Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off?

Posted on May 12, 2012 in Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

…{This is a draft from a couple of years ago and I wanted to run it because tomorrow I anticipate one of those Mother’s Days that doesn’t quite measure up. When your kids are young, the success of Mother’s Day often depends on the planning of your partner/co-parent and this year Aaron has a lot going on. Our business is busier than it’s ever been, we’re building a cabin, Aaron’s looking at buying some new equipment for our business this week. There’s a pretty good possibility that there will be no gift, no card and no relaxing day given that Aaron hasn’t had a free moment to shop, we have no groceries in the house and we’ll probably spend the day at our building site. And still, I don’t hate Mother’s Day. I still think it’s a good idea. Have a read below if you want to know why.}…

bouquet

 

In case you somehow missed it, yesterday was Mother’s Day. I had a really great day and surprisingly, after 5 years of Mother’s Days it was the first time I had an open conversation with Aaron about what I want for Mother’s Day. Hopefully, that will mean that future Mother’s Days will be just as enjoyable.

What do I want?

I want to sleep in a bit. I want someone to say Happy Mother’s Day when I wake up. I want to spend the day together as a family, maybe go for a walk, maybe garden, maybe go for lunch.

I don’t want a day focused on getting stuff done.  I don’t want to be solely responsible for child care for large portions of the day. I don’t need a gift. I don’t mind making dinner. I just want to spend a nice day together. And maybe every few years it might be nice to be surprised with a pedicure or massage. This seems pretty simple in the wants department.

That’s pretty much how yesterday went and that’s why I loved it. It was simple but it was still an acknowledgement that I am appreciated.

Over the weekend I read a lot of blog posts about Mother’s Day. Most were along the lines of “I hate Mother’s Day. It’s too much pressure. It’s fake. It’s a Hallmark Holiday. It never measures up. I don’t want to be given corny poetry and flowers telling me that I am good at cleaning the house and washing laundry. I don’t want all this built-up fuss over ONE day when my family should do nice things for me all year, should appreciate me every day.

You know what? I get that. I’ve had crappy Mother’s Days. I’ve had days where my family forgot. They sucked. And it’s true, we should appreciate our moms and dads every day of the year. We should randomly do nice things for people for no reason all year long.

But know what else? The truth is we don’t. We forget. We get busy living our lives. We take each other for granted. We take relationships for granted. We think of picking up a gift just because but we don’t end up acting on it. It seems extravagant or we’re in a hurry or we don’t have the money. How often do you sit down with the kids and draw I love daddy cards, just because? I don’t do it as much as I should. It’s sad, but it’s true.

That’s why we have birthdays. That’s why we have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. That’s why every day of the year is an acknowledgment of something. This week is Nurses Week. Should we abolish Nurses Week because we should appreciate nurses every day? May 5 was International Day of the Midwife. Should we not go to the effort of thanking our midwives and spreading word about the job they do just because it’s an arbitrary day on the calendar that has nothing to do with anything?

I realise that often these honorary days come across pretty phony and I agree with a lot of the Mother’s Day angst out there.  But I just don’t buy the line that it’s stupid to set aside a day to remind us about the wonderful jobs mothers do everyday.

Mother’s Day doesn’t give us an excuse to neglect our moms the rest of the year. The dialogue created around Mother’s Day is perhaps a good thing to remind us to do better year round. Mother’s Day is a chance to start over every year. It’s a chance to say, “Hey, I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you for being you and for being in my life. I should tell you that every day and I’m sorry that I forget. I’m going to try to do better. Starting today.”

…{Given that I still think Mother’s Day is a good idea, how am I dealing with the fact that tomorrow might be a let down? I decided not to be coy. No pretending. No hints. No secret hopes. I just brought up the conversation today, openly. I acknowledged that we’ve been really busy and that it’s really ok if we don’t do anything tomorrow. I’d rather we celebrate some other time instead of scrambling to do a half-hearted attempt out of some sense of obligation tomorrow.}…

So tell me, how do you feel about Mother’s Day? Are you open with your family about expectations around Mother’s Day?

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