I know how this sounds. It sounds crotchety and mean and selfish. Most moms of toddlers would gladly give our little squirrel children our last potato chip, our last bit of sandwich, or the last cupcake, and give it gladly. But we’d love a day where we didn’t have to make that choice.
So, dads, older kids, and moms of moms of small children (Yeah, you. Quit hogging this holiday already, OK? You had 30 years of it to yourself. It’s our turn now.), listen up: Here’s what we really want for mother’s day.
- Don’t wake me up early. Seriously, if I don’t get anything else, just give me one morning where a breakfast order is not the first thing I hear and giant toddler eyes in my face are not the first thing I see.
- Give a gift of time. A massage, a gift card to the coffee shop, a haircut appointment with my favorite salon. Give her the gift of time away. Alone, with a friend, it doesn’t matter. Just some time where she can put her mom radar down and not have to listen for disaster or crying in the other room.
- Give the gift of friends. A $5 gift card to the coffee shop is fun. Girl-time is better. Get together with the families of mom’s friends and give them all gift cards to the same place. Or don’t even give a gift card, just send us there and tell us a surprise is waiting. Time to catch up with friends to have conversation that’s not punctuated with “Don’t hit her!” or “Get off that!” is priceless.
- Give the gift of time together. Haven’t been out in a while? Gift the gift of date night. Grab tickets to a play, concert or event, secure a babysitter or grandma and surprise her with the idea of time alone in your future.
- Give the gift of space. Even if you completely forgot about mother’s day and have no money to do anything, here’s an idea: Let her sleep in. Clean the house and make breakfast, then take the kids and go somewhere for a few hours. Give mom the gift of time where she is most comfortable: Home.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get a physical present. The moment doesn’t last long, and it will be forgotten. Of course, anything the kids make is wonderful and will be treasured, but what we really want is time, sweet memories, and wonderful conversation with the people we love.