What do moms really want on Mother’s Day? Is it a mug that says “#1 Mom” on it? Is it a picture frame? Is it a lovely bouquet of flowers? I’ll tell you a little secret – moms really just want to feel appreciated and loved. Moms want to know that the work they put into each day matters. Moms want a big hug. Husbands, are you listening?
The unfortunate thing about Mother’s Day is that one cannot truly appreciate the work that mommies do until you yourself become one. There is no doubt that children love their mothers, but to really be able to thank her for everything she does for you is difficult. I’ve just begun to figure it out and I’m in my thirties. I certainly had no idea how tireless my mom used to be when I was little. Between orchestrating our birthdays and holidays, cooking nutritious meals, driving us from one activity to another, loving us unconditionally, listening to our never ending questions and concerns, reading us stories, protecting us from harm, scheduling dentist and doctors appointments, providing us with clean clothes, and overall loving us to exhaustion, I really don’t know how she stayed awake during the day. I’m tired just writing this.
As a kid, I remember making cards for my mom each year. She still has them. Who knows what we bought her all of those years. My dad would take my brother and I shopping with him to pick something out, but at the end of the day, the store bought item didn’t compare to the card. The wrinkly card with crayon smears and backward letters, I’m sure. The card that explained how much I loved her, as only a kid can. The time and effort that a child puts into a handmade present is invaluable. Nowadays, there are cards that even record their little voices. Last year my then-three year old recorded his own message to me: “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy. I love you!” With his high-pitched, squeaky voice, you can be sure that card will be something that I keep and listen to often as the years go by and his voice changes from a little boy’s to a big boy’s.
There is no rulebook for being a mother. Sometimes, I wish there was. It would be so much easier if there was this enormous book and each time you weren’t sure what to do, you could just look it up. You know, like in high school when the answers to your math homework were in the back of the book? That would be awesome.
Instead, all the moms of the world are left to their own devices to raise happy, healthy, grateful, and kind people. Now, that doesn’t sound like a hard job, does it?
Happy Mother’s Day! Now, go empty the dishwasher…