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I Hope No One Got the Flowers

May 8, 2011

Chatting with other moms last week, there were a lot of jokes about what we hoped for on Mother’s Day along with some things we would never expect. Some of us wanted nothing more than for our husbands to take all the kids out for the day, while others wanted the ability to spend time together.  Some were making plans for our own moms, while others would be missing their moms who were taken away much too soon.

I was reminded of how things have changed for me as a mom in just a few short years.  About six years ago, I only had one baby boy.  I was fumbling my way through my first year as a mom with the help of a great group of other new mommy friends in Charlotte, NC.  I decided to host this group of girlfriends for an evening playdate a few days after Mother’s Day.  Since we were all stumbling while learning how to be moms, our husbands were also muddling through learning how to be dads (and husbands of the newly crazy moms).

We decided we would trade notes on how our husbands fared on our first Mother’s Day over a few cocktails.  I asked everyone to write up a short description of what they were treated to on Mother’s Day in anonymous form and bring it over.  We piled them up and each of us randomly picked one story to read to the group.  Once the reading was done, we voted to decide who had the best and worst Mother’s Day experience.  The winner of the best award received a card for her husband from the group congratulating him on doing a great job for his wife.  The winner of the worst award got to take home a bouquet of flowers from the girls.  Since her husband dropped the ball, we figured she deserved to feel appreciated as a mom by her girlfriends.

The dads all rolled their eyes at the experience.  (All but the dad who got the card.)  For the next few years, everyone joked to each other in the weeks before Mother’s Day:  “I hope no one gets the flowers!”

Our kids are older now, and the focus has moved away from the husbands and more to the kids.  We love our children’s teachers for helping them make cards and homemade gifts in school for the occasion.  It’s the way Mother’s Day should be, but the memory of that first get together still makes us all smile.

Now we just hope that the kids remember to wish us a Happy Mother’s Day without being reminded, that our husbands get them their morning cereal and load the dishwasher, and that everyone makes a small effort to the keep the whining to a minimum.  Mother’s Day isn’t judged by gifts or even grand gestures.  All we really want is simple acknowledgement of all the little things we do every day.  Maybe a small thank you, but overall, just an effort by our families to make us feel appreciated.

Whether you wanted to be pampered and left alone, or snuggled and showered with attention, I hope all of you were celebrated enough to earn your families cards of congratulations.  And, above all else, I hope no one got the flowers.

(First published in “Because I Said So” for TheAlternativePress.)

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