Advertise With Us||Links||
Submission Guidelines||Subscribe to Feed||Contact
The Mother's Day Misconception
by Bonnie MeyerRosa
It comes around once every year in the middle of May. That glorious day when all children and husbands are to bow before their mothers/mothers of their children and honor, respect, and love them. Gifts of flowers, jewels and breakfast in bed are to be showered upon this woman of virtue. Phone calls are to be made in mass quantities, cards are signed with scripts of love and devotion, hugs and kisses are doled out without argument. This day, which according to the Oxford Press is a "day of the year on which children honor their mothers", has turned into a fiasco! A sham of guilt and expectations. A complete misconception.
Let me take you back 5 years ago to my first Mother's Day as a mom. I was bursting with excitement at the prospect of all things "Mother's Day". I could smell the fresh squeezed orange juice for my breakfast in bed, could feel the diamond "MOM" necklace that would be placed around my neck, could see the handmade card that my husband would sit for hours and construct with the small, angelic hand-print of my 9 month old on the front. On the eve of this much anticipated day I had no idea of the chaos and disappointment I would face the next day.
My day that was supposed to start with breakfast in bed started with the baby waking up sick. I waited for the husband to respond to the cries since I was supposed to stay in bed, waiting for my breakfast.
OK, I'll get the kid.
I cuddled back down into bed with the baby and waited for husband to get up. After 30 minutes of me laying there I woke him up. He stumbled out of bed, went to the kitchen, brought up a Little Debbie coffee cake, two cards and the baby's bottle and fell back to sleep. I opened the first card, the store bought one "from the baby" and was greeted with a Snoopy card with that annoying bird thing bouncing up at me on one of those spring things. It said something about having the best Mom ever. I shouldn't have been upset but I was expecting a card that said something about little boys loving their mommies or something like that.
Next, I opened the card from the husband. The front was beautiful! And then I opened the card.
The first stanza read, "Now that the house is quiet and the kids have started lives of their own..."
WHAT?? We had been married for 2 years and our kid was 9 months old!! I saw that my husband had underlined words that I guess he thought were important and signed the card with all his love. I started to cry.
He woke up and said, "I knew you would love that card". He misread my tears as those of happiness. I slapped him with the card and told him to read it again - out loud. He read the first line and stopped. How can you say you read the card and even underlined words and still thought it was ok!? I then listened to excuse after excuse about it not being the card he thought he grabbed, there were no more good cards left (due to the fact that he went out at midnight the night before to get the card!), blah blah blah. I got out of bed, dressed myself and the baby and headed off to church. Halfway to church I pulled over and sobbed. I was crying for the cards that were wrong, the breakfast that was stale, the necklace that wasn't coming and the husband that had no clue what was expected on Mother's Day.
I came home that afternoon to some beautiful flowers, a "correct" card (I must say at this point that the front was exactly like the first card but was for a first time Mom this time...hubby did grab the wrong card but it doesn't excuse him from underlining words on a card that HE DIDN'T READ), naughty under-things (which is just so appropriate for Mother's Day) and a very sorry husband. I will NEVER forget that Mother's Day and he won't either.
Over the past 5 years I have learned to not expect quite so much. I also have learned that I expect my children and husband to honor, love and respect me not just on Mother's Day. We need to switch our focus regarding this holiday. If we have to set aside a special day and wait for that day to honor Mom then we are doing something wrong. Our moms need to be honored every day, with a special day put aside to show some EXTRA love and honor. I try to ignore the commercials with the diamonds and the dreams of breakfast in bed.
The husband has gotten much better at making this day special for me. My son is old enough to get excited about making me a card with the hand-print and even helped his sister make one, too. I got a hand made bowl that was broken on the way home from school. My son was devastated but it was the most precious gift I had ever received. So much better than a necklace. I did get breakfast in bed this year and it just made me have to change the sheets when bagel crumbs got everywhere. I got a nice card from the husband too. This year was great - it said "I'm not sure why I have to give you a card, you are my wife not my mother..." It made me laugh so that was good! Much better than crying. It was the perfect Mother's Day for me, without the disappointment of un-fulfilled expectations. When I was tucking my son into bed on Sunday night he wished me a Happy Mother's Day, told me he loved me, took my hand in his and looked into my eyes and said, "ok, that was a nice day for you....when is Kid's Day"? Oy!
Bonnie really didn't really mean to call Woodstock "annoying." She must be drunk again.