It’s Mother’s Day, and I’ll Sleep, Dance, Camp (or Cry) if I Want To

Jennifer Forness spent last Mother’s Day in tears.

Because her husband had to work, Ms. Forness, an executive assistant who lives in Mount Pleasant, S.C., took their son, now 2, to visit her parents who live outside Philadelphia. “I made a reservation for me and my mom to go to dinner, and we brought my son, and he was screaming,” she said. “We had to get our food to go and leave, and I remember crying in the car and being like, ‘I am so tired.’”

She vowed never again.

For Mother’s Day this year, Ms. Forness, 36, and five girlfriends who are also mothers, are planning to check into Wild Dunes Resort, a hotel about 16 miles east of Charleston, for an overnight stay. The plan is simple: “We are getting massages, we are going to sit by the beach,” she said. “And we are going to have drinks.”

Mother’s Day has long come with connotations that mothers spend it with the very people who made them so — and it usually involves brunch, cards and flowers (or floral prints). Yet some mothers are shedding those expectations and doing whatever they want — including shedding their families.

A few weeks ago, Kendel Jamieson Christoff, 44, was scrolling through TikTok when she came across videos posted by a mother who said she was going to ditch her family on Mother’s Day and spend the holiday alone, doing whatever she wanted.

Ms. Christoff, a registered dietitian who lives in Hubbard, Ohio, has celebrated her fair share of Mother’s Days with her two daughters, who are now 17 and 18. But she wondered if she had been doing it wrong.

“All those years I didn’t celebrate for myself,” she said. “I was planning the brunches or catering the brunches, making the reservations.”

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