All the retail stores and websites are gearing up for the most over-rated, under-delivered "holiday" known as Mother's Day. The anticipation is sometimes met with a valiant attempt of appreciation but usually it just doesn't live up to the hype. That's because nothing anyone can do in a single day can embody the sacrifices, logistical wherewithal and good times that moms bring to our lives year in and year out. But I don't say this because I didn't get diamonds or a spa day last year, I say that because as cliche' as it sounds, doing something nice for your mom/a mom-like figure/the mom of your kids on just one day and then going back to the status quo the next is, well, lame. It would be much better to spread out one's guilt appreciation during the year, especially at times when there is little to no pressure to do so. That and you don't have ads encouraging you to buy your mom a bunch of stuff she doesn't want. True Story: One year my brother and I gave my mother a garden hoe and a set of measuring cups. Practical but not very--how you say--"honorific."
After I was a teenager but before I was a mom, I objected to the retail compulsion of making this holiday a second Christmas. I would then just get my mom a card (usually) and a giant helping of self-righteousness about retail manipulation. Now that I am a mom, I can see how mothers might have high hopes to have a perfect day where they can relax, receive some pleasant surprises and feel honored. But guess what, everyone else is trying to do the same thing too so not only does it feel unoriginal, it also feels that if your Mother's Day doesn't turn out awesome, your family didn't care enough to get their act together or in typical maternal guilt fashion, it must have been something you did to deserve a less than stellar Mother's Day.
So I say, let it be Mother's Day 24/7. I know that sounds tiring to even attempt but let me explain. I have a pair of UGG slippers I wear in the house. They are definitely a luxury good and are more expensive than most of my other shoes but let me tell you, it's "Mother's Day" every day I wear them. The same goes for my electric kettle that boils water in 90 seconds for my favorite tea, lavender chamomile. It's "Mother's Day" every time I have a cup of tea. Or if things are not your bag, before my second and current pregnancy, I belonged to a Moms-only yoga class that met once a week in the evening. My husband adjusted his schedule to fit this class and I got to do something just for me that also was good for my mind, body & spirit. Similarly, when he is able to take our daughter for most of a weekend day, that is a little slice of heaven that I use to relax, get some tasks done or go out with a girlfriend. That doesn't happen every weekend, especially recently, but it's definitely more often than one day a year.
But if we get right down to it, it's just noticing what moms do and letting them know you appreciate them for it. For example, not long after we moved into our current house, my husband complimented me on the meticulous way I organized the giant bathroom cabinet of supplies and other necessities. He said something about the way I did it made him realize how much I cared about our family. Um, EXACTLY. That is exactly right. I was speechless. This seemingly thankless effort that I put into making the household run a little more smoothly got noticed and I never thought it would. I was delighted that it was my husband noticed. It made my whole year.
Finding the little moments of appreciation is what most moms really want and reminders that their sacrifices do not go unnoticed or unvalued. So by all means do something nice for your mom next Sunday but think beyond just the day and see how you might delight and honor her in small ways all year long.