Right now, I’m plotting behind the back of “The Guy I’m Dating Exclusively” with a friend of mine who works in retail. She’s helping me get the exact gift I want for Mother’s Day, which, unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) always falls on the same weekend as my birthday. (Should I get two presents or just one, since they’re one day apart? is another discussion.)
My friend and I are being sneaky, with our plan—obviously—but she’s also helping me be pro-active, as another Mother’s Day and another birthday loom. I’d go as far as saying I’m helping my guy out. For real. By plotting to get the gift I want, it takes the pressure off, so he doesn’t have to worry if he bought something I will love or something I’ll secretly return for something else.
First, my friend texted me a bunch of photos of gifts she thought I’d like for myself, and I picked out the one I liked best. We decided that she would text ‘The Guy’ (luckily they know each other) something like, “I ran into Rebecca and she was gushing over the earrings I was wearing, and she said ‘I so need these.’ Isn’t her birthday coming up? Wouldn’t it be a great birthday/Mother’s Day combo?!” (And it totally would be! Obviously, I picked it!) Basically, ‘The Guy’ doesn’t even have to think because I’ve done the thinking for him.
Our plan would plant the seed in his head that I really, really wanted this one certain gift, something that would make me thrilled which should make him thrilled because he thrilled me, right? It’s win-win-win!
According to my friend, I’m not alone. She’s made sneaky calls like this to spouses for at least 25 women leading up to Mother’s Day, and even more leading up to Valentine’s Day. You call her. She somehow figures out how to ‘mention’ it to your partner. And then everyone is happy! (For me, I’m plotting more for my birthday than Mother’s Day, since The Guy is not the father of my children.) The father of my daughter is treating me and my daughter to a vacation over the long weekend, in a couple of weeks. How did I get that gift? Well, I simply suggested that I wanted to spend some alone time with our daughter in a place she loves. The father of my son? I plan to drop into a text or conversation that I want a homemade card from my son, and perhaps a cute picture in a frame of him, and I’ll also probably outright tell him that I may only want to spend part of the day with our 6-year-old son…again.
Last year, I got a lot of love from readers and also a lot of hate for writing a piece entitled, “I Only Want to Spend Mother’s Day with One of my Kids. Is That So Wrong?” In it, I write, “Am I being an awful mother by asking my son’s father to take our son for the afternoon on Mother’s Day while I hang out with my 14-year-old daughter, who has planned something ‘special’ and ‘secret’ for me? Is it really THAT wrong to want to spend Mothers Day – MY DAY – with just one of my children, the one who doesn’t whine, is always in a good mood, and is excited to celebrate this day with me? Is there some rule, or did I miss the memo, that says you need to spend Mother’s Day with all your children…or else?”
I think I may do the same thing this year. And now I’m even suggesting that not only should us Mommies speak up about how we want to spend our day, but advocate for what we want as a gift, be it a box of chocolates or flowers or a bracelet or a pad of fancy paper or a pair of little stud earrings. Stop being embarrassed over mentioning the boots, candle, or the purse you want, but don’t need, thus the perfect gift. Send them the damn link to the site you’re talking about, featuring the gift you want! Hopefully, they won’t be THAT clueless.
I love to celebrate. I love celebrating everything from birthdays to Valentine’s Day to weddings, to when my friends’ kid’s teeth fall out. I also love giving gifts as much as I do getting them. So when it comes to gift-giving, I don’t think it’s wrong to hint,’ ‘encourage,’ or ‘make it painfully obvious’ to our spouses or partners what we really want on Mother’s Day.
In fact, I think you should go out and plot. If you’re the type who loves gifts as much as I do, then plan, encourage, or direct the experience by leaving out a pamphlet, or a sticky pad, on the page of the gift that you want, or mention in conversation that you saw this purse online and you’re forwarding the link to them so you can get their opinion. Of course, you may not get the gift – just as I may not – but there is definitely a much higher probability that you will than if you say absolutely nothing!
Some men are clueless, especially when it comes to Mother’s Day. I do believe that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus when it comes to buying gifts, or expectations of what mothers want for this special day, based on searches I’ve done. When I Google, “Can I tell my spouse what I want on Mother’s Day?” guess what comes up as the most asked questions? THESE: “What can I do for my wife for Mother’s Day?” And, “What do I get my girlfriend for Mother’s Day? And, “How can I make Mother’s Day Special.’ And, my personal favourite? “What do you do for Mother’s Day?”
And these are the same top questions that pop up when I search, “Can I tell my spouse what I want for my birthday?” So, yeah, I think there are a lot of clueless men out there, who would actually appreciate if we just told them what we wanted, even if it’s just, ‘A card, and maybe a carwash?” But also us Mommies have to blame ourselves, for not speaking up and advocating how we want to spend the day, and what we expect as a present (if you’re the type who likes getting presents on Mother’s Day.)
Pretty much, my rule in life is, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” And, sorry to disappoint you, but I highly doubt your husband/boyfriend/baby daddy, is reading this, so, really, what other option do you have but to speak up, text this to him, or leave a print out of this on the kitchen table, or maybe in the washroom?
When it comes to these blogs about what we really want on Mother’s Day, they’re written by and for other moms. How can the other parent know what your expectations are? We need to give them a roadmap or directions for gifts and expectations on Mother’s Day.
ScaryMommy, a site I love, once posted an article called, “Dear Husband: Here Are The Only Things I Want For My Birthday.” (Switch “birthday” for “Mother’s Day” and you have pretty much the same list.)
The list includes “Time away from the children,” “A gift that indicates you know who I am as a person and find me unique, adorable, and delightful,” and “Dinner without the kids,” (with your spouse making the reservation.) It also includes, “A card you write in,” and, finally, “An entire day of love and doing everything I ask.” The last one being every mother’s dream on Mother’s Day.
Truthfully, I’m tired and sad that when I ask my other mom friends, every year, how their Mother’s Day went, and their answers are always so telling: “It was okay. Spent the day hiking with the family. Nothing special.’ Or, “Meh. It was whatever.” I’ve even heard, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Yet, when it comes to Father’s Day, men seem to have no problem saying, “I’m going golfing on Father’s Day.” Or, “I’d like an Apple Watch.”
So, not only do I think directing, encouraging, mentioning, dropping into conversation, plotting with a sales clerk to get your Mother’s Day gift, and even telling your partner what you really want on Mother’s Day is fine, I’d actually encourage it. For the moms who don’t care about getting gifts, or getting a sleep-in, good for you. And for those who usually find themselves disappointed on Mother’s Day, well, it’s time to speak up already!
Or, at the very least, share this post with your man, so he can understand, at the very least, he should be asking you, “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” (You can even blame it all on me!)
Wishing all you all a Happy Mother’s Day!
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