Mother’s Day. The one day a year where we remember all the good things mom does or has done for us. As kids, my sister and I delighted in bringing mom a Mother’s Day gift made from pieces of paper precisely glued together and decorated with crayon scribbles. Once, she and I proudly presented a trinket jewelry box from the discount store that unfortunately fell apart within a few weeks. As we grew older, we began to recognize that mom would love to receive something a bit more meaningful, and we confidently carried a tray of perfectly arranged breakfast food, strong roasted coffee, candy, flowers and a mushy card to mom’s room while we sat somewhat quietly near her as she slept.
As a mom, I can recall giving my mom these things, and receiving them over the years. While I appreciate all the burnt toast, runny egg breakfasts and coffee with grounds in the bottom of the cup, I realized the best Mother’s Day gift is not created, conceived or purchased, it’s the gift of time.
Luckily, the perfect Mother’s Day gift of time can be easily given. Keep in mind however, a mother goes through different “time” phases depending on the ages and stages of the children. Let me explain:
For the mommy whose children are newborn through age two:
The new mommy needs a night of sleep. Uninterrupted sleep. Amazing things happen when the human body returns to a full night of REM. Give it a try — take yourself and the kids to visit that relative in the next state and give mom 24 hours of quiet, consistent, peaceful time and needed sleep in her own bed, her own home. Chances are, she will hit the hay from the moment you all walk out the door and wake up the full 24 hours later.
I can recall when my daughter was a baby, it would take me two hours trying to get out of the house. By the time we did manage to venture out, I had already been peed on, puked on and so frazzled, that I questioned if I really needed toilet paper, chicken and coffee or could it wait. (Yes, I needed the coffee!) (Read: Personal Time Out: One Mom’s Sanity Saver)
For the mommy whose children are ages 3-10
Take two! You see, we love the crafts, the roses and the chocolates. We appreciate the breakfast in bed, the brunch and the “dinner at mom’s favorite place,” but what we REALLY want is a time out. Yes, we need a couple days of mom-reprieve. We need a chance to decompress, disconnect and for once, have an opportunity to shower, do our hair and put our makeup on as we did pre-childbirth days, and to do all those things all in one day at the same sitting. Yes, 48 hours of mom being “insert name” will recharge her batteries and ignite her soul.
For the mommy whose children are pre-teen through age 18.
Yes, she is tired of the back-talk, the silent treatment, the teen angst, hormonal mood-swings, serving as the chauffeur, maid, cook and servant on-demand. She will also welcome the break of dancing on eggshells while walking on water… (I suggest it begin Friday at 9am), Letting mom do her thing, either alone or with other mom’s, doesn’t mean she loves her family less, it means a welcome break of worry, stress and rediscovering the fun of doing whatever, whenever for 72 hours. Heck, throw in a spa treatment too — it will not work against you.
While all Mother’s Day gifts all well-intentioned, think of the aftereffects of traditional gifts.
Usually, mom ends up spending the day (or, the following day) picking up the Mother’s Day gift messes: the food concoction that became breakfast, the “let’s help mommy do the laundry” clothes that were left in the wash that became full of mildew, or the “fun day out as a family” that was more playing defense when little Timmy wouldn’t cooperate under dad’s command and mom ended up frazzled and exhausted.
As you can see, the Mother’s Day gift she won’t tell you she wants will be one in which will she will appreciate, remember and give many thanks.
Do you have Mother’s Day gift story you’d like to share? Drop us a line; we’d like to hear from you and possibly, feature your story in an upcoming blog.
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