By DR. KAREN LATIMER
I went shopping today. Just a few days before Mother's Day, and the mall was packed ... with moms. I went to the card store, and the Mother's Day section was packed ... with moms. I stopped at the food store and the aisles were packed ... you get the idea.
If you are a mother, there's a good chance you have a mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, godmother, godmothers to your children and random "you are just like a mom to me" women. Maybe you are hosting, maybe you are visiting, maybe you are just spending the day with your own kids, but in any of these scenarios, Mother's Day is a lot of work for ... yup, you guessed it, moms.
And, for what? It is a day which starts with you cleaning all your linens after a failed surprise breakfast in bed, and quickly moves on to you making ridiculous exclamations of awe at things like clay bedazzled blobs meant to be God-only-knows what. These will sadly sit on your kitchen table for months. Likely you will end up wearing a macaroni necklace and will be covered in glitter and glue from a not-yet-dry masterpiece. Maybe your husband got you some last minute gifts, which he decides to wrap at the eleventh hour – all the while shouting for someone to bring him tape and paper. You'll spend the next week trying to find time for returns, the return being time sensitive because he didn't save the receipts.
While he is wrapping or helping the kids make last minute cards, you will be getting everything ready for whatever joys are in store for you. If you have older kids, much of the day will be spent sweating on athletic fields. If you're lucky, at the end of the game, your child will bring you a wilted flower that the coach's wife (me) picked up to try to make the kids, I mean the moms, feel special.
Then, it is off to lunch or dinner somewhere. Maybe you are with family. Maybe you are with your mother-in-law. You are probably with your kids. Even if the men actually do all the cooking – after the moms have done all the shopping and prep – it might not be the Mother's Day of your dreams.
This got me thinking – what do moms really want? I know what I want, but I'm only one. I can't speak for every mom. It turns out, however, I can speak for a lot of them. I asked a bunch of moms the simple question, "What do you want for Mother's Day?" I got an early, wonderful Mother's day gift. Not only did some of them have me laughing so hard my sides were splitting, I am so relieved it isn't just me!
It is worth noting the moms I asked are some of the most wonderful and dedicated mothers I know. They are working moms and stay at home moms. They are boy moms and girl moms. They have both young and older children. They are kind and thoughtful people, intelligent women, and caring parents. They love their children passionately and unconditionally. They would walk through fire for them. And what they want most on Mother's Day, is a f*%#ing break.
In no particular order, here is what mothers say they want for Mother's Day.
Every single day, we cheer for, care for, clean for, cook for, and even fight for our children. We console, discipline, worry, instruct and intervene. We hug and kiss them and tell them we love them. They hug and kiss us and tell us they love us. If the only thing different about Sunday is that we had to buy and wrap a gift for our mother-in-law, why bother?