It’s that time of year again ladies! A day when flowers, chocolates, and, for a lucky few, spa gift certificates are distributed to the hard-working moms of America.
Interestingly enough, many of the moms I know don’t really care about those material things. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never met a woman who would turn down a quality box of chocolates or a good pair of shoes…but the candy, flowers and massage certificates aren’t the most coveted Mother’s Day gifts.
So…what do we moms REALLY want?
Here are some responses I got when I asked a few of my fellow WMAG contributors:
Susan – “All I want for Mother’s Day is … a day all to myself. I know, it sounds pretty horrible, right? Shouldn’t I want to be basking in the glow of my children, being served breakfast in bed and lavished with flowers? Well, I never got those things on Mother’s Day. But even if I did, that’s not what I’d want. BK (Before Kids), I used to spend a lot of time alone. Walking the neighborhood, listening to music, reading novels, shopping, cleaning, writing — whatever. I enjoyed the time to myself to collect my thoughts. Cleanse myself of all the noise (literal and figurative) that surrounds us in this life. Just nurture the inner “me.” AK (After Kids), that me time pretty much disappeared. And now, with my husband couch-bound, I literally have zero time to myself. I’m either with the kids or my coworkers. And I would truly love nothing more right now than a day to do whatever I want. Just for me. With no one demanding anything. Pretty much sounds like heaven. At the end of this dreamy Mother’s Day, I think I’d be recharged enough to be more loving and appreciative of my family. I’d be a better mom.”
Becky – “My wish for Mother’s Day? Well, first, I hope my kids actually remember it! Then, I hope that they actually feel moved to want to acknowledge it. But mostly, I would love to have them all in one place for even a short period of time. Knowing how hard that will probably be, I will take whatever I am given when the day comes and be grateful. Then, I will be sure to remember that my mom will probably be sitting at home alone thinking the same things I am – but I do have her local florist on speed dial!”
Sara – “I’m sorry to be unoriginal, but a day to myself is my fondest wish, too. Because I have a flexible work schedule and a husband who [has] a job that demands long hours, I am with my children pretty much constantly when they’re not at school. Plus I JUST took them to Kansas for my grandmother’s funeral, leaving my husband to enjoy a couple of days/nights on his own. Granted, he did buy me a new car and pick up the house, but he also got to just run around and do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, for several hours on end. I love my children dearly, but I WANT TO RUN AROUND DOING WHATEVER I WANT FOR A CHANGE! If I were to be greedy I’d ask for an entire weekend to myself, but I’ll settle for just one day. Mama’s got some shopping and novel writing to do!”
Casey – “I want one day where no one cries, whines, hits, bites, spends a second in time out, spills, has an accident, and all the toys are neatly in their hiding spot. Since this isn’t going to happen with 3 under 4, I would alternatively like a new cordless dust buster and some Strivectin for my twin stretch marks. Just what every mother needs. But their cards will be appreciated and cherished. Also, my husband’s birthday lands every year on Mother’s Day weekend – it would be cool if we could move it. This year it’s actually Mother’s Day so I’m sure I will spend the day pampering him and then growl about it later.”
I asked almost every mother I know what they wanted for mother’s day when I was in the process of writing this, and funnily enough, the answers were pretty much the same across the board. From working moms to stay-at-home moms, the top Mother’s Day gift was time.
Time to get a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Time to eat a hot meal with both hands.
Time to spend with the whole family.
Time to read (or write) a book.
It’s the most precious commodity there is, but when you become a mom, it is the one thing you truly need more of.
I never understood the saying “there aren’t enough hours in the day” until I had my kids. My quality time with my family is limited, so I tend to sacrifice my “me” time in an attempt to spend more time with my children and husband. I don’t do it out of guilt. I don’t do it out of obligation, I do it because my family is the center of my universe and being with them brings me more joy than I ever thought possible.
That same sentiment can be expressed by all mothers I know.
Sometimes, the simple acknowledgement of the hard work, sleep deprivation and self-sacrifice is all that we need.
This Sunday is about so much more than brunches, flowers and a one-time show of appreciation. It’s about honoring the woman who allows her toddler to rub their snot-smeared face against the shoulder of her favorite blouse because they’re in desperate need of a big cuddle.
It’s about paying homage to the woman who slept in a recliner for three months with her infant because her child had severe influx and couldn’t sleep lying down.
It’s about offering your sincerest thanks and admiration to the single working moms who do the work of two parents by themselves.
Mother’s Day is a day when we celebrate the women who give of themselves even when it seems they have nothing left to give, so, continue to give flowers, chocolates and gift certificates, but more importantly, give thanks.
…and maybe get out of the house with the kids so that she can have a couple of hours to herself.
Happy Mother’s Day!!