17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Best Mother's Day Ever

There is a family legend of sorts that gets retold every year right around this time. It happened years ago, back when my sister had a house full of children (now three of them are married and gone). The day was Mother's Day and her husband and children did NOTHING. Or what they did do was an obvious, last-minute, half-assed attempt to honor their mother. I can't remember which. Personally, both are pretty bad in my book. So, at the close of this truly pathetic Mother's Day, my sister gathered her family together and told them she was officially declaring that the next Sunday would again be Mother's Day. She was giving them another chance to do it right.

I might be getting the story all wrong. I did say the story has become a legend which means the facts might be changed, but the moral has remained intact. You may disagree with the moral and/or the tactic, but I just love it. And I'll be honest, I'm probably the only one that retells this story every year...to my husband...as a reminder that I, like my sister, will not accept a less than fabulous Mother's Day.

But the truth is, I am really not sure what makes a truly fabulous Mother's Day.

When I was younger, we would always spend Mother's Day doting on my mom. Breakfast in bed, lunch, dinner all prepared and cleaned up by the family. It seemed like the least we could do given that the other 364 days of the year she cared for us. But, she would always tell us how uncomfortable she felt when we served her because the thing that made her the most happy was serving us. I never understood it. I mean, I do get joy from serving my family, but I am more than happy to be served as well. What would make the best Mother's Day ever for my own mom?

Last year, I remember talking to some Tales girls about Mother's Day and it seemed like the thing we wanted most (and what we got) was to a break from our Mothering duties. When I think about it, it's sort of a strange request for Mother's Day. Right?

I think my best Mother's Day ever falls somewhere between these two extremes. I would love to have my children around me, but maybe only when they are clean, happy and fed. I would love to have a nice meal where we all work to make it together, but I don't want to clean up. I would love any gift homemade or bought that said to me: "we spent some time thinking about you and what you might like." I am not looking for extravagance. Just thoughtfulness.

What would make the Best Mother's Day ever for you? And what are doing for your own mother?

(Maybe we'll get some husbands to stop by and take a look so we won't have to have any "do-overs" this year).


  • there's a fine balance in 'the perfect mother's day'- I want to be acknowledged, I want to be fed, I want a thoughtful gift, and I want to have fun. it's not hard, really, but theres too much pressure to have a 'perfect day'
    posted by Anonymous Karen at 5/09/2006 02:17:00 PM  

  • I still don't feel like a "mother," so I don't expect anything from my husband, and AF is only 6 months old, so I'm pretty sure it will just be the usual smiling and gurgling, which is plenty (the spitting up and crying I WILL save for my husband). I don't yet feel like I deserve to be celebrated; maybe next year?

    I'm just sending my mom some lame card and photos of her latest grandchild. But the card does say what I feel--that she's an amazing mom and grandmother--, and I know my mom will appreciate what she gets. The truth is, I don't ever know how to tell the woman who has given me the very most in life "thank you." Everything seems a little lame in comparison to a lifetime of love and sacrifice.

    For my mom, mother's day is very hard because after 13 years she still mourns her own mother's death--and my mom was 44 when my beloved grandmother died! As Zinone's post attests, you never get over the loss of your mommy.

    I love the idea of getting to "do-over" Mother's Day, or any day you mess up or someone messes up for you. Legend or not, that's a fabulous idea! Here's hoping none of us, or none that we love, needs a "do-over!"
    posted by Blogger newmom at 5/09/2006 05:01:00 PM  

  • Is it really so wrong to want a break from your kids on Mother's Day? Right now, that is something I get very little of...and crave.
    I could justify by saying that it will rejuvinate me so I'll be a better mom. However, with church and DH working on Sunday, doubt it will happen.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 5/09/2006 05:37:00 PM  

  • newmom - I'm sure you deserve to be celebrated! I know how you feel, being a mom myself for only 2 1/2 months, but at the same time we sure work hard!

    I would like sleep, sleep, and more SLEEP! (hence having a 2 1/2 month old). I would love my DH to offer to do a feeding in the middle of the night so that I could actually get 5 or 6 hrs. of sleep in a row! And I want to spend time with my little boy, but as newmom says, I will leave the spitting up, crying, and poop for DH.

    Jen - I think it's definitely okay to want (and need) a break from our kids. Especially when DH is working TONS. My DH is working so much right now, too. He is home before 11pm maybe one night a week. So to know on Mother's Day that I won't be the only one in the house to nurture a crying baby --- that sounds like a GREAT Mother's Day.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 5/09/2006 06:59:00 PM  

  • I don't care much about Mother's Day. Is that weird? I guess I have just gotten used to a DH who has many amazing qualities, but not really in the partying/romancing category. Like last night I thought...wouldn't it be nice if he made me hot chocolate without me telling him so that I came home from the cold rainy night to drink it? But that doesn't happen with him.

