Mother’s Day… it’s a quirky little holiday. There is probably some heartwarming story behind it, I’ve probably read it, if you want to… you’ll have to Google it. I’m more than a little ambivalent about the holiday.
For the first few years of motherhood you have to rely on the largess of Baby Daddy. He’s the one providing beautifully elegant cards with suitably touching messages, bouquets of pink roses and appropriately, baby’s breathe, or a baby-friendly dinner out. Unless, that is, if BD is of the school of thought that since you’re not his mom, you just have to wait until the little ankle biters can do something on their own for you.
That’s where pre-school and elementary school steps in and you are soon the recipient of countless plaster of Paris objets d’art or finger-paint masterpieces. Handwritten poems in kindergarten block letters and construction paper cards find a place of honor magnetized to the front of your refrigerator.
This might last through elementary school, but by middle school/junior high you pretty much have to depend of the luck of the draw. You may still get the occasional fistful of flowers or boxed pizza, or you have kids who pester BD until he takes them to the mall to find just the right Mother’s Day trinket.
At some point, perhaps around those tween years, and most definitely by high school age, the Mother’s Day gift registry changes. When asked, we no longer recite a litany of innocuous Dollar Tree gifts we would appreciate, instead we ask for that one thing we may never truly receive….
A day off…
We seek relief from those very tasks that are inherent to our parental job description. We want a day free from laundry, dirty dishes and meal preparation, from refereeing sibling rivalries, from chauffeuring, from nagging… from all of it.
That’s not to say that no one performs these tasks, just that it’s not mom. Don’t leave her extra jobs for Monday morning.
Moms, if we are honest, this is the one gift we would really want. A day to do whatever we want, or to not do everything everyone else wants us to do. We want a break from mothering.
This doesn’t make us bad mothers. I think it us human. Everyone needs a break from work sometimes. If you haven’t decided what to get Mom, ask her if she’d like a day off, to do whatever she wants. She might just say ‘yes,’ enthusiastically ‘yes.’