Mother’s Day – like every other holiday – has become marketed and commercialized to death. The pressure for sons, daughters and husbands to commemorate the day in a way that truly shows the appropriate level of gratitude and appreciation seems to increase each year. The more money you spend or the bigger the gift, the greater your appreciation. What an unfortunate perspective our kids are being exposed to these days!
Generally, I’m low maintenance when it comes to birthdays and Christmas. I grew up in a family that didn’t do much for birthdays, and Christmas wasn’t about presents though we did exchange them. We always acknowledged birthdays, but it was unusual for us to make them into a huge deal with parties and lots of gifts. I had a whopping 2 birthday parties growing up. One when I turned 6 and the other when I turned 16. In my family, birthdays were made special, but not necessarily huge. As an adult, I don’t expect or want much for my birthday or Christmas.
After moving away from home, I must admit it got harder and harder to do something truly special for my mom because “special” was usually something that involved spending time together - hard to do from 1,500 miles away. So, I’d order her little things online that I knew she’d like but also find practical and convenient. Mom and I had very similar taste so it was easy to please her. Sometimes I’d send flowers, but I didn’t like to do that every year – it doesn’t take much effort or thought and I like thoughtful gifts. But the flowers were something nice that Mom always genuinely enjoyed as she didn’t get them very often.
Since having Brandon, I have to admit that I like the recognition of my newish role in life. I’ve wanted to have children most of my life and I waited a very long time to become a mom. I’m thrilled to be a mom and I try hard to be a mother who is deserving of some measure of gratitude. I want my son to grow up with an appreciation of motherhood in general so that if he has children with a future partner he’ll cherish that role she plays to his kids. If I fulfill my role to him growing up, it will give him a good foundation of respect for mothers and motherhood.
Mother’s Day shouldn’t be about getting an expensive present or making a big deal – though that’s how some choose to show their mother what she means and there’s no harm in that. I want my son to learn that it’s about making your mother feel special for her contribution to your life. It’s not about buying cards or anything else. It’s about taking a day to show specific and purposeful gratitude, because so often we forget to do that on a daily basis with the people we love who have such a huge impact on our lives.