Mother’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays, even long before I became a mother. Probably because my mother is my everything and is worth celebrating every single day. She’s my worrier and my biggest fan, my voice of reason even when I don’t agree with her, my soother, my funny friend, my model for kindness, the person who knows what I’m feeling before I realize I’m feeling it, the one who can communicate with me with just a look, and above all, she will forever and always be MY MOMMY, a title that holds the joy and love of an entire universe in it.
My boys must be thinking the same thing about me, right? Hahaha. Not so sure. Right now, we’re in the throes of Daddy being the fun one, Mommy being the rule-maker, the disciplinarian, the list-maker and the one with the more demanding work schedule . . . So how can I make sure I’m instilling in my boys the same love, respect and admiration that I hold for my mom?
With Mother’s Day approaching, I started thinking about what moms really want for Mother’s Day. This year, I’ve secretly decided to stop “momming.” Are you up for it with me? Here’s how:
- Do not pick up even one piece of crumpled laundry off the floor. For a whole week.
- Similarly, do not throw out even one piece of misplaced trash. For a whole week.
- Do not pack lunches or snacks.
- Do not plan dinner.
- Do not make a comprehensive grocery list.
- Do not give goodnight kisses (ugh, that one might break my heart)
- Do not rub whining kids’ backs at night.
- Do not give up even one centimeter of your space on the bed. Claim it. Sprawl out into it. It’s yours.
- Do not make sure everyone brushed their teeth.
- Do not put on any emergency searches for favorite t-shirts or must-have karate uniforms. Especially when the urgent request for these items comes in just moments before everyone is supposed to be leaving the house.
- Do not change the toilet paper roll. Just keep a secret stash for yourself hidden in a cabinet. They’ll never think to open it and look.
- Do not, under any circumstance, do any laundry.
- Do not buy a birthday present for the upcoming party the kids are going to, or remind them what day and time it is.
- Do not use a caring voice — or any voice — to ensure the appropriate jackets or sweatshirts are heading out the door with the kids.
- Do not remind Fun Daddy where Cub Scouts is being held or which day Kid #2 has a doctor’s appointment.
- Go ahead and book Girls’ Night Out without notice. Simply write it in on the calendar and go.
- Do not wipe any pee off the seat.
- Do not limit screen time.
- Do not suggest a reasonable bedtime.
- Do not make weekend plans or play-dates.
- Do not record shows you think the kids may enjoy.
- Do not suggest showers or baths or remind anyone to apply deodorant.
- Do not get up during dinner to refill anyone’s plates or drinks. In fact, at dinnertime, sit down, serve yourself first, and eat first.
- Do not ask how anyone’s day was.
- Do not serve as short-order cook, filling repeated demands for cinnamon toast or strawberries or drinks or popcorn.
Wow. I admit it was a little cathartic to simply make that list. We mommies do a LOT! What would happen if we really stopped momming, just for a bit? I’m pretty sure in my MOB House, the trash would pile up, the laundry would pile up, the boys would get cranky because they’d be hungry, there would be a lot of new smells in the house, toothbrushes would remain dry for days, and in the end, the boys would probably say, “Mom, this is all your fault.”
Will they have realized the value I add to their lives and in keeping this household running? Will I have achieved my goal? Not likely. So, as exhilarating as it was to momentarily imagine what I’d do with my brain and my body in that week of not-momming, I think these two things are true:
- I’d miss it. A lot. Even the exhaustion of being needed for everything all the time, because it’s bundled in the amazing sense of being needed for anything, knowing someday that will pass.
- They already love me and respect me. They just don’t always know how to convey it in a way that makes sense to me.
Let me know if you try the no-momming experiment and how it goes for you. And I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day, however it shapes up for you! For all the boys in my house: I love you with all my heart, and I wouldn’t want anything else in the world other than being your Mommy. I’m guessing that making sure you know that is what all moms really want for Mother’s Day (plus a little sleep.)