First of all, let me be one of the first to say …
NOW, let me remind you that we are all different.
We do different things. We like different things. We live different lives.
That’s how it’s supposed to be. Differences are natural!
Unfortunately, so is comparison. My advice: stop comparing and enjoy the differences!
So, something a littler different about me: I don’t really love Mother’s Day.
- The hype
- The commercials
- The pressure
- The endless amount of “MOM” spelled-out apparel, mugs, jewelry, bags, etc.
- Flower arrangements that mean I have to keep children AND flora alive while sleep-deprived
- Generic-ness over authenticity
- Crowded restaurants with families treating mom to a meal she doesn’t have to cook herself (fact: Mother’s Day is the most popular day to dine out)
- Too much of too much
Case in point: In 2014, the National Retail Federation estimated that U.S. consumers would spend nearly $20 billion celebrating Mother’s Day.*
Umm … no, thank you.
I know that how we celebrate is different; 11 years ago, this made my first Mother’s Day more problematic for my husband. I told him no purchased gifts. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I plan on being a mama for a long time and with 3 kids, I don’t need 3 “mom” items a year for the rest of my life … ridiculous (for me, at least).
My husband then asked me what I did want, because he now knew what I didn’t want.
I told him I only wanted simple things that were from the kids. No shopping spree for cards or gifts – only things from school, made by their hands and maybe a homemade card were all I would ever want. From my husband, I wanted a letter. Now, this was a big deal! He wouldn’t say he was fond of writing; he didn’t even write me when we dated, but I knew that his words to me would bring me joy, appreciation, and help me see our life together from his perspective. It was a tall order, but he hasn’t let me down once. I tease him that it is my yearly performance review, but it is so much more. In our hectic lives, it lets me know he notices the sleepless nights, the individuality of each child and gives him a chance to share his dreams about our future together.
Each Mother’s Day, I am showered with clay turtles and lizards sculpted by my little artists, beaded plastic bracelets from my beaming youngest (making sure it fits just right) and homemade cards covered with little hand prints. I love receiving these treasures more than anything they could purchase for me. They put effort into crafting, gluing and writing something just for me – much like the effort I pour into each one of them.
And for 11 years, my husband has set aside some quiet time in his crazy life to write about how our life together has been since he wrote his previous Mother’s Day letter. It is a mile marker for our time together. He shares about big changes in our lives – everything from moves to passions to careers and challenges. He takes the time to share with me about our big accomplishments and predicts what the next year may hold for our tribe of five. He brags about each of our kids separately, and I will admit, he brags about me and thanks me for all I do.
These letters give me hope that what I do matters.
These letters give me support to keep adjusting and meeting new challenges.
These letters show me we are in this crazy life together.
These letters give me a different perspective on who I am and how I am living.
So – here is my collection so far. These letters are mine; I don’t share them with anyone. They stay gathered in a special place and are pulled out whenever I need a pep talk.
Someday, I will gather them all up and give the set to each of my 3 children as they become adults. I want them to feel the love that can be found in parenting – even during change, careers and children.
There are only a couple more days until I will be showered with homemade cards, school creations – and my yearly letter. My people matter more than things ever will. I am honored each day to be the one they call “Mama.”
I hope that each of you have a wonderful Mother’s Day and that you take the time to celebrate the mothers in your life … possibly with a letter.
Click Here for More Fun Mother’s Day Facts (*cited source)