Yesterday was Mother’s Day…which if you have small children means it is actually “Wife’s Day.” I’m sure my 1-year old Dodge meant to say “Happy Mother’s Day” when he slapped her in the chest crying to be put down for his nap. I’m sure my 3-year old Max meant to say “Happy Mother’s Day” when he refused to get dressed for dinner, kicked Dodge, and threw an epic tantrum in his room. I meant to say “Happy Wife’s Day” when I entertained the kids all afternoon while Kate took a long bath, did the crossword in bed, and took an afternoon nap. I’m not complaining…no, no, no, no, no… I’m just saying, I got my mom some lovely flowers and we drank wine together over a nice dinner. I got my wife a respite from the kids.
The thought of it being “Wife’s Day” instead of “Mother’s Day” came to me as I finished washing the dishes, cleaned the stove, and steam-cleaned the floor…while Max and Dodge ate crackers and watched the movie Cars for the bazillionth time. We did some “mom-stuff” as well. Max and I made Kate homemade waffles with fresh strawberries, the boys made cards, and they picked out tiny succulent plants for her to add to her garden. That was all the nice stuff. The big “gift” was the bath and nap in the middle of the day when normally the kids would be tugging at her leg, shouting at her, fighting, and being boys. She’s their primary caregiver so they push her buttons on the daily. I’m the enforcer…and they haven’t quite found my buttons.
Mother’s Day was a holiday invented at the turn of the 20th Century to honor our mothers. Some say it is a b.s. Hallmark Holiday. I say, anyone who says they think of their mother every day is full of it. No you don’t, and if you do it isn’t in the way you do on Mother’s Day. I think of my mom all the time…but usually with thoughts like, “Is ‘huger’ a word or is it ‘more huge?’ Can things be ‘huger?’ I bet my mom would know.” Mother’s Day is an opportunity to stop and celebrate the sacrifices your mom made for you to be where you are today…i.e. alive. It would be great if we could do this every day…but we don’t. It would be great if my wife could have a bath and nap every afternoon…but she can’t…at least not right now. We chose to have kids. We are in the thick of the sacrifices. They have no idea…but I do. I wish I could have more days to celebrate my wife and give her respite, and I can. Our boys are right at the age where Dodge is transitioning from baby to toddler, which means I can do more with him because he is less reliant on Kate. They also will both be going to daycare and school in the fall which means everyone gets some time away in their own environment.
Fun fact: “Wife Appreciation Day” is September 21.
So all you people out there with moms…take the holiday seriously and thank your mother for your life, for her love, and for the sacrifices you made. Even if she’s a hardass…thank her. If you are a father, suck it up and do double duty around the house and give your wife some time to herself. When you’re done, don’t wipe your hands clean like you just finished a project…think about what your wife does every day. You both made sacrifices but this day is about appreciating hers (yours is next month). If you appreciate it, you’ll find there is some small thing you could start doing that would drastically change her life -or- you’ll come to appreciate how hard she works. If you are the one at home and primary caregiver think about the sacrifices she is making by doing what she does to contribute and provide…and the moments she misses like rocking a baby to sleep. For me, every Mother’s Day since we had kids has revealed that what is “double-duty” for me is an easy-going day for Kate. A hard day for her would probably cause me to have a meltdown and check-in to a padded cell for a few days. Having kids has also made me appreciate my mother even more by giving me insight into what she did to bring me happiness and the opportunities I have had in my lifetime. That’s huger than any card or bouquet of flowers. Wait…more huge? Huger? Mom?!!! Moooooooommmmm?!!!
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