more than a card for mother’s day by Rosy Rodriguez

The day was May 8, 2016. I was a new mom with a nearly two-month-old girl and my day had finally arrived. All my life my career aspirations changed, but one thing was forever constant: I always dreamed of being a mother. It’s the one thing in my life I have always been sure of. So, you can imagine my excitement when I popped on my best postpartum compression garment, my finest nursing bra, and strolled out into the living room for a perfectly typical Mother’s Day. I have no idea what I was expecting, but one thing was for sure: it did not have that magical feeling I was counting on. Looking back now, I realize that I was hoping to feel some sort of extra pride or elation for the day, but honestly, it struck me that everyone came into the house, gave me an orchid with a card, and then sat down waiting to be fed. What was worse, I realized that I’d done the same thing my entire life to all the women I loved! For shame!!!

My mom was staying with us, and that night I confided in her how I felt, and the truth was revealed: this day is a sham, and all the moms know it. What?! How can this be? We celebrated every year of our lives with our mom and I felt like we meant it! Were we all liars?!

Then Mom explained to me how Mother’s Day is truly for our families so they can have a day to be reminded to appreciate us for the magical unicorns that we are. Also, in true mom fashion, it’s up to us to determine how we celebrate on our own. The day is a gift to our families (damn, we are so freaking selfless), but the burden is on us to find a way to celebrate ourselves. It’s like I was learning a secret kept by mothers for centuries since I was now a member of their club! 

So now what? Is this something I have to accept, or is there a way out? With great power comes great responsibility, so I feel the burden is now on me to provide a little guidance on how to proceed with future Mother’s Days. 

Don’t just buy a card, write a card!

I can’t think of a more thankless job than being a mother, so this is an optimal time to actually use your own words to tell your mother how wonderful she is. Does it make you uncomfortable to share your emotions? Even better, as your mother knows this and the gesture will have her floating on air for a full year, I promise! This also applies to cards that come along with flowers. Yes, flowers are beautiful, but they die, and your words are forever!

Send your mom on an adventure.

Yes, we love spa gift cards, but you know what we love even more? A coordinated effort that creates a full experience. Instead of everyone just gifting your mom a bunch of random stuff, it’s time to get together with the family and curate something special! Maybe she and her best friend would love a spa day together where they can day drink and make fun of people (my personal favorite), or maybe she needs a weekend getaway (my other favorite), or maybe she just wants a day to herself with a bunch of gift cards for a shopping spree. Hook her up because that queen deserves a Terrific Lady Day more than you know!

Spend thoughtful and selfless time with her. 

If you plan a Mother’s Day get-together with the family, make sure you either take Mom to her favorite place or cater in her favorite foods. Also, while Mother’s Day brunch is wonderful, it can be a crowded, sweaty mess, so feel free to celebrate mom on a different day where she’ll be able to relax. This is also a great opportunity to finally do that one activity she always talks about that you’ve been avoiding like the plague for years. Square dancing? Color Me Mine? Family photos at Olan Mills? Suck it up buttercup and make it happen because this lady has had to endure way worse for you! 

There are only two types of gifts: extremely frivolous or extremely useful. 

If you’re going the route of buying a traditional gift then you need to either buy her something you know she’d love but would never buy for herself or get her something so useful she won’t be able to resist. For example, is there a perfume she’d never spend the money on? How about a dream piece of jewelry or some nice luggage? If you’re going useful, you can buy her that new air fryer convection oven combo she’d never splurge on for herself. What about pre-paying for her to get TSA pre-check? How on earth could she say no to something so damn useful?!

While we all have different moms with different tastes, one thing is for sure: these women have given their lives for us kids, and the least we can do is go all out for them on this special day. No more slacker gifts from CVS or that lady selling mugs with teddy bears off US1. Put in some damn thought as though you were giving a gift to yourselves! After becoming a mom myself, it’s completely changed the way I spoil the special women in my life, and literally, anyone who wiped my butt as a child gets a shout-out that day. As for us moms, remember, Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate with our families, but we all know the real celebration is the one we make for ourselves. If your family rises to the occasion, then great, but if not, it’s ok, just create the day you need and forward this article to them for a brighter future. Happy Mother’s Day!