Mother's Day

Why It’s OK to Want to Be Alone For Mother’s Day

written by ERIN CELLETTI
want to spend mothers day alone"
want to spend mothers day alone
Source: ColorJoy Stock
Source: ColorJoy Stock

I’ve seen a few Reels and TikToks that hit home lately about moms who want to spend Mother’s Day alone—asking for a night away at a hotel or for their families to go and do an activity without them, leaving them in peace. And oh my goodness, that sounds amazing. Cozy pajamas, no alarm clock, a serious BRAVO binge, room service coffee… yes, please! 

But almost as soon as I envision the fluffy hotel robe, the immediate guilt kicks in. I mean, what kind of mother wants to be away from her kid(s) or family for Mother’s Day? 

This kind. It’s me. And I bet there’s more like us, too 

Now, I’m not saying I want to spend the entire Sunday away from the little creature that made me a mom, but I definitely would love my gift or present to include some sort of experience that involves peace and solitude that I can look forward to and anticipate. What’s wrong with that? 

And if you want to be alone the whole day, that’s normal too. Remember Mother’s Day is a made-up holiday, and you’ll likely have soccer, hockey, baseball, dance recitals, and kids’ birthday parties to attend anyway. The world doesn’t stop on Mother’s Day, but you totally can. You might need to, and giving yourself what you need is the ultimate Mother’s Day gift.

For an expert opinion, I spoke with Mollie Busino, LCSW, founder and director of Mindful Power LLC based in Hoboken, NJ, for more insight into why it’s more than OK to want to spend Mother’s Day alone. Here’s what she had to say.

Meet the Expert

Mollie Busino, LCSW

Mollie Busino is the founder and director of Mindful Power, LLC based in Hoboken, NJ. Her work focuses on anxiety, entrepreneurship, career changes, OCD, relationships, dating challenges, insomnia, fertility counseling, and maternal mental health.

Why do many moms want to spend Mother’s Day alone?

There are so many reasons—all valid—why a mom might want to be alone. It could be something as simple as a new momma needing some serious, uninterrupted rest, or more emotionally complicated like a mom that’s also mourning the loss of her own. Honestly, the “why” doesn’t matter much. The bottom line? Busino said that being alone, “gives her the opportunity to connect with her physical, emotional, and mental needs since day-to-day life often clouds the ability to do so.”

Why does mom guilt kick in if a mom feels this way?

It’s safe to say mom guilt is almost a universal feeling nobody likes and is more often than not unwarranted but exists nonetheless. When moms want to take a break, say “no” to something, juggle work/life balance, or, to be honest, do anything for themselves, it kicks in. Strong. This is because, Busino said, “Society, culture, and parts of history have created a false belief that moms should solely prioritize the needs of others at all times. Therefore, often when a mom is just listening to her own mental health needs, a voice of shame and guilt will appear that is a result of this false belief.”

I say, screw mom guilt. (Saying it is way easier than actually feeling it.)

The benefits of alone time for moms

Moms need and deserve alone time. If they want it to be on or for Mother’s Day, so be it! Busino said, “There is clarity, peace, focus, and stress relief that comes with having the time to be alone.” And alone time will look different for everyone. 

By having some solo time, “Moms can tune into what they may need to de-stress such as rest or physical movement. They can give their minds and bodies a break from the constant focus on others to do and think about whatever they personally need at that time,” she said. So whether it’s a massage, a hotel reservation for one, a meal alone, or even just locking yourself in your bedroom for a few hours—do it.

want to spend mothers day alone
Source: @thewilddecoelis

How can a mom explain the need for alone time to her kids?

As you may have figured out along the way, the words you use to explain pretty much anything to your kids matter a lot. So, instead of saying, “I want to be alone,” which could infer you want to get the hell away from them (and if you do, that’s fair), Busino said, “Labeling the time as ‘Mom’s Reset Time or Relax Time’ might be helpful as most children are familiar with certain designated times for their own activities or needs (i.e., Calm Down Space, Resting Time, etc).”

She suggested that explaining, “in a simple, confident, and with a little reassurance of when you will reconnect can be the most effective, such as ‘Mom is taking some Reset Time solo today, and tonight we will still eat dinner or have story time together.”

What if your partner doesn’t “get” why you want to spend Mother’s Day alone?

All marriages and partnerships have instances when you’re not understanding each other. So, if your partner doesn’t really get why you want to be alone, you’re not alone. (Pardon the pun.) 

Busino said, “Often partners express a resistance or not understanding because they are anxious on their end to be responsible for the kid(s) or household without you. Therefore, expressing confidence that your partner will be able to manage it all for that temporary period of time can decrease the anxiety.” She added, “It is also imperative to explain the benefits that the alone time will have for you AND your family so that your partner understands the multitude of value.”