Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day: What We Really Want

This year I vow to not be the passive aggressive mother that pretends to appreciate the spontaneously planned family brunch at a semi-fancy restaurant with cloth napkins and no crayons, while inside desperately wishing to be sipping this mimosa without the company of children.  I am not going to pretend to accept the homemade hand print in white plaster as adequate appreciation for the tireless job I preform each day.  No, this year, I will make it perfectly clear as to how I want to celebrate Mother's Day. 

I don't want flowers, I don't want chocolate, and I definitely do not want to be woken up early with breakfast in bed.  I don't even want jewelry!  Handmade cards and necklaces made of Cheerios are a nice addition to this day, but by no means enough in of themselves.
This year I want to celebrate mother's day by spending a few hours (maybe even the whole day) forgetting that I am a mother.  I want to lounge in a spa chair being massaged by a half naked man with the body of David Beckham, the face of Colin Farrell, and the speaking ability of Silent Bob.   I want to lie relaxed with cool cucumber slices over my eyes without worrying what mischief my children may find when I'm not looking.  I want to eat a meal without scolding a pint-sized progeny for throwing bread at the next table.  I want a mini-vacation from my life, is this too much to ask? 

Remarking that gift giving between couples can be difficult. would be like stating that Elmo is annoying- completely obvious and unnecessary.  While my husband has given me his fair share of wonderful presents, I have also received the following birthday gifts:
  • a set of Williams-Sanoma wooden salad bowls  
  • a pink vacuum cleaner
  • a People Magazine and US Weekly (single issues, not subscriptions)
Maybe because we have been together for over a decade, or maybe because my focus now lies with the offspring, or maybe because my expectations were significantly lowered when he handed me the plastic bag with magazines inside, but whatever the reason, I no longer have the need for him to surprise me with thoughtful tokens of his love.

In the past few years I have decided to never again be disappointed on my birthday nor Mother's Day.  A week or two before, I vow to elucidate exactly how I want to spend the day and what I would like to be gifted.  This year for my birthday, my husband planned (as per my detailed request) an evening away at a nearby hotel.  In addition, I needed a new jewelry box, which I insisted on researching and choosing.  It was a lovely birthday, and my present was precisely what I wanted.

This week I explained to Ted how the events of Sunday (Mother's Day) will transpire.  At 12:20, before nap time, I will leave the house, alone in my car and have a luxurious thirty-minute childless car ride to a new spa in Menlo Park.  After spending the afternoon with a friend being pampered by the half-naked gods, Ted will ditch the girls with a babysitter and join me for dinner at a nice restaurant.   In the end, it really doesn't matter that I planned the whole day.  This is what matters: no kids + no responsibilities + massage + pedicure = bliss!

If the husbands/children reading this post are still on the fence about granting the mother in their life this "day off", here are a few statistics to help persuade you:  (courtesy of
  • 88% of laundry is done by moms.  This totals 330 loads of laundry and 5,300 articles of clothing each year.
  • Women average 2.2 hrs/day on chores, versus 1.3 hrs/day for men.
  •  54% of children eat breakfast and 79% eat dinner daily with their moms, compared to only 41% and 66% with their fathers.
  • Preschooler requires mom's attention once every 4 minutes or 210 times/day
  • The average woman is in labor for 16 hours!!!

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