Thursday, June 23, 2016

make mother's day a big freaking deal

We are a family who says, "I'm sorry.  I screwed up.  Will you forgive me?  Can we try that again?"

We don't pretend that everything is perfect all the time.  We admit if someone has hurt us.  We find no shame in apologizing to our kids for times that we mess up.  In fact, I'm thankful for those moments because the kids get to learn that everyone messes up (even Mom and Dad) and no one is perfect, but that when we do mess up, there's a right way and a wrong way to handle it.  Just shoving it under the rug, burying it, and being passive aggressive?  That's the wrong way in our family.  Bringing it to the light and going through the hard work to express hurt and either asking for or expressing forgiveness?  That's the right way.

Along with this, we have embraced the do-over as a family.

Mother's Day this year was a total bomb.  I won't go into details, but let's just say that it definitely deserved a do-over.

I'm probably overly sensitive about Mother's Day, but I'm coming into some realizations as to why.  Maybe some of you moms are too.

I'm a stay at home mom, and as such, I'm on the clock 24 hours, 7 days a week.  My co-workers (i.e. my kids) are pretty bad at acknowledging the hard work I'm doing, giving personal space or positive feedback, keeping a tidy work area, and allowing bathroom breaks.  It's the hardest work I've ever done in my life, and unfortunately, it's peppered with a sizable dose of doubt and guilt for just about everything.  There are no performance reviews to sing my praises, no raises, no promotions, no outside credit for this important work I'm doing.   Of course there are those sweet times they tell me they love me, give me an unexpected hug, make me laugh, or amaze me with the fantastic little people they are becoming, but I'm talking about the day to day nitty gritty.

Mother's Day is the one day of the year that I feel my efforts have the ability to be fully noticed...my work appreciated  and honored and given the value that it deserves.  The day I remember more than any other to remove the word just from my title.  I'm not just a mom.  I'm a mom, proudly a mom, and there is no nobler work or work that requires more than this.

I need to know, especially on this day, that someone sees, appreciates, acknowledges, and honors the work that I do every day, because when I'm buried in laundry and nursing the baby and waking up all night and cleaning up spills and/or bodily fluids and breaking up fights and fishing bath toys out of the toilet, I often wonder why I'm doing this and start feeling pretty discouraged.  I wonder if anyone cares and what it's all for.

Husbands, I have a word for you.  Please hear me.

Your wife needs you to make Mother's Day a big deal.

She needs to know that you see her, appreciate her, and acknowledge her work.  She needs to know that you feel that her job as a mom is important and of great worth.  She needs for you to give her a proverbial raise and promotion and encouragement in this insane job she's doing.  She needs you to set an example for your kids to honor her and tell her how much they love her and what they appreciate about her.  She needs one day that she gets to pick the radio station and the restaurant without someone giving her a hard time or throwing a temper tantrum.  She needs to have time to take a shower and shave her legs and feel like a woman.  She needs to go to the bathroom without a child sitting on her lap.  I'm so not joking.  She needs you to put some time and effort into how you choose to honor her on this day, because that speaks volumes to her about you feel about her worth and how much you value her role.   I can pretty much guarantee that she feels undervalued and disappointed if she feels your efforts are half-hearted.  And because she may not say all this to you, I'm speaking to you on her behalf.

So, BRING IT on Mother's Day (and her birthday too!!).  Go big or go home!  Your wife needs someone cheering loudly in her corner and who better than her partner for life.

As for our do-over, my husband brought out the big guns.  I am now in the midst of Mother's Week, a little something he and the kids cooked up together.   He coached them on really making me feel special and serving me, and they devised a whole weeklong celebration that includes one-on-one dates with each of my kids, a family brunch out, a fancy date with my hubby, home-made cards, and the best use of index cards I've ever seen.


Each person gets an index card for every day of the week.  I choose one thing I want them to do for me on that day and write it on the card, and they should complete it that day without grumbling or me having to nag. I'm loving this so much that I'm hoping to keep the whole index service cards going.



But more than that, I feel valued, loved, honored, and heard.   I'm thankful for the willingness of our little team to have a re-do for something that is so very important to me.

Friends, don't be afraid to say, "I'm sorry.  I screwed up. Will you forgive me?  Can we try that again?"  And if needed, have a do-over.  The people and moments in our lives are too important not to.

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4 comments:

  1. Amy, you would be a wonderful guest speaker at Mops!! This is so good ������ and Happy Mothers Week! Love, Jean

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  2. This is great! We actually had to do a Mother's Day redo as well. And it was wonderful!
    I love the index card idea--and so glad Mother's Week was a success.

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