Mothering is, without question, very hard work. It is also a job where you can often feel like you are failing more than you are succeeding. (Ughh. I forgot to send his PE clothes back to school … again.) And even when you do have a few triumphs they often go unrecognized. (She actually ate something green! There is no poop currently sitting in any of our toilets! Yay!)
Yep. Trying to mold tiny humans who come into this world totally helpless into healthy, self-sufficient, considerate, well-educated, productive large humans who remember to flush the toilet really is quite exhausting.
Perhaps that’s why it always seems like typical Mother’s Day gifts would also be great choices as “welcome home” gifts for someone who has been at war, in a women’s correctional facility/mental institution or chained to the floor in some kidnapper’s damp, dark basement for an extended period of time. Massages, mani/pedis, facials, scrubs, robes, pajamas, slippers, bath salts, “soothing” lotions and candles or even some sort of foot bath thingy are all always solid ideas for Mom — and seem to say “I know I have almost driven you off the deep end, but please accept this relaxing lavender body wash as a token of my appreciation for pushing you to the brink.”
These are all excellent gifts and certainly appreciated, but there are other things that are absolutely free Mom would love to receive along with a “luxury eye mask” and a coffee mug that says “There’s really wine in here.”
Here a few ideas …
It’s the little things …
Dads, on Mother’s Day, convince your children to do a few simple things for the woman who brought them into this world after 40 long, grueling weeks of pregnancy and 80 hours of hard labor — give or take. Make your little angels sleep until at least 8:30 a.m. or at least just leave their mother alone until then, instead of the standard 6:18 a.m. Saturday/Sunday waking time.
Though it may take blackmail, bribery or threat of bodily harm, make your little slugs clean up the trail of slime they leave all over the house. This trail includes but is not limited to the amazing amount of toys, clothes, shoes, Popsicle wrappers, dirty (and sometimes wet) hand towels stained with unidentified substances, foot-bruising Legos, naked Barbies, etc., they seem to shed as they simply walk from room to room.
Have them say, “Thank you, Mom, for buying me this fidget spinner” or “picking up my favorite flavor of toothpaste from the store.”
And don’t let them complain/argue about what’s being served for any meal, what they have to do that day — including homework, chores, visiting various old relatives or taking baths — and prohibit them from fighting with their siblings.
Just for 24 hours. That’s all.
On second thought, nevermind. This is way too much to ask.
Netflix and chill, for real
The term “Netflix and Chill” is widely known among 20-something singles as a euphemism for a booty call. Let’s watch a few episodes of “Breaking Bad” and then well, you know. But once you become a parent — perhaps nine months after a night of “Netflix and Chilling” — you would really like this term to take on a more a literal meaning. Like, could I please just have one afternoon or evening where the Bubble Guppies or that insufferable little do-gooder, martyr of a princess Sofia the First isn’t on every screen in my house?
Oh, how you long for just one day where you could veg on the couch on a Sunday afternoon and “crack out” on a cable series or trash TV of some sort. It just doesn’t happen when you have little kids running around. You have to pray to get the flu in order to maybe get in a season of “Veep” or “House of Cards.”
So, grandparents looking for a good Mother’s Day (or Father’s Day) gift, stop by your kid’s house one random Sunday and pick up the grands. And then say, “We thought you two might want to ‘Netflix and Chill’ today!” And then awkwardly wink at them. Sure, they will be grossed out at first when they think you are talking about sex. But once you leave, they will not care, as they will be able to binge watch “Billions” without worrying about young ears hearing the F-word every five seconds. It will be the greatest afternoon you could give Mom (and Dad, too).
Or just forget all this
Just take her to brunch and get her jacked up on cheap champagne. That works too. Really, she doesn’t care. Those little unappreciative, early rising, messy monsters are the greatest things that ever happened to her. No peppermint foot lotion or chamomile bubble bath required. (Though it would be accepted. So would spa gift certificates. Or flowers. Or nice jewelry. No pressure, though.)