Friday, May 4, 2012

A Change In Mother's Day Perspective

Okay, my friends, I'm going to come out with it. I like big butts and I cannot lie. Also, I actually don't really like Mother's Day.

I know. I'm such a Debbie Downer.

I never had a problem with it until I became a mother. Now, let me give you a little background. I've always disliked Valentine's Day (yes, Valentine's Day, that's not a typo). In a relationship or not, Valentine's Day has always been such a crock to me because I would see all around me how it basically sets the ladies up to expect some seriously amazing, romantic times, only to be let down, disappointed, and angry but denying it. (No, I'm fine, really. I HATE you, you cock-sucking motherfucker. NO RING?? No romantic dinner or you shouting in the rain from the rooftops about how you will LOVE and ADORE me FOREVER?? No rose petal trail into the bedroom and glittery jewelry awaiting me on my pillow? YOU SUCK! No, really, sweetie, I'm totally fine. I loved your incredibly funny card explaining that the only pillows you want to sleep on are attached to my chest. Awesome. I feel really special.)

See? I just can't get on board with all that disappointment and let down. Nate actually got pretty lucky in marrying me; I have no standards for the day so he's off the hook. We ignore the day completely. 

And I see that Mother's Day is heading down or has been on that same path. But unlike Valentine's Day, Mother's Day is not something I want to sweep under the rug and ignore. A day to celebrate all that mothers are and do is definitely deserved and in order.


My first Mother's Day crashed and burned because all I wanted was for Nate to get up with Ethan (who was 9 months old and not sleeping through the night) so I could sleep in. That's it. Nothing special. Nothing expensive or ridiculous. That was literally all I wanted for Mother's Day and let's just say that I didn't get it. I was pissed and hurt. And seriously sleep-deprived. Another year, I heard him ask his mom what she wanted to do, and he hadn't even asked me yet. Kinda stung. Especially since he then ended up not even asking me at all. (And for the record, Nate's not usually a dick. He just hasn't figured out the Mother's Day thing.)


So, I started paying attention to what happens on Mother's Day for the moms around me, and read magazine articles and online posts from other mothers about it. 


The jury (of one) is in: Many, many mothers are disappointed on Mother's Day. It's just like Valentine's Day. 


But with one important difference. It appears to me that, across the board, moms don't expect a lot of fanfare. A lot of moms just want Dad to simply take over for the day with the kids and mundane tasks. They want a day off, for once - and they're not getting it.


I'll use one example/complaint, that I've heard more than once, to illustrate my point: while Mom appreciates the breakfast in bed (or maybe sometimes not the actual breakfast, but the gesture), when she has to clean up the giant mess the kids made in the kitchen to prepare it because Dad didn't clean up, it takes away from the gesture. 

And let's face it, when the kids are young, it falls to dad to do the acknowledging of mom for them. However, in general, men are not the party planners. The women usually plan the weddings, birthdays, holidays. So for a guy to have to come up with something to celebrate the mother of his kids (and his own mom, too) might be a tall order.


Now, I'm not always for letting people off the hook just because they are hopeless. But this seems to be a losing battle and I think that a change in perspective is in order. So, something occurred to me. Instead of waiting for Nate to *not* ask me what I want to do, and doing what his mom wants to do, I'm going to make my own plans. I'm taking charge of "my" day.


This is what I'm doing. A spa that I have had gift certificates to for years is open. I'm getting a massage. And I need to check and see if the nail place that I also have had a gift certificate to for years (what is wrong with me??) will be open. If it is, I'm getting a manicure. And I talked to a good mommy friend and we might pick up some yummy goodies and champagne, and take them somewhere fun, like the beach, and shoot the shit for a while. (Screw the overcrowded restaurants. And did I just admit that I might indulge in public drinking? Oopsie.) 


So in short:




Moms, if Mother's Day hasn't quite been working out to be all that you've wanted it to be, then let Dude off the hook (something tells me that many of them will be secretly relieved) and make your own plans, doing exactly what you want to do. Let go of what you feel that you should do, like spend the day with the kids when you really might want some alone time, let go of the assumption that Hubs can read your mind and plan a great day for you, and go do what you actually want to do.


And then, come Father's Day, return the favor. 



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13 comments:

  1. I completely agree; about every made up holiday. I think that the idea of gift giving has gotten completely out of hand. Many people buy gifts for people, for birthdays, Christmas, made-up holidays, just to buy gifts because people expect gifts. And not only do people expect gifts, they expect extravagant things. What happened to thoughtful gifts? Handmade gifts? I personally believe that, regardless of reason or holiday, a gift should be given because it made you think of the person you're giving it to - which is why the ol' saying goes "it's the thought that counts"! Plus, who doesn't love to receive a for-no-reason-gift rather than an expected one?

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    1. Yes! You make some very good and true points about gifts. My husband and I often won't get gifts for each other and instead DO stuff for each other or together (well... except that 1st Mother's Day...). For instance, we've been married for almost 9 years and the only time we've given each other anniversary gifts was for the first one. And then we realized that it was kind of dumb... what is the point? Thanks for being married to me; here's your present? :-) It's all overwhelming. I love the unexpected over the expected!

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  2. well put. about the line about returning the favor on father's day: it must be father's day 5 and a half frickin' days a week in this house. enjoy your spa day - i think i'll follow suit! thx for the idea!

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    1. Thanks! I hope you do follow suit, or at least just get to do what you want! Have a happy Mother's Day!

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    2. thanks! happy mama's day to you too! :)

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    1. So....just how do you celebrate fathers day?.. I know, every day is fathers day.... Do you really feel good about the commercial aspect of having hallmark tell you when to celebrate "mothers" day. And if you're going to make your own plans to celebrate mothers day maybe you could change the date so that it fell on, who knows, maybe superbowl sunday so you wouldn't get in the way at home... and take two bottles of champagne so that when you come home hubby might get lucky. Could work out for everybody, ya got a great idea.. LOL.. ja

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    2. So Father's Day, I basically ask Nate to tell me what he wants to do, and we sometimes have joined up (per his wishes) with his father and done a mutual celebration. And I hit up all the diaper changes, teeth brushing, meal prep and stuff like that (give him the day off from it all). The boys and I make him a card, and let him chill or just do what he wants.

      You know, I don't really feel good about the commercial aspect, as you probably picked up from my Valentine's Day opposition, but like Christmas and Thanksgiving, it's one that we still celebrate in spite of that! We ignore about half of the "holidays" that people in the U.S. celebrate, but this isn't one of them.

      Ha, if we changed the date to Superbowl Sunday, then I wouldn't be around to keep the boys out of his hair so he could actually hear and pay attention to the game! :-) But changing the date a good idea. And so is two bottles of champagne! ;-)

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    3. Addie said she was going to take me to dinner anywhere I wanted to go. I asked her how she was going to be able to pay for that, and she looked at me like I was stupid and replied "I'm just going to use one of those credit cards from your purse, that seems to work for you".

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    4. HA!! That's awesome! Duh, Mom!

      Hope you two have a good one! And that you can actually eat... :-)

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  4. Best Mother's Day ever: my grown daughters (in their 20s... see how long I had to wait?) pooled their money and got me a cleaning team who came in and totally cleaned my house top to bottom. I just sat there and relaxed and watched. It took four cleaning ladies, a whole day, a bottle of merlot, and two romance novels. Best Present Ever! Then my girls had kids of their own. That was the end of good presents. Now I just get handmade cards from the grandkids. Cute. (sigh)

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    1. That is so awesome!! And what a great idea! Your daughters are great.

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