With the Mother's Day weekend upon us I am forced once again to reflect on why I really don't like this holiday. I made the poor gal at the bank uncomfortable when in her best customer-service-perk she inquired as to whether or not I had children, and then if I had "exciting plans" for Mother's Day. I told her honestly I'd rather skip it.
"But it's your day!"
Is it? Really? Or is it for the most part an anti-climactic day that is not really as great as we tell you it is? Maybe I've just been disillusioned over the last 18 years worth of Mother's Days. Perhaps it's the teenager's apathy to pretty much everything that has rubbed off on me. But, there is this commercial build-up that is never really attainable. The commercials depicting the "surprise" breakfast in bed and little velvet box from our somehow-still-smitten husband are kind of crap.
Now don't get me wrong, I've had my share of great Mother's Day celebrations. I have been woken up by 3 smiling children with partially-toasted toast, not quite perfectly prepared coffee, and a beautiful new jewelry box (which still sits on my night side stand). I have had my husband attend church with me less-begrudgingly than usual, and then take me to my favorite restaurant with reservations he'd made weeks in advance.
For the most part they fall flat. Not for lack of effort or desire on the part of my husband and my kids, but simply because there is just no way for me to just have a whole Day. Could you go to work and simply sit there all day while everything happened around you? This public delusion that as Mom's we are somehow on vacation one day a year is ridiculous.
I don't want to go out to an over-crowded restaurant for breakfast/lunch/dinner. I'd rather cook. And I'd rather not spend the whole time thinking about the small mortgage the bill is going to be for taking this many people out anywhere. I don't want my husband to go out and buy a gift and flowers because the calendar says he should. I know it's a lot to expect, but I'd love it if he'd just bring home flowers on his way home from work because he thought I'd like it when he stopped to pick up the milk I forgot earlier. Or a whispered "you really don't suck at this" would be nice. I could skip the half dozen cards from the kids, whose only involvement was signing what he shoved under their noses (I do really like the mushy ones that I get from my husband though). The best gift I could have from my kids? Do your friggin' laundry. All of it. Like I would do it. Just once. Please. Ignore the snarky remark from your sister. Just this once. Don't make a snarky remark to your sister. Just this once. Please. Refrain from all the discussion about all the stuff you have planned for someone else's mom that is just so awesome. I can run through my list of why I'm failing miserably at this mom thing without reminders, thanks.
Now as a grown child I have a different view on Mother's Day for my own mother (and mother-in-law; thanks for that boy of yours, by way. He's pretty awesome). It's the reminder I need to send my mom flowers because she really should get them more often and for no reason. And I know she understands that raising a family is a lot of work and I can barely remember who I'm supposed to pick up at which school before what activity; let alone remembering to be appreciative of the fact that's she's my (his) mom. As a grown child, Mother's Day is an opportunity to send flowers or a gift that, regardless of the card, says "Thank you for not killing me. I know I probably deserved it.".
Hopefully I'll get there with my kids one day. If they make it...