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Friday, May 3, 2013

What She Really Wants for Mother's Day

A few years ago when my oldest daughter was three and my middle son was one I woke up on Mother's Day beaming with anticipation of what this day would hold in store, this celebration of all the craziness of motherhood, to be thought of and be shown gratitude for this thankless life's work, if for only this one day. I tiptoed to the kitchen, our unofficial home of all things celebratory, to see what my amazing husband would have on display for me. To my shock disappointment mouth dropped open with confusion and fear for him surprise, nothing was there. Not a thing. No card. No flowers. No breakfast. No construction paper stamped with cute little hands. Not even a mimosa for goodness sake. Zilch for the woman who gave birth to his children.

Me: Um babe... were you planning on doing something for Mother's Day?
Babe: I thought Mother's Day is the day to celebrate my mother.
Me: But... I'm a mom. Our children are too young to know that this day exists. They need you to help them.
Babe. Oh...whoops.
Me: (instant sobbing, blubbering mess) Do you not think I'm a good mother... it's the one day I get recognized for being slightly good at anything at all... and I'm going to be forty (at the time this was 12 years away)...
and so on and so on. It was not pretty.
Babe: Why don't you go shopping and you can buy whatever you want?
Me: (able to dry the tears but still feeling like a woman scorn) Okay.

This was a wonderful consolation prize but let's just say that my husband has never again forgotten that I am a mother on Mother's Day. Men, do not be like this. Do not forget the woman who has brought your children into the world. What hurt all the more was that Steve (babe/husband) is usually a beautifully thoughtful gift giver, his fault was that he didn't recognize this as a day that should include anything beautiful or really even thought at all. I am the one who buys the gift for his mother so please don't picture him making her a souffle. If he had just written on a card on the kitchen table that he would watch the kids so that I could go shopping, all would have been glorious (sidenote: Steve if you are reading this, that is the perfect gift to give this year).

He really is a keeper.

I am going to let you in on a secret that should in no way even be a secret. There are three keys to keeping a woman happy (another bonus, all are free): attention, affection and appreciation. It really is that simple and yet so many women would reveal that those three needs are not being met in her life. My husband actually told me on one of our first dates that his best friend's dad gave him that bit of advice that those three things are essential to a woman's happiness. I knew right then that he was a keeper.

Think about it. If you grant her those three things she will be all the more inclined to fulfill the three keys to your happiness (which let me know if I'm off-base but I believe they may be sex, food and more sex).

Here is the breakdown: if she is talking, listen to her and acknowledge her thoughts (attention, check). Hold her hand if you are walking together. Embrace her when you see her. Hold her with no other pretense than to let her feel what it feels like to be held (affection, check). Now appreciation may be the hard one for many but it is so essential for her self-esteem and well-being. You need to voice out loud that she is amazing. A reminder of why you choose her out of all the women in this world is always a great thing. Tell her she is beautiful. Tell her that her spaghetti and her spaghetti covered children are the best. Tell her that you love her. And that you are the lucky one (appreciation, check).

The more confidence that you help to instill in her, the more confidence that she will carry. And that my friends is a very sexy quality. Which makes it all full circle and the whole house will be happy. That is the perfect mother's day gift. So write it in a card and while you are at it, give her a day to herself, shopping spree optional but time alone essential. Let her choose the day because after all the triple A's you will be throwing her way she may want to spend time with her kids and with you baby daddy on Mother's Day (but if she wants to choose that day, don't hold it against her; she hasn't been alone in eight years). Time allows her to fall in love with herself again which is necessary for all the love she gives to her children and all the gratitude she holds for you.

And what comes around goes around. Father's day is just around the corner...


  1. I remember you telling me about this when it happend!! Aw you guys are so cute - best married couple around XOX

  2. I love your "baby Daddy" line! Another refreshingly honest post!! I smile when I read your work, thanks for that!! Above all else, Happy Mother's Day!

    Laura Currey :)

    1. Happy mother's day to you supermomma. Thanks so much for reading. I am so happy that you smile at it- that makes me love you all the more.
      Cheers and joy to you...