When I was a kid, mother's day was an event. Even if we weren't doing something or going somewhere (and we rarely did) I was always concious of wanting to make mother's day special for my mom. I appreciated what she did for me, and I wanted to show her. So I made her things, or spent time, effort and my own money planning out what gift to buy her. I went out of my way to be sweet to her on The Day.
And then I moved out on my own, and mother's day became a huge pain in my ass for several years. There was the balancing - making sure neither Wonderful's mom nor mine was getting preferential treatment. There was the fact that I was falling away from my parents and didn't really know what was desired/appropriate to buy my mom anymore. Then, and this was the biggest thing, there was the fact that even though she'll always be my mom, I didn't need mothering anymore. I didn't need drives to the mall, help with my homework, or someone to fold my laundry anymore. My mom and I were at arm's length now. How do you do mother's day at arm's length? What does it mean? What's appropriate?
This is the point where most people, I think, move into a phone call, a card or flowers. For me, I just got bent out of shape and resentful of mother's day.
And then I became a mother - and now mother's day is a whole NEW variety of pain in my ass. The earlier issue was resolved - I sometimes need my mom's help again, so I do in fact feel that a token of appreciation is called for. But now, as the mother of two small kids . . . well . . . I have to think of something to want FOR ME. And everything I can think of - I can think of a 'yeah, but' to go with it. And poor Mr. Wonderful is totally sweating it. I don't blame him.
Allow me to demonstrate:
I would love a spa day of some type - massage, manicure, the whole bit. That would be phenomenal! Yeah, but, I can't be away from Boober for any length of time. He would be very hungry, I would be very engorged.
I need new pants. My jeans are a) too big b) shape-less and approaching hole-y or c) bit of both. New pants would be great! Yeah, but, I have a hard enough time shopping pants on my own without making it someone else's problem. Fashion this season is hideous. The kids have short attention spans. Forget it.
Flowers would be lovely. Nobody doesn't like a vase of flowers! Yeah, but, Mr. Wonderful thinks it would be an abomination and I would have to hear about it for a very, very long time. He would be all down on himself for that one.
Jewellery! Yeah, but, I rarely wear jewellery. Boober is newly grabby, which means no necklaces - the only jewellry I really wear.
A lot of moms want the gift of time. Alone time. Yeah, but, I'm not one of those moms. I really enjoy being with my kids most of the time. And when they're driving me nuts, Wonderful steps in to give me a break.
Other folks suggest letting him do the cooking and cleaning for the day. Yeah, but, that would be just like every other day. I have an awesome husband. If I need help, he readily provides it. As for cleaning - if he doesn't do it, it doesn't get done. I suppose I could suggest a one-time maid service for the deep cleaning, but I'm not sure what that would cost.
Knitting stuff? Used that one up on my birthday. Besides, the yarn shop is in the middle of a move and isn't open yet.
Family movies would be great . . . actually, that one works. Yeah, it's mostly for the kids, but the time it buys me is great!
Practical stuff is too practical, frivolous thoughts are focussed on the kids. All in all, we're both getting stressed over it.
Maybe I should tell him to take Sweet Pea out for an hour or two. Maybe a gift certificate for a manicure would be good. Maybe I should just throw in the towel.