    So...I bet I will at most get pancakes, which DD and DH like more than me anyway....whatever, I am pretty sure they love me.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/10/2006 04:19:00 AM  

  • Mother's Day has always been better than my birthday. Gifts, flowers, no cooking, no cleaning, seeing #1 sing with the Primary kids while I ball my eyes out. :) The only thing I would change is the attitude DH has about it. Well, it's the same attitude he has about birthdays and Christmas and Valentine's --he waits until the night before to do anything. I know without any doubt, that the Saturday night before Mother's Day, he will be taking the kids with him to do some "errands".

    I'll probably look back on that with fondness --and sometimes I laugh about it now --but I think it would just be nice if some effort and thought was put into his efforts to "honor" me, you know?
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 5/10/2006 06:29:00 AM  

  • Jen,
    I don't think it is wrong to want time away from your kids, I want it too. I guess it's my mother's words that leave me feeling some guilt for it. But you have to admit it is funny that the thing we want for mother's day is to escape from being a mother for a while. Anyway, I think you should officially declare another day to be Mother's Day. Maybe a day DH is not working?

    Totally agree with Beth on this one. Even though you did not go through physical labor with your child which I think give any new mother a sense of entitlement when it comes to Mother's day, the emotional labor you had to go through to get AF is reason enough to do some honoring and celebrating this sunday.

    I feel the same way about honoring my own mother. The longer I am a mom, they more I feel nothing is adequate in expressing my thankfulness for the support and sacrafice she has given on behalf of her children.

    Kage, speaking of the pancakes that your DH and DD love more than you, it totally reminds me of my dad. He always prepares a really big Mother's Day dinner--heavy on the meat and potatoes (what he really likes). If we were to prepare what my mom loves, we would be eating some really great salads.

    My DH isn't the romantic type either, but I know he appreciates some direction when it comes to days like this.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/10/2006 07:46:00 AM  

  • I think my perfect mother's day would be a perfect family day. Before that could take place, I would like the house cleaned up so I don't curse when I trip out the door on the way to church. And I don't want to have to get the kids ready for church by myself, get them to church by myslef, sit with them by myself, and then get them home by myself.

    After church, DH could spearhead the dinner preparations while I read a book in my room. Then we have a nice dinner together (with some divine chocolate dessert) and then go on a spring walk, read some books together and do some other family things, and then DH puts the kids to bed.

    So, Carrie, in thinking about the irony of "give me time away from my kids for a great mother's day", yes, that's part of it somewhat. But, more, I think that for me, I would love to not have the menial household tasks to worry about and be in charge of. And to have time together as a family.
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 5/10/2006 11:25:00 AM  

  • Who said it was just up to the men? I love giving presents, so this year I am giving out gifts to my favorite mom friends that include a cute infant tee that reads -my mama rocks- and poetry anthology (I hope it arrives on time).
    I do love the fact that my ds told my husband that he needs to get me my own tennis court, which would make for a pretty fun Mother's Day :)
    posted by Blogger Tri Mama at 5/10/2006 12:34:00 PM  

  • cc- I love that idea. Last Mother's Day, I recieved an e-mail from a friend of mine. She sent it out to a group of her mom friends. It really meant a lot to me. I think it's a great idea to remember fellow mother's on this special day. Here's the message I got:

    Thank you for being the most amazing group of mothers that I have ever known. I am so glad that I have found you all and that you are helping me to raise my daughters.

    Your commitment, energy, love, dedication, service, and support have edified and enriched my life and the life of my girls. Thank you for mothering me and for mothering them.

    Our kids are at the age where they don't show much appreciation, but when I see the way they look at you and you at them, I know that you are magnifying your call as mother. Thank you and enjoy the day.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/10/2006 03:12:00 PM  

  • Michelle,

    Your day sounds great. I totally agree with taking away the menial parts of motherhood for a day. I am going to remember to set out all the church clothes for the girls on Saturday night so it's really easy for dh to get them ready in the morning. It would be nice to take a slightly longer shower and maybe not have to put on my makeup in the car on the way to church--at least for one day.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/10/2006 03:18:00 PM  

  • I am the infamous sister of Carrie that made my family repeat Mother's Day. Carrie got the facts pretty close to accurate, but like she said, the real point is that it was a lousy day and I decided that I could be angry (for a long time) or let them try again. I actually didn't tell them that they were going to do it over again until the next night at FHE. I gave a lesson on GRATITUDE and why and how can we express gratitude. They had great ideas - so I said I was going to let them try out those ideas by repeating Mother's Day. They did a real good job the next week. I got breakfast in bed, flowers, dinner out (I know, it was Sunday, but DH is not a cook and that is how he gets me out of the kitchen), AND I got a boxer puppy! She became a wonderful running companion and is a daily reminder of my Mother's Day Re-Do ten years ago.

