Mother’s Day: The Perfect Gift for a Mother Any Day

Mama – what should we do Sunday? So asked my 2 lovely little girls. We are almost at Mother’s Day – a day of phone calls, cards, fully booked brunches, flowers, and hand painted mugs. When you ask a mom what she wants – you get the stock answers – I want my children to be happy, I want a day off, I want to sleep in. So we cram in all that mother worship on one day.

I would like to put a shout-out to everyone who is wondering what to give for Mother’s Day. This is a gift you can give any mother. Because Mother’s Day should not just be about your mother, it should be about all mothers.

Here’s a one size fits all, won’t wilt, won’t cost you a dime gift. Ready? How about – respect and kindness.

It never surprises me how cruelly we treat mothers, especially mothers of young children, in this country. We castigate them at every turn – their kids are too loud/fat/disruptive – the mothers are too lenient/strict/involved/absent. Moms that work are negligent, moms who don’t are sell outs. And add to that the heavy lifting of motherhood – which is often just that –heavy lifting. 60 pound strollers, 30 pound children, car seats, diaper bags, and dozens of other things that allow mothers to do the things of life that need to be done – grocery shopping, errands, life.

How can you give this gift? Simple – help her. When you see a mom struggling, – open the damn door, let her go ahead of you in line if possible, try and carry a load. I remember once being at the baggage carousel at LAX. An infant in my arms, a 3 year old threatening to dash away, and trying to pull large suitcases off the carousel. Despite dozens of unburdened adults around me – not one offered to help me lift my suitcase off the carousel. I remember that day, and to this day I am militaristic in my zeal to help burdened moms whenever I can – especially when I am sans children.

How can you help? Offer up a seat in the bus to a mother with kids. Don’t glare at her when her kids fuss a little on an airplane. Hold the damn door open so it doesn’t slam on her face. Don’t sigh loudly if her kids pitch a fit at a family style restaurant. If her children are well behaved – tell her.

Most mothers feel that they are not doing a good job. A study just came out of Yale University showing that over 50% of mothers in their sample showed some depressive symptomatology. Mothering is yeoman’s work and it is everyone’s responsibility. If we do not help mothers, what lessons are we teaching these children? A child learns only from observing actions – words hold little weight. When a child sees a stranger helping his mother, he acquires a vocabulary of empathy and compassion. When a child sees his mother be praised for his behavior, she acquires a vocabulary of pride.

So this mother’s day – forget about flowers that die, chocolate that makes us gain weight, and overpriced brunches. Each day, find an opportunity to celebrate a mother – not just your own, but the thousands around you. A smile and some kind words go a LONG way. None of us moms think we are doing a good job – a little help could go a long way. My daughters and I are going to the beach with a cooler full of goodies this Sunday, and with our eyes wide open for opportunities to tell all of the moms of the world that they are amazing – today and every day.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 6th, 2010 at 9:30 am and is filed under Health and Wellness, Parenting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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