Moms will tell you they want nothing for Mother’s Day. Some will tell you that you are enough. Your cute little faces and your sticky little hands. She means it, for about an hour Mother’s Day morning while you are serving her breakfast in bed and handing her sweet homemade gifts. They really are the best Mother’s Day gifts of all; tiny handprints and papier Mache flowers made with love and baby spit add to it a sweetly scribbled I love you by your little one and you are mommy mush.
But that’s not what she really wants. What every mother wants for Mother’s Day is the day off. No cleaning. No dishes. No laundry. No cooking. No obligations.
Quite frankly, the best Mother’s Day gift is the day off from mom duty.
Don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s us. Just kidding, it’ you.
Being a mom is amazing. I love being a mom 364 days a year. Ok, maybe it’s more like 355 days a year but I need days off people. Even the janitor gets 2 days off a week.
But most moms are too afraid to say it out loud because they don’t want to offend anyone, least of all aforementioned children and the man who helped make this dream of motherhood come true. But if I’m being completely honest, and I am speaking on behalf of 99.9% of the moms (I know because I took an unofficial poll of moms drinking wine and dropping truth bombs) we all want the day off.
I want to sleep in until I wake up. Then by all means, please bring me a hot breakfast in bed with milky hot coffee. Spoiler alert, mommy does not like cold food. I never have, baby. To be honest, cold food is kind of disgusting. I’d rather not eat at all. I’ve been faking it for years.
I don’t want to do anything. I want no obligations. I want to move freely in the world with no one tethered to my side. I want to play the music I want to hear at the degree of loudness I want to listen to it and I want to dance without you looking at me like I’m a weirdo.
I want to watch whatever R rated movie or mind-numbing television I want to watch with no regard for what you want to do. I want to take a long, hot bath with no one knocking on the door or hearing bickering children. I want more out of life than an unlocked, half-open bathroom door where I take a semi-private timed race piss. I want privacy.
I want time to be able to fix my hair, put on my makeup, iron my clothes and get ready without having to be somewhere. I don’t want to get ready while you rush me because I need to taxi you someplace I never wanted to go in the first place. And no, your obnoxious friend who never shuts up and is entirely too loud cannot come over today. No child that hasn’t sprung from my vagina cannot be in my house on Mother’s Day. Go bother your own mom.
I don’t want to have to break up any sibling fights. Suffer the wrath of any rolling eyeballs or be subjected to listening to endless hours of you. On this one sacred day, can it please be about me? For the love of God, can I eat strawberry ice cream? You are probably wondering what the hell I mean by this.
It has come to my attention recently that my favorite ice cream is fresh strawberry ice cream. However, fresh strawberry ice cream will never be found in my house. Want to know why? Because my children don’t like strawberry ice cream and apparently, I live my life around their happiness and forget about my own. Well, not today suckers! I am eating strawberry ice cream while drinking vodka and watching a Fifty Shades of Gray marathon. Just kidding, no fucking way am I wasting my day off watching a movie whose book reads like it was written by an illiterate teenager.
Mostly, I want to have choices to do what I want to do, free of the influence of what everyone else around me wants to do. I think all moms deserve a day off to spend however they want to without guilt or retribution. If she wants to spend it with you, she’ll call you. You don’t have to call her.
I won’t lie, I am pretty lucky. The Big Guy figured me out around my 3rd Mother’s Day. He came in and said, don’t lift a finger. I’ll take care of everything. Take the day off. And that’s when I decided he’s never getting rid of me. We are lobsters. I’m never taking my claws off him. This man gets me.
So if you think taking mom to brunch and making her hang out with the kids all day is what mother’s day is all about, you have missed the memo. We get it. We’re moms. We do it every single day. If you want to make things special. Take the kids to the park or the movies and give mom time to relax and think, maybe catch up on her favorite binge-watching a show or take that long hot bath with her 80’s music blaring. Give her time to miss you and appreciate the kids. Hell, go crazy take them away for the weekend. Come back on Sunday for the celebration.
If you want to throw some flowers, chocolate, and diamonds at us, we don’t mind. Those are the cherries on top of motherhood. But what we really want is the day off to do what we want. Think of it this way dads, on Father’s day, you probably don’t spend the day at home being held, hostage. Most dad’s get the day to go golfing or bowling or whatever it is that men like to do without kids. Why is that? Because sometimes you just want to feel like a human and not just someone’s parent. Well, we moms…we feel the same way.
Don’t get me wrong, we love those little people we created (probably more than you, if we’re being honest. After all, we’ve been known to horde teeth and umbilical cords. Some of us have even sucked snot out of babies noses and masticated their food. (not me of course. I’d never do that to food. Besides babies don’t eat cucumbers 😉 ) The thing is all good things in moderation.
We will happily accept your gifts and your notes but know, what we really want is peace and permission to be ourselves; a day to exhale. I guess what I’m really trying to say is just give mom a lot of love and a little space this Mother’s Day.
But in all seriousness, be kind to all the moms you know; yours, the mother of your children, your friends who are pregnant and even those desperately struggling to become pregnant and especially those moms who have lost babies and those who have lost their moms. And really, be kind to your mom every day, once a year is not nearly enough to show ample affection for the woman who gave you life.
What’s the best Mother’s Day gift you ever received and what’s at the top of your list?
P.S. I Love you, mom.
! Happy Mother’s Day!