Here we are again — Mother’s Day!
No, dearest. Thank you. You made all of this possible. If it weren’t for you, where would I be? Alarmingly thin with only my own bottom to wipe, way too little laundry and only other adults to talk to. I could cry just thinking about it.
Whew! Thank goodness that is not my lot in life. I have the stretch marks, 4-yr-old vocabulary, mountain of laundry and boogers on my shirt hem to prove it.
Back to Mother’s Day — my big day! The day that is all about me! Me… cooking a big dinner to celebrate myself while pasting a smile on my exhausted face so that my little sweeties know how much I love the um, whatever it was they drew on the cards I helped them make me. And a million yeses to cleaning it all up afterwards — there is nothing I love more!
I know I sound sarcastic. I feel sarcastic. You know how I always tell the kids, “You can either laugh or cry,” well, I’m really trying to go the laugh route and sarcasm helps.
I have a few friends who genuinely love mother’s day. I go back and forth. In one moment, I think Mother’s Day was invented by a masochist with a flower farm and excess inventory, and in the next I decide that I can make of it what I want and find my own joy and peace by remembering how lucky I am to have such a lovely family. And then the evil, ungrateful thoughts resurface and the guilt overwhelms me! It’s an ugly cycle!
Those women who truly love Mother’s Day? They are those deeply kind, good-natured, soft-spoken, self-sacrificing women who everyone holds on a pedestal and calls angels. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, you did not marry one –sorry! It makes me feel just a little bad that probably none of our kids will reminisce about their ‘angel mother’ at my funeral. But not bad enough to make me turn over a new leaf!
So I’m trying a new ‘thing’ and I think it’s gonna work, because the alternative won’t be pretty.
Okay, maybe it’s not exactly a new thing. We both know I’ve tried this before, unsuccessfully. Remember last year, when I told you that for Mother’s Day I didn’t want to be the mom? It’s okay (now, because time heals all wounds) that you didn’t get it. That is still what I want, but this time I will be very precise and direct and spell every little thing out. So I guess what I’m trying here is an old thing in a new format.
Like I said before, wink, wink, I think it’s going to work! I bolded the gist of each request and then spelled it out immediately afterward!
Here is what I want this year for Mother’s Day:
Not to be woken up. Just let me sleep in as long as I want. Chances are, I’ll be up well before 8 am, but at least let me try. Now, letting me sleep in doesn’t mean that you enjoy peace and quiet while reading in the bathroom, ignoring the ensuing chaos and hoping that the crying and fighting won’t wake me up. It means that you take my place as referee and that you make sure the kids use actual shampoo in the shower. Please feed them and then clean the kitchen so that it looks like breakfast never happened. You do my job, so I don’t have to. If I encounter bedlam immediately upon waking, no matter how cheerful and well-rested my body will feel, my spirit will not feel grateful.
Not to be mom for just one day. I have a million things on my to-do list that never seem to get done. I would like an entire day to work through my list, or even just binge watch Netflix, no question asked. However, my day off is not your day off. Somebody still needs to make the meals, referee and chauffeur the kids, clean the house (to my standards, and yes, I have made lists) and do the laundry. Otherwise, it is not really a day off for me, but rather a day of procrastination, requiring me to catch up all of the un-done things the next day. I can do procrastination all by myself! My day off does not have to be Mother’s Day. I would actually prefer a coupon to be redeemed at a later date.
Cards from the kids. It’s not that I love cards from the kids so much that I willingly help them make me Mother’s Day cards and then clean it all up. It’s that I want our kids to value and appreciate me. So as we sit and make my cards, I try to help them think up nice and grateful things to say about me, all the while hoping it will sink in to their consciousness. I would be absolutely thrilled if you would get out the card-making supplies and sit at the table with the kids and field all of their word-spelling questions while you tell them how much I’ll love the flowers they are drawing and how much their mommy sacrifices for them. And then could you clean it up afterward? Pretty, please?
Dinner, homemade by you and the kids. Let them plan the menu (I’ll eat gummy-bear muffins and soggy cereal if I have to) and help you shop. I realize that you don’t know which drawer contains the cooking utensils nor where I keep the baking ingredients, but I want you to put on an apron and help them cook. Please laugh with them and sing with them, so it’s a fun memory for them. Don’t get mad at them for spilling milk or exploding eggs all over the microwave. My desire here is twofold. First, I want our children to see you cooking for me. Thank you for going to work every day. (Honestly! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!) We really appreciate your sacrifices to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, but it’s an abstract sort of care and difficult for kids to understand. I want our children to see you cooking for me and enjoying it, because I want them to know you love and value me in a concrete, understood-by-kids, way. Second, I want you to experience cooking with our children. It’s really fun and I hate that you always miss out on it.
Not to have to return something you bought me that I don’t want. I don’t like jewlery. I don’t need a new dress or a new book or flowers that will die when I forget to care of them. I would rather starve than endure brunch at a fancy hotel with all the kids. I really don’t want a pillow, mug, bumper sticker, necklace, t-shirt, hat, or fridge magnet with “WORLD’S BEST MOM” emblazoned across it. It’s way too easy for you to stop at Walmart late the night before a holiday, grab some cheap junk off an endcap and bring it home. I’m not letting you off that easy. Please, just don’t buy me anything. Dinner, cards and a day off will be wonderful — much better than any mom junk I’ll have to sneakily throw away while nobody is looking.
Easy peasy, right? I’ve always been low maintenance, you lucky dog, you. And I’ll return the favor for Father’s Day — I promise! Just write me a letter like this one, so I know exactly what you want.
P. S. The part of this letter that is actually a gift to my husband is the VERY SPECIFIC outline of what I want for Mother’s Day. The rest is just meant to be funny. Okay, I admit, it’s a true-ish kind of funny. (Don’t be offended, guys!) But it won’t go over very well if you gift your husband the entire letter. Be sure to leave out the first part if you decide to write your own letter, ha, ha!
My fellow moms probably don’t want the same gift as me, so your letters will all look very different, but I have it on good authority that men in general do actually want to know exactly what you want. You might want a day at the spa, or for your car to be detailed, or a year’s supply of wine (ha, ha!). Whatever you want, tell your husband exactly, directly and forthrightly. For bonus points, text or email him a photo of the exact item and where he can purchase it. Just so you know (I speak from 22 years of marital experience) your husband doesn’t love you less just because he needs things spelled out. Honest!
P. S. S. Just a couple more things, since we’re on the topic: I would like for chubby bodies to become fashionable again, like during the Renaissance, along with wrinkles. Wouldn’t it be lovely if everyone suddenly realized that facial expressions have a function and bankrupted the cosmetic-surgery industry? And I would like fat-burning ice cream to be invented — the more you eat, the skinnier you get. How does this not exist yet? You’re an engineer, maybe you could talk to a few friends and get working on it?