​Motherhood brought twin daughters and a surprise son all within 18 months and f​our years later she's still unraveling, in a good way. Lorissa founded The Well Sessions: a listening company, where she offers counseling over the phone. Additionally, she leads and participates in a local parent resource group, focused on supporting and educating parents toward connection and social change.


  1. Lorissa! This is exactly how I have felt and what I planned for this weekend! The other night Killian sobbed for me to spend time with him after a long attempt at bedtime and he said,” I just want more time with you!” And I SIGHED heavily and said, “Baby, I am with you 24 hrs a day.” And he said, “You’re here but the only time we do stuff together is school and I don’t want to do school work with you- I just want TO BEEE with you!” Gotcha kid. Gotcha. I want to BEEE with you too. <3 Happy Mother's Day!


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