    I have since learned not to expect so much on Mother's Day. I've decided there is really no way to adequately compensate a mother for all she does - IN ONE DAY. So truly the best Mother's Day is one where I wake up with a positive and grateful attitude about all the blessings and joy that I receive from motherhood- a loving, supportive, hardworking, righteous husband; happy, healthy, faithful children, three with eternal companions; and six-going on seven beautiful, perfect, lively grandchildren. But most of all, on Mother's Day, I am grateful for the angel mother that I had who showed me by example that Motherhood is a noble and joyful calling. Happy Mother's Day.
    posted by Blogger Kathi at 5/10/2006 05:20:00 PM  

  • Hey Kathi,

    I was hoping you would stop by and make sure I got the story correct. Oh to have grown up children upon whom you may look back and say -- hey, I did a good job. Right now, I think I need the meal, a gift, a vision of my children as true angels and some quiet time to encourage me to keep on going. I definitely believe that days like mother's day and father's day are great chances to teach children gratitude and how to express it. I hope you don't feel like you did the wrong thing 10 years ago. I think it's great.

    As for our angel mother, there is absolutely NOTHING I could ever do that could truly express my gratitude for her. She is a wonderful example of a woman who embraced her calling as a mother with all her heart and found joy in doing so even with all the sacrafices I know she made. I am so glad that I will be able to spend this MOther's Day with her. It''s been a long time.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/10/2006 06:23:00 PM  

  • ok, well i guess i am completely spoiled (sorry jen) cause I am ditching my DS at grandmas house and DH and i are going to milwaukee for the week. Now i know milwaukee isnt the most romantic of destinations (DH is going for work and im tagging along), but it will be a time when we can spend hours alone (no images please!) and maybe i can get my book reading, guitar playing, extra napping and movie watching in before heading back to the trenches for another whole year.

    My perfect mothers day would actually involve my son, but without all the other crap you have to do for both babies (thats my husband and son im talking about). the menial stuff Michelle is talking about.
    So, I am currently "training" my DH in "the ways of the weekend". As I like to call it. Which means, he wakes up in the middle of the night (which is finally guilt free for me!), fixes ALL meals, gets baby ready for bed, church and outings and I just slide right in when its time to have fun as a family. Not every weekend is this way, but some sundays have been complete HEAVEN. Yes i feel guilty, but this way i can have a mother's day every so often without the worry of a botched one once a year.

    I would highly recommend a sit-down with DH and explain that what you do all week is your work and you would like a weeked too. (say it nicely of course) I try very hard to be flexible with DH, his work and his free time during the week, so I can have some pull on the weekends. Plus he rarely sees the baby during the week, so he HAS to play catch up on sat. and sun. (which he likes to do)

    But also, hes not the bishop, 1 or 2 councelor, EQ, or a stake-dude or in any other sunday consuming calling so right now Im really soaking it up. Cause Im sure it will knock me upside the head soon.
    posted by Blogger ksl at 5/11/2006 11:29:00 AM  

  • This will be the "Best Mothers Day Ever" because I am finally a mom! However, in reading all of your comments, I think our husbands really set the tone for M Day. My dad always made a big deal out of mothers day and so did we (as her kids). We'll see what my hubby does this year, as my one month old probably won't be making me bfast in bed, and go from there. I think having a husband who appreciates what I do as a mother is a great blessing.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 5/11/2006 10:58:00 PM  

  • Random thought: I have never been pregnant on Mother's Day, but I think that would have been my most favorite one, to know I was the newest mom I could be. The only Father's Day I remember was the one when I had just a few days before found out I was expecting. So it was our first family day celebration. It was also cool that only DH and I knew...and nobody else...ok except my co-worker and the nurse that told me I was pregnant.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/12/2006 06:46:00 AM  

  • This is a little late I know. but 'From Grandma to You' is the cutest book! 60 Grandmothers from around the world came together to share, thoughts, concerns, and joys about being a mom and grandmother. It will make you cry and laugh all in the same chapter. Check it out. So cute.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5/12/2006 07:51:00 AM  

  • My son wanted to play motorcycles at 6:15 am and my dh and I were eyeing each other seeing who would get to pop back into bed and who would play with ds. During the pause (where I figured dh would take the chance to let me sleep--and I would have accepted), my cute boy said, "How about I play with Mom since it's Mother's Day!" It was so sweet and I think it made him feel just as good as it made me feel. :) I did get a nap that afternoon--which was great. I love the little things on mother's day--cards, meals, naps, family time. Gifts can end up being not quite right--but you can't go wrong with the others (in my book).
    posted by Blogger Katie at 5/16/2006 04:40:00 PM  

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