Mother’s Day may be a bit over three months away, but it is never too early for people to think about what they should do. So, what extravagant gift should someone get to show how much they appreciate their mother or their wife?
Nothing. Or rather, that sort of thinking is the wrong way to go about things.
Mom does not want to go to some spa. She does not want some ridiculous French perfume, or to take a day trip to the beach or to go out to some expensive restaurant. She does not want the $170 which families are spending now on Mother’s Day.
She wants to be herself. Not Mom, but Susan or Jean or Molly or Rachel or Sally. And she wants to be left alone to be herself for a bit. To relax and not have to worry about the kids for just a little bit.
So, here are some ways which a husband or a child can work to give Mom the Mother’s Day gift that she truly deserves. Time to relax.
They want you to clean up
Let us be fair. Mom cleans up. She almost always cleans up. She tells you to clean up and you say you will. Then you forget and she eventually gets around to doing it herself. Because that’s what Mom does.
Well, how about you actually do it for a change? Clean the house. Every speck of it. And then do the dishes and the laundry as well. Even if you leave Mom alone for a while, leaving her alone with a dirty house is just asking her to clean it. And that is about as rude as you could possibly be on Mother’s Day.
That is a gift which Mom will sincerely appreciate, as these maternal bloggers courtesy of Time can attest.
They don’t want clothes
When is the last time someone gave you clothes and you were sincerely, truly happy with what you got and it fit you perfectly?
I thought so. All too often, we get some woolen cardigan which looks hideous, but we smile, give out thanks, and stuff that thing at the very back of the closet. Mom will understand the sincerity behind the gift, but that will not make her actually like what you got her.
They want to sleep
I must confess: when I was a child, I would jump on my mother’s bed, shout “Happy Mother’s Day!” at the top of my lungs, and then give her “breakfast in bed” which was a bowl of cereal.
In hindsight, I might as well have walked into that room blasting a trumpet and that would have made things only slightly worse. My mother smiled and said how much she appreciated it, but she would have appreciated it more if I had left her alone, played with my toys, and let her sleep. I know many people will spend hours looking for unique gifts for Mother’s Day, and certainly there are a lot of options out there for things to buy that will make her fear special.
But, sleep is important, and our society does not get enough sleep as it is. Letting Mom sleep, and taking care of those chores she does every single day while she sleeps, would have been a much better gift than what I actually did.
They want to be left alone
The Globe and Mail has a terrific idea for a perfect Mother’s Day gift. After the house has been cleaned, take the kids and leave. If you can, go to Grandma’s house for the day. Let Mom have four hours where she has no responsibilities whatsoever and is free to read a book, catch up on a TV show or a hobby, and enjoy herself for a time. In the meantime, Grandma will be overjoyed to see the grandkids. She always is.
All of this presumes that you have done everything listed before. But if you have, mom will really have time to be herself and not a mother for a few hours. And she will absolutely appreciate that gift of peace and quiet.
They want your love – but not to be smothered
Our instincts are to crowd Mom and shower her with our love on this special day, but Mom is smothered by responsibilities and work every single day of her life. Thoreau observed that relations should take some time apart from each other so that the bonds will be stronger upon meeting up again. That principle should be applied as you leave Mom alone for just one day.
So take a moment to let Mom take some time off. That is a cheaper and better gift than something overpriced which she will never get to use precisely because you keep her overworked all this time.
Featured photo credit: Nathan via flickr.com