There are three things in this world that make my strong, brave, hunk-of-a-hubby shudder in terror.
Small talk with strangers.
My children loosing their teeth.
And Mother’s Day.
For 364 days out of the year, our routine works for us. He works really hard at both of his jobs to make sure that we’re provided for (and that we have a bit extra for fun), while also managing the cars, yard, and anything motorized or electronic. And I tend to the household, which includes cleaning, cooking, laundry, and keeping cats and children alive. We’re a well-oiled machine, and – like any couple – we hit the occasional road bump that leaves us not liking each other very much in the moment. 😉 But we always love each other, talk it out, and come out the other side only stronger. I can honestly say that we’re more in love now than even on the day we said “I do”, and he truly is my best friend.
But then Mother’s Day approaches, and I can always sense its arrival like a dark raincloud of impending doom. My husband starts to look like a terrified deer in headlights; and he tiptoes around the kitchen, stalking me as though trying to absorb some of my kitchen skills. Maybe if he watches close enough, he’ll learn the ways of women in time.
Now let me insert here, for one moment, that I am not demanding in any way when it comes to any of the holidays. I do like – and even need – to be appreciated by my husband, but I don’t require bells and whistles. I’m pretty sure, however, that my telling him this only freaks him out more. The more I say “I don’t need anything”, the more he panicks and thinks “Wow, I really want to give her the world.” But how?!? What is the secret to Mother’s Day? Oh why won’t someone tell him???
Basically the more I tell him that I don’t need big and fancy, the more terrified he gets.
And I get it. The thing about Mother’s Day is that what has worked for the entire year is suddenly expected to be put aside, so that – as a mom – you can be spoiled by your family. But when your family consists of your husband and two little kids who would most definitely not survive without you, well, things get complicated. Because I defiintely did not marry my husband for his skills in the kitchen, since it basically takes the guy two hours to make a tossed salad. And sure, we could eat out; but eating out on the busiest restaurant day of the year with two kids under the age of 7? Yeahhhh, I could stress myself out in a much cheaper way than that.
Nate IS a romantic at heart, but his skills have always been the big surprises. The extravagant date nights… or the brand new cameras… The large gifts that blow me away. When it comes to the day-by-day, we’re simple and best friends and it really works for us.
But Hallmark and every other card company tries to claim that this isn’t enough. You need to be pampered. It doesn’t matter that really the only way for you to be pampered would be to escape your family for the day. It’s Mother’s Day. So somehow, you’d better figure out how to be pampered and rested WHILE spending it with your family.
Oh goodness, now I feel stressed!
And let’s face it, we all have those friends who share their perfect Mother’s Day on social media… You know the ones. They post the pictures of their husbands rubbing their perfectly manicured feet while they eat a breakfast of bacon roses, homemade raisin toast, and fluffy scrambled eggs in bed. Their kids stand adoringly off to the side, holding roses and cards full of glitter that somehow magically don’t fall off onto the white carpet.
Man, if my family attempted that, our kitchen would burn down; and then I’d have to rebuild it so that I could make everyone breakfast the next morning.
You know what I’m doing for Mother’s Day this year? I’m having fried chicken. My mom and I made plans to order from a local restaurant, and we’re going to spend the day with our husbands and my children. And we’re going to sip on iced coffee and refuse to do the dishes like a couple of queens.
But I refuse to let a day overwhelm my man when I don’t need any of the things that this day seemingly demands. And I won’t let myself fall into the trap of thinking that I suddenly need those things too, when – every other day of the year – I don’t.
My husband doesn’t make me meals, or fancy cards, or buy me lots of flowers. But he grabs me an iced coffee or icecream when I’m craving one. When I need something, he’s quick to provide it. He lives for family days spent together – and the occasional overnight away just the two of us – just as much as I do. He gives the best back rubs, the most amazing hugs, and he can make me feel seen like no one else can. He is faithful, and hard working, and the best partner in raising our children.
And my kiddos? They tell me that they love me, coming over to throw their little arms around my neck. Or Kaitlyn likes to cup my face in her hands as she tells me how beautiful I am. They wake me up with a kiss, pick me dandelions, and share their holidays chocolates when mommy has a sweet tooth. 🙂
My family tells me, every day, that they love me.
Mother’s Day tries to tell me that I need something more in order to be appreciated.
And I just don’t.
So if you’re feeling a bit blue and underappreciated as Mother’s Day approaches, think about all the ways that your family says “I love you” and “I need you.” And maybe make the day about celebrating those little moments together. (Then go ahead and schedule yourself a pampering day away in the near future, because – yes, Mama – you do deserve that too)!! 🙂