I was talking with a friend of mine the other day, we’ll call her Dancing Queen, about the looming and ever disappointing Mother’s Day. We each have three girls, so we’re no strangers to that oh-dear-God-make-them-stop feeling. Or the I-just-cleaned-this-what’s-wrong-with-you feeling.
We’re also not strangers to the I’m-going-to-explode-from-an-overdose-of-love feeling.
We started talking about what we’ll do for our daughters when they, a long, long time from now, are also mothers.
Hint: Unlike media images, it probably won’t involve a gas-guzzling SUV with a giant red bow. Or weird heart jewelry with rainbow stones.
Because I’m hoping I remember. I’m hoping I remember how amazing motherhood is. And I’m hoping I remember how difficult motherhood is.
So as a reminder, I’m doing this little note to myself. If there is a young mother in your life, it might not hurt to take a glance. I’m thinking these ideas are probably popular far and wide.
- Two words: Merry. Maids.
- Date Day. (Or a whatever you want day for single and/or military parents.) Not a two-hour dinner out and rush home to pick up the kids before bed time. A whole day. Childcare included. With no guilt trips. No complaining about how much work your kids are. Because you know who knows *exactly* how much work her kids are? The mother. If we have the funds, I’ll throw in a stay at a hotel and an overnight for the grandkids. Because that’s how I roll.
- Gift cards. If she loves to shop? Her favorite store. If she’s not a girlie girl and would rather go for a hike? An outfitter. If she’s so strapped for funds that the dollar store seems pricey? A grocery gift card. As big as I can possibly get.
- No-strings-attached babysitting certificates. I don’t imagine that I’ll begrudgingly offer my services, anyway, but just in case. I kind of imagine I’m going to be the kind of grandma that goes all out because I get to play with my grandbabies and leave all that parenting stuff to my kids. *evil laugh*
- Mommy-daughter day. Not for my girls and their daughters, but for my girls and me. So we can shop, get pedicures, go to the beach, see a museum, whatever. All without her having to juggle the kids, because the Nerd will be home having grandpa-grandkid day. And we can talk and laugh (at least I’ll laugh) about everything they’re facing as parents.
Things I will most definitely NOT get her for mother’s day (some inspired by things I’ve actually received and am trying to laugh about now):
- Scrap booking kits. Unless that’s really her thing. But guess what I *don’t* want as a gift? Something I don’t have time for, that involves glue, scissors, and 4 million pieces of paper. Because cleaning that up sounds super relaxing.
- A homemade card I make on Mother’s Day. In front of her. Because I forgot.
- Three hundred hair accessories for the girls, from the dollar store. ‘Nough said.
- A guilt trip about what she did or did not get me.
And all of this is here because really, you can sum up what every mother needs now and then. No matter how much she loves her kids (I literally have felt like my heart would burst at times). No matter how awesome she is at her job (because no matter how critical we are of ourselves, we kind of rule). No matter how much pressure she puts on herself to do it all, do it perfectly, do it every day. And sometimes, for you superhero single moms or military moms, do it alone.
A break. We all need a break. To relieve a little stress. To have an adult conversation. To breathe. To remember that when our kids aren’t around, we miss them so much it hurts. To be the best moms we can be.
Because if a doctor was on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 20 years? He’d start making mistakes. Big ones. Everybody needs a break.
As a final note: if you’re reading this and you’re the dad in the family, this totally applies to you, too. Just on Father’s Day. Because dads work just as hard as moms, but often don’t get half the glory.
So as Mother’s Day approaches, I leave you with this blessing:
May your hearts be full of love. May your homes be filled with laughter. May your morning start really, really late because you got to sleep in. May you not touch a single body fluid for an entire 24 hour period. May you be truly appreciated. May your laundry baskets be empty because all the clothes are put away. May your day be tantrum free. May you remember everything glorious about being a mom. And forget all the poop (both literal and figurative).
From this Mediocre Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!