Mother’s Day, I already know you love me

Mother’s day is just a week away.   In our family we never made a big deal about it. My children (when little) used to hide in their rooms to make their own cards for me.  As they got older, they would tell me it was my day and they would take care of all the chores for that day.  When you have teenagers, having them offer to take care of all the daily chores is quite a special gift.   As they transitioned into adulthood with good paying jobs, Mother’s Day became a day I received gifts.

I already knew my children loved me, I didn’t need them to spend money on me to show it.  What would you like for Mother’s Day?  Here’s how to get exactly the day you want.

I don’t know about you, but I loved the cards my young boys used to make for me.  I’m not talking about the ones they were instructed to make in school.  Sure I loved those too, but the one’s they created from their imaginations just because they wanted to are the ones that meant the most.  Because I set the tone for a simplistic celebration, I was able to get exactly what I wanted.

As teenagers, the thought of them offering to make the meals and ensure the household ran smoothly for one day was special enough, but when they actually followed through for the full day that was something else.  Of course at the time I was used to trying to be super woman and really didn’t know what to do with myself for the day.  But again, they were raised with simple values and this was a perfect fit.

But now comes adulthood, they have more money than they used too.  They want to give wonderful gifts but know I don’t want them to spend a lot of money.  So they compromised and bought me gift cards to my favorite book store.  How was this in keeping with how I wanted to celebrate?  For their part they kept the total to a $25 gift card.  The way they saw it, I loved books yet I tried to keep within a limit how much I spent on books.  Their way of looking at it was between the two of them I would have $50 to spend frivolously.

It was a challenge to get them to see I didn’t want them to spend money on me.  Where exactly does this idea come from that you have to spend money just about every month of the year on some holiday?

Here’s how I finally got my day back:

  1. I thanked them from the heart for my gift while telling them it wasn’t necessary.
  2. I reminded them that I had every thing I needed and really didn’t need to buy books any more as between the two libraries in my area anything I might have bought I could find there free.
  3. After a couple of years, my boys stopped buying me gift cards, but kept buying my cards.  My boys spent time finding just the right card and you could see the personalities of my boys in each.
  4. Finally, when each of my son’s had gotten married and started their own families I reminded them that while I appreciated that they wanted to give me a gift, (point number one reworded), I really didn’t need any thing (point number two reiterated) and added that I would rather they saved their money for things their families needed/wanted and if they must spend money on Mother’s Day to spend it on their wives, the mothers of their children.

My boys finally got it.  Now I get calls from both of them at some point during the day (and from their wives). My oldest son lives just a couple of miles away, so he invites me over to dinner where he prepares the meal for both myself and his wife (a two-in-one present if ever there was one!), while we sit around and visit with the children.

I recently came across an article which listed seven ideas for inexpensive gifts.  I liked one in particular that I could have used for my grandmother (who raised me),  it is called a Thanks, Mom Book.  Just create a small book with empty pages, on each write a short message of thanks.  My grandmother would have loved getting this.  At the same time, I wouldn’t have wanted this from my young children as I would have known it was someone else s idea. Do you know what I mean?

So in the interest of living simpler lives, and curtailing the constant spending that we are encouraged to do by mass advertising you too can define how you want to celebrate the day.  Start now to suggest things you want to do or how you would like to spend the day, before they pick up that last-minute gift.

It can be easy to do if you can enlist you husband or significant other.  It’s just like intimacy, you won’t have what you want unless you make your desires known.

You now know how I will spend my day, how will you be spending yours?

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