Don’t forget Mother’s Day this coming weekend! Remember to tell her how much you care and appreciate her! Treat her like she is #1! Let Mom know that she is the best with a gift! Treat your mother to something special on Mother’s Day! These are just some of the statements you hear lately on TV, radio, and internet ads. As if there was some kind of imminent storm or battle coming and you better arm yourself with the best Mother’s Day plan or else!
Mother’s Day used to be stressful in our house. I don’t like a big fuss, but some acknowledgment is always nice. I never want a big party or a BBQ or a weekend trip; I just want everyone in my family to be together. That doesn’t seem like a huge thing to ask for, especially since it’s just my husband, my six-year old son, and myself. However, my husband’s job is not a normal 9-5 office hours during the week. He is an investigator and that means that if something bad is happening, even on weekends and holidays and late nights, he is most likely working. With spring being warmer and days a little longer, having him home hasn’t always been easy. Still, all I really want is for all of us to be together.
In the beginning, when my son was very young, we always ended up delaying Mother’s Day. It never failed that on Mother’s Day, my husband would be working. So, we would put Mother’s Day off until the next weekend. When we did this, I didn’t want a hint of Mother’s Day on the actual Mother’s Day. Why? It just reminded me that we were not together and it was just easier to ignore that fact until the following weekend. But I meant it when I said that I wanted to completely ignore the actual holiday and pretend it was the following weekend. This was something that my husband would feel badly about and not listen to what I requested, and it infuriated me. He would still leave flowers or a card in the morning before he left for work, and then say “Have a nice day” as he would walk out the door, leaving me with a toddler to take care of on my own. A day of diapers, cooking meals, cleaning up, and entertaining – a regular day for me at the time. It was depressing. No one was listening to me. I thought “It’s Mother’s Day. Shouldn’t my family at least listen to what I would want? I wasn’t asking for a lot.” Then the following weekend we would just go out to dinner. It had lost it’s luster and didn’t feel like any kind of celebration.
Father’s Day would always be different. Breakfast in bed, BBQing, baseball games, afternoon drinks, lounging around tinkering with whatever the Father’s Day gift was, ending with his favorite meal and a nice bottle of wine. Father’s Day is always better, probably because Mom plans it!
After years of unfulfilling, but not unappreciated, Mother’s Days, I became much more insistent on being together. It wasn’t worth pretending to be happy with whatever attention I was given. I made my dismay known, and thankfully my husband finally listened! (I think he was also tired of trying to figure out what I wanted, even though I would state each year that I just wanted him to be home.) The last couple of years, all three of us have been together the entire day. Even though it rained all day last year, we sat through a Scranton Railrider’s baseball game and went out to dinner, soaking wet, at Oliveri’s. It was the best Mother’s Day so far! We sat behind home plate and I got to watch my husband, a former Varsity catcher, teach my then five-year old how to recognize the different pitches being hurled in and some game strategies. Watching this made me happier on Mother’s Day, even in the rain, than getting flowers or a thoughtless gift.
So the lesson here? Listen to the mother in your life on what she wants. She plans and coordinates every other holiday there is for you – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, Valentine’s Day and anniversaries, even President’s Day. She plans your lunch and dinner; she makes sure you take your vitamins; she makes sure you leave the house in clean(ish) clothes; she drives you wherever you want to go, most of the time; she picks you up when you fall down and doesn’t laugh at you when you goof up, at least not at your face. She’s your mom, the woman who takes care of you and loves you unconditionally. So if she wants to go to the spa, or see a movie by herself, or go to a nice restaurant, or get flowers and a sparkly bracelet, or even not be a mom for a day, then do it!
Happy Mother’s Day!