Mother’s Day The Right Way
The first mother’s day I can remember involved me getting up extra early and sneaking down the hall to our kitchen while my parents were still asleep. I grabbed a platter from the cabinet and stacked it with napkins, a handmade card from the night before, and a fake flower I borrowed from the floral arrangement sitting on the dining room table. With all the culinary skill of a four year old, I constructed a cheese sandwich on white bread, cut into fourths, and a cup of tap water, bringing it to my mother for breakfast in bed. In the years following, mother’s day was always a day centered around mom with my brother and I doing the bulk of the work in order to show mom how much we love and appreciate her. There were school projects and crafts that were brought home, allowance that was spent, and a lot of whispers of “I hope she likes it” between my brother and I.
In 2005, I became a mom and had my first real mother’s day in 2006, although my son was still too young to realize what it was. As he got older, he began bringing home various works of art for me from school and started working on homemade cards and other cute gifts for me with the help of my husband. This year I asked him to please behave himself at school as a gift, so hopefully I receive that for the remainder of his school year. My husband participates as well in the gift giving, getting me little things that will be marked from my son that he’ll be able to give to me. He never goes overboard, which I greatly appreciate, and always skips the flowers and jewelry.
Mother’s day is a day for moms to be appreciated by their children. It’s not a day for dad to rush out and drop big bucks on diamonds and roses, not a day to make reservations at some fancy restaurant where you’re never sure of which fork to use, and not a day for the entire family to put mom on a pedestal and kiss her ass for 24 hours. It’s a day for the kids to step up and do some chores to give mom a break, for dad to allow her to sleep in an extra hour or two, to say thank you for the countless things she does that she generally is never thanked for. It’s not about how much cash you can drop on her gifts, but about the gestures you make throughout the day to show you care.
No holiday out there is safe from being over commercialized, especially not mother’s day, but that doesn’t mean you need to fall prey to the Jared ads and expect to receive an overpriced heart pendant to say “Hey, thanks for popping out my offspring and putting up with their nonsense.” You don’t need to compare notes with the other moms at work or school on Monday to see who got what from their family and you definitely should not feel jealously or envy if you didn’t receive a giant bouquet like mom-of-the-decade over there or a huge diamond ring like Miss Prissy down in accounting. If your kids woke up and hugged the hell out of you, then did their own laundry and made their beds without being asked, take that as a major victory and put a smile on your face.
Any idiot can spend money, so the dollar value of whatever you end up receiving or giving on mother’s day shouldn’t matter at all. What matters is what you do with your day. Treat your mom (or the mom of your kids) with love and respect, give her a break, handle the dinner preparations, keep the kids from fighting, let her do what she wants to do, and say thank you. Don’t complain when she wants to watch her favorite movie for the hundredth time, give her some Xbox time, and walk the dog so she won’t have to. Make her feel like the luckiest mom on the planet and make sure it’s centered on the kids doing things for their mom. I promise it can be done without overpriced bracelets, a dozen roses, and a five course meal at some stuffy restaurant.