When I asked moms what they actually want for Mother’s Day, the answers were strikingly similar .
Most of us don’t want flowers or candy — though those things are nice. We could pass up a Mother’s Day meal out with our kids, since wrangling them into acceptable public behavior and cleaning up a beverage they spilled across the table isn’t precisely relaxing.
What moms told me they genuinely want for Mother’s Day doesn’t involve buying anything or going anywhere. “What I actually want is to be alone, altogether alone for an entire waking day, ” one mom said. “And I don’t want to feel guilty about it. Just for one day.”
Another replied, “A day off. No cook, cleaning, or broken off battles. I want to be waited on, someone to bring me snacks and drinks, and take a sleep. Then I want to read in the sun.”
A third mommy acknowledged, “I don’t want to do anything. I want my children and spouse to literally do everything. I don’t want to wake up with anyone, I don’t wishes to wipe any butt, I don’t wishes to make any meals. I merely want to hugs and kiss my babies but be a spectator that day and watch from the stands.”
Answer after answer followed the same topic: We want day that is our own without anyone needing anything from us .
It’s not that moms don’t want to be mamas on Mother’s Day — we just want a breach from the relentless, never-ending run of motherhood.
We all deep love our children. We’d step in front of a develop or wrestle a grizzly bear to protect them. We revel in the audio of their laughter and enjoy the sweet smell of their heads. We miss them when we’re separated from them for too long.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t need a serious break in the worst route.
Motherhood is all-consuming. And it’s not just the physical, logistical stuff( though that alone would be enough ). It’s the mental and emotional exhaustion that runs along with molding little humans into decent , not-too-screwed-up people for years on end. It’s just so, so much, all the time.
Parenting involves a lot of emotional labor and that is likely to be exhausting.
In Harper’s Bazaar, Gemma Hartley wrote in depth about how women often bear the brunt of “emotional labor” in families. She opens with this story 😛 TAGEND
“For Mother’s Day I asked for one thing: a home cleaning service. Bathrooms and floors specifically, windows if the extra expense was reasonable. The gift, for me, was not so much in the cleaning itself but the fact that for once I would not be in charge of the household office run. I would not have to induce the calls, get multiple quotes, research and vet each service, arrange pay and schedule the appointment. The real gift I wanted was to be relieved of the emotional labor of a single undertaking that had been nagging at the back of my intellect. The clean house would just be a bonus.”
But Hartley’s husband didn’t understand all of that. He thought she just wanted a clean bathroom, so he deep cleaned the bathroom while she spent the day caring for their kids and the rest of the house remained un-deep-cleaned. While it’s nice that he tried to do what he supposed she wanted, he totally missed the mark.
It wasn’t about just about having a clean bathroom or house. It was about wanting a infringe from the physical and emotional labor that so often falls on a mom’s shoulders without anyone recognizing it.
Bottom line: The best gift you can give a mother with young children is a slice of day the hell is hers alone — without any responsibilities, worry, or guilt.
We’d love for someone to clean our house and take our kids away to something fun for a few hours so we can actually enjoy our clean house before it gets destroyed again. We’d like some time to nap. Some silent time to read a book without interruption. Some time to shower without interruption.
It would be great to have some time to think, meditate, brush up on a pastime, slowly sip some coffee — without interruption. Just some free time to ourselves to spend as we please.( And if someone could come set our kids to bed for us, that would be even better .)
A fabulous Mother’s Day doesn’t have to cost a thing. Sometimes freedom away from worry and responsibility is the best gift a mom could possibly receive.
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