How many of you got a “fine” out of your mother or the mother of your children on Sunday? You know, that “fine” that makes you know that things are not fine.
Or was it this reaction? “Oh, you shouldn’t have. No really. You shouldn’t have.”
Did you completely fail to please the mom in your life on Mother’s Day?
Let me give you a tip, and this only applies to moms of children still living at home. All we really want ... is to be left alone.
I’m not big on the commercialism of holidays, especially these silly made-up holidays, which only lead to a big disappointment, missed expectations and making those who cannot have children, have been trying for years to have children or have lost children, spend all day in bed crying. (My heart goes out to you. I’ve stood by friends struggling to get pregnant, and I lost my first baby before I ever even met it. So trust me when I say, I said a very special prayer for you Sunday.)
They make people spend money they don’t have on things people don’t need.
My ideal Mother’s Day is being allowed to sleep late, eating breakfast in bed and not having to change the first diaper. My daughter Sophie is 18 months old. I also would like to go to the bathroom without a hand appearing under the door, would like to take a shower without her mom-dar going off and without having to play peek-a-boo with the shower curtain and would like to eat without having pintos thrown on me.
I woke up to my Sophie wanting to snuggle, which was followed by my husband entering the bedroom with a beautiful breakfast — stuffed pancakes with fresh berries and veggie sausage, which prompted a high pitched “bite, bite, bite, biiiiiite, bitebitebitebite” out of my daughter. I gave her bites of my strawberries until Chris produced a stuffed pancake and fruit for her.
I crawled out of bed and made the mistake of seeing the mess my kitchen was in. I scowled and mumbled a quick “you know you’re cleaning that right?” before getting ready for work and heading into the newsroom.
It was a pretty good day. I’d call it a success.
But if you messed up, I think there’s still time to redeem yourself. Try again this weekend.
Maybe you thought taking her out to eat was a good idea instead of saying “take the day off to do whatever you want.”
Did you wait on Sunday at a crowded restaurant full of screaming kids running in circles around the tables? Did she spend the entire time bouncing the baby with one arm while trying to cut a piece of chicken with the other all while saying to your other child “feet belong on the floor and not in the mashed potatoes, and where are your shoes anyway?”
I believe most mothers of children still living at home are craving time alone, not time alone to do dishes or fold laundry, but time alone to remember that we’re still women who have interests of our own. For me, a nice long run, a pedicure and/or a massage is all I need to feel rejuvenated again. If I had time to pull out my watercolors, or do a charcoal drawing, that would be even better. (I haven’t picked up a paintbrush once since Sophie was born.) Or maybe the mom in your life just wants three hours to play Candy Crush Saga. Whatever it is, just give it to her with some good chocolate and a smile on your face.
So this weekend, try saying “I appreciate you and your hard work, and we just want you to feel relaxed. Go do whatever you want for the rest of the day.”
And to the moms, take it! Don’t pretend you want to be home breaking up fights, stepping on Legos and scraping melted army men out of the microwave. It’s OK to spend time alone. I believe you’ll be a better mother for that break.
If you’re one of those who thought giving the mom in your life an appliance was a good idea, I’m not sure what to tell you. Maybe you should be the only one to use that appliance for the next two months. No, make it six. No one wants a gift that reminds them of dirty underwear, grass stains or the mess you left in the kitchen following last night’s poker game.
Only gardeners need plants. Moms have enough to do without having to worry about watering a house plant. Some of us can even kill cacti. So if you got her a plant, replace it with chocolate.
If you got her a pair of pants in a size that’s too big, replace it with chocolate.
Basically if you got her any bad gift, replace it this weekend with chocolate.
If you got her chocolate, and her children ate it all, give her more. Actually, just give her more anyway.
To all you moms out there, I hope you have a wonderful do-over Mother’s Day full of chocolate and relaxation this weekend!
Murray County native Misty Watson is a photographer and staff writer for The Daily Citizen. Share your Mother’s Day stories with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook, facebook.com/MistyWatsonDCN.