Mother's Day is fast approaching, so before you go out and buy another scarf, blender or coupon book for free hugs, let's take a minute to find out what Mom really wants.
Flowers are always nice
I did a highly scientific survey recently, okay I asked my facebook friends. The thing that struck me is that lots of Moms wanted some time to themselves, while lots of other Moms wanted to spend time with their kids. Two things that seem, on the surface to be diametrically opposed but, let's take a closer look shall we?
A Day Off - Many of the Moms that participated in my informal survey said they want some peace and quiet, a day to themselves or just some uninterrupted sleep. ie - some time off from the responsibilities of mothering. Mostly, but not exclusively, these responses came from mothers of small children.
That makes sense. Mothers of small children are always "on" making sure their little ones are clean and fed and above all SAFE. Following the toddler around all day making sure they don't get hurt or fall down a well or put something disgusting in their mouths. that alone can be exhausting. Not to mention the chores these Moms have to deal with - laundry, dishes, meal prep, diapers, picking up toys, bath-time and bed-time. After that, it's time to put pictures of the kid on social media so, it's an all-day and all-night kind of a thing. One Mom of a 3-year-old said she wanted a full day alone to go to a bookstore, see a movie and have a nice dinner out - all by herself so she would not have to entertain anyone or share anything. Sounds great!
Moms of school-age children have a lot to deal with too, such as the aforementioned laundry, dishes, meal-prep, picking up toys, bath-time and bed-time. Hopefully no more diapers though. And usually school aged children can be trusted to keep themselves out of harms way for longer periods of time - say half an hour or so. But then there's the homework, the school lunches, the driving to activities and making sure all the forms are filled out and the uniforms are clean and ready to go for any sports etc. So I get that these Mom's would like a little "me time."
Moms of teenagers - it's a mixed bag. You want some quality time with your teens but sometimes, they can be ... well, I just call it teenagery - attitudinal, bickering, emotional, but then again frequently they are awesome. So, it could go either way.
The bottom line is - Mom wants some time off from the chores and responsibilities so, any kids who are old enough should clean house for Mom. Take her out to eat or make a nice meal for Mom (though breakfast in bed is iffy) and let Mom do what she wants, take a nap, get a pedicure, be alone or whatever.
Time with the Family - A lot of Moms did say they wanted a fun outing with the family. The suggested activities were varied: a picnic, going to Church together, a trip to the movies, a walk in the park or even a knife skills class. (That's a new one on me.) I would also like to throw in an afternoon of board games like Apples to Apples or Clue. I have been told that Cards Against Humanity is not approved for Moms so, looks like we'll have to skip that one.
Handmade Gifts - These are still a popular item however, I would skip the coupon book for free hugs if you are over the age of 10. Seriously, it's not cute anymore.
Breakfast in Bed - One of the Moms in my survey asked for breakfast in bed. In my experience, it is a recipe for disaster. When my girls were little, they made me breakfast in bed which was a bowl of cereal with milk poured up to the rim of the bowl and sloshing everywhere. But they were so cute, I loved it anyway.
My friend Red (short for Redacted) had this to say about breakfast in bed:
My kids tried to make me breakfast in bed two years ago. I was woken up by my daughter knocking on the bedroom door. Her words EXACTLY, "Mom? Did you hear the fire alarm?"