I’m so exhausted. I’m sure you are, too.
And all anyone wants to talk about is Mother’s Day.
I’m going to get a new Moleskine notebook, because that’s what I specifically asked for and I need one. But you know what I need? I need a vacation. An alone vacation. A short vacation. 24 hours without my children or my husband.
I haven’t had a vacation since my 3rd wedding anniversary. That was October 2011. I’ve been non-stop, vacation free, never alone every day since October 2011. All the while, I’ve told my husband “We should get away. I don’t want to go on a vacation unless I’m with you. Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely to take a vacation, just the two of us?”
You know what? I don’t know what I was thinking, because I want 24 hours without him, too! I don’t want to feel obligated to look/feel/dress sexy. I don’t want to worry about his satisfaction. I don’t want to feel obligated to the watch TV that he wants to watch or see some stupid boat/train/whatever thing that he wants to go see. I don’t even want to have to pretend like I care about his choice for restaurant and act like this marriage is a democracy and I need to consider his wants and needs. I don’t want to set the temperature to freezing cold in a hotel room because it helps him sleep better. I don’t want to turn off the lights/TV at whatever time he chooses we do so.
I want 24 hours in the nicest hotel that I can afford, where someone is going to make my bed, bring me all three meals (and then take the dishes away when I’m done with them), where I can lay in bed and have HBO on in the background, where I can write when I want to, read when I want to, eat something amazing and sleep all the rest of the time. Basically, for Mother’s Day, I’d like a team of people to be my mom for the day. I will gratefully and humbly say please and thank you for all of the requests given and services rendered (something that I totally don’t get!) and I’ll even tip! (Does anyone tip a stay-at-home mom? No? Yeah, no.) I would be the best hotel guest that ever there was!
24 hours. That’s all I want and need. 24 hours husband and baby free.
But I’m not going to get that…because Mother’s Day isn’t really for mothers. Mother’s Day is for everyone to feel good about themselves and their relationship with the mothers in their lives. Or, in my dreadful case, it’s a time for my husband to be weird about giving something, for my idiot in-laws to send me another asinine card and a thing that I don’t really want, for my sons to run around like maniacs while I try to sleep and/or watch my favorite Sunday morning show (CBS Sunday Morning–the best television on television), and for me to field a bunch of phone calls that I would rather not take. And then cook myself a nice dinner, because Lord knows we can’t go anywhere and eat something nice.
Mother’s Day should be a retreat day. When Mothers, if they so choose to, can disappear. And be by themselves.
But instead, we get these gems:
“I’m taking my mother/wife out to brunch. She’ll love that!”
Doubtful. She has to get up early, go to a meal that is either too early or too late for her usual meal, it will be crowded and rushed, probably salty and over priced, and she’ll have to talk to you about whatever infantile thing you want to talk about when she has a list of 10 other things she’d rather be doing.
“I’m buying her roses. They’ll totally brighten up her day.”
Arranging roses/flowers in a vase takes time, and if you’re like me, it requires thought and creativity. This is all well and good, but basically, you’ve given your mother work. Beautiful, sweet smelling work.
“We’re making mom dinner.”
I’m a daughter who knows how to cook. You know this to be true: Unless your mom is absolutely horrible at cooking (and she knows it and she admits it and she avoids it), there is no way in hell that whatever you cook for dinner is going to be as good as what she can make. She’ll be sitting there poking at it like “I could have done this better.”
“We made her a [insert thing here].” or “We bought her a [insert thing here].”
It’s the thought that counts, right? Incorrect. Mom doesn’t need more things and stuff and crap.
and the list could go on and on and on.
And please don’t leave a comment like “Isn’t it the thought that counts?” Yes, it does. I’m a mother who is constantly in a state of thought: Thoughts of love, duty, obligation, logistics, recipes, diagnostics, problem solving, relationship counseling, refereeing, budgeting….my head is full of thoughts. Tender thoughts. Awesome thoughts. Motherhood is nothing without thoughts. And they all count. All of them. And since you are thinking of your mother on Mother’s Day, give a little thought to what she really wants and needs.
I realize that I’m a bit bitter: My husband did absolutely nothing for Valentine’s Day. Nothing. Nothing. He sent me an e-mail. You’d think that’s something, but you’re wrong, because it’s not. It’s nothing. He was also late for the impeccable dinner that I planned and executed for him. I’m not a girl who asks for fancy things: I’ve never wanted a designer bag or expensive jewelry. That man could have walked in here with a single rose and I would have been the happiest woman in the world. But he didn’t, he sent me an e-mail. So now I’m super jaded about pretty much any other holiday that has to do with sentiments and the exchanging of gifts. I totally get that my current rant is mostly about me and my issues and not actually about the holiday and other people. I also recognize that I’m flippin’ exhausted and Ursa Minor’s current fun trick of waking up at 4am for no reason is certainly not helping my mood.
All week i’m going to have to see commercials for this and that having to do with Mother’s Day. Take her here to eat! Make her feel appreciate with this shiny expensive thingy! She’ll like to smell nice with this! Wouldn’t she love to walk around in this?
I can feel my blood pressure rising now.
To all of the mothers who aren’t getting what you want or need next Sunday, I totally salute you. I realize that it’s the thought that counts, and know that I’m going to be thinking of you while I’m putting on my smile, once again, and saying “Why thank you for whatever is happening that I’m not actually excited about.”
Because I don’t know when and if I’ll ever get the 24 hours that I want and need.
And is 24 hours really so much to ask for?