Now is about the time of year where husbands and children everywhere are scrambling in panic because they’ve just realized that Mother’s Day has crept up on them and they are standing around empty-handed. You’ve got less than a week! What took you so long? You’re totally screwed now! You’ll NEVER find the perfect gift for your beloved wife/mother. How dare you! You should be ashamed! Now you’re stuck getting something far less than special. Something stereotypical that will probably be talked about every mother’s day from now until the end of eternity, not because it was so appreciated, but because it was so bad.
But the easiest thing to get a mom, the most perfect thing to get a mom, is a Mom-ish gift, right? How could it be bad? Sure, it might be stereotypical. Maybe it’s not a fancy brunch, or a day at the spa, or a new set of earrings. Maybe it isn’t something she’s been hinting at for forever, or flowers delivered with a sappy card. Maybe it’s not a dinner at Cheesecake Factory, or sleeping in with breakfast in bed. Maybe it’s not something super creative you’ve been planning for the entire past year that will knock her mom jeans off, but she needs it. NEED outweighs want, right?
My whole life, I grew up watching and experiencing Mother’s Days full of moms not getting what they really wanted, and instead, getting something practical. Something only a mother could love. Something that kind of forgets that mothers are people, too. I have a very practical father, and he always bought very practical gifts.
The look on my mother’s face the day she got a new vacuum cleaner on Mother’s Day… I don’t know what she was hoping for, but it was absolutely not a vacuum. That combined with television shows that had episodes based around mothers getting the shaft on their very special day by similar household-ish gifts, and I began to believe it was the kiss of death. The single way to ruin a Mother’s Day other than food poisoning. Or having your family forget altogether.
It’s like being given workout equipment when you’ve never asked for it. Hell, you don’t even work out.
WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME?
I get it, in a way. I get the offense, moms. Getting a vacuum cleaner on Mother’s Day is kind of like being told you don’t clean enough, or that you should be cleaning more, or that cleaning is all you really amount to. We are more than housewives, more than glorified asswipers. We’re people with hobbies, interests, and loves, that have nothing to do with our role as mothers. We want to feel appreciated. We want to feel special. We don’t want to feel like we’re only good for scrubbing milk out of the carpet, or getting dinner on the table.
At the same time, I have started seeing things differently. Maybe it came with age. Maybe I take after my Dad in all of his practical wisdom. Maybe I just have no more fucks to give, or it’s lack of sleep and energy- but…. I’ll take the vacuum. I’ll take a vacuum, a new fridge, washer and dryer. Shit, I’ll even take the treadmill. I’d take a new front door, or a bathroom remodel, or a new dishwasher. And I’d take ANY of those gifts over being wined and dined, jewelry, or a spa day. Sure, those things would be nice, but a new vacuum to clean up the house with? HELL. YES. PLEASE.
My life is tough. Being a mom is tough. Managing a household is HARD. If you get me something on Mother’s Day that makes my life as a mother easier, BRING. IT. ON.
I want to be appreciated, I want to be treated nicely for blowing kids out of my crotch and continuing to raise them even though they yell at me about what color cup I give them. I want to feel special, and I want to be acknowledged as a person outside my motherly duties… but I also want to relax. I want to NOT spend all of my time doing household crap. I want to watch TV, and sleep. And a new vacuum/dishwasher/dryer that would get shit done around this house faster to accommodate all of that gives me exactly what I want. And a treadmill? It means I can eat more french fries. #winning
The one day a year that kids are supposed to try their hardest to not act like raging a-holes, and husbands are supposed to pick up the household duties, and the Moms of the world get to (hopefully) lay back and not lift a damn finger has passed! Mother’s Day! My newsfeed filled with paragraphs from everyone insisting they had the best moms ever, photos of flowers and homemade cards, and jewelry, and baskets of gifts awarded to women for another year of surviving motherhood. I applaud them. It’s well-deserved! Momming ain’t easy! SHOWER US IN PRAISE, AFFECTION, AND GIFTS! And then shut the hell up!
Anyone who says that moms should just be thankful to have children and that gifts aren’t necessary are full of shit. They’re totally necessary. And as fabulous as all of your gifts are, as heartfelt and touching, and sweet, I’m sorry to tell you, but my gift was better. It wasn’t one that you could just run out and grab at Walgreens, or a bouquet of flowers or a diamond “mom” necklace. What my kids gave to me reminded me of the exact moments they were born–our very first moments together in the hospital. The love, and the closeness, and the pain.
What did my kids give me? Hemorrhoids. And not just ANY hemorrhoid, but the crown jewel of hemorrhoids– the
resurgence of the Mount Rushmore sized hemorrhoid I got while giving birth to them. That’s right- I spent Mother’s Day with a punching bag hanging off of my butthole. I’m sure you’re thinking- But, Jenny, how could your children POSSIBLY cause the return of the hemorrhoid without the act of physically squeezing out of your vag again? And I’ll tell you. It was caused by the greasy breakfast they brought home when I woke up and they hadn’t gotten me a single thing for Mother’s Day. Not a card, or a shitty clay thing brought home from school that you have no idea what it could possibly be but you keep it forever because it was made just for you. Not even a hug or a “Happy Mother’s Day!” Nope. Nothing. So, to keep from being sold on the black market, they rushed out and grabbed some food, which my stomach decided to reject in the worst of ways.
If you’ve never had hemorrhoids, not only do I hate you, but you really have no idea just how awful the feeling is. It’s like having your ass torn in half every time you sit on the toilet. It’s praying you don’t have to go poop because you know your poor butthole is going to go on strike instead of having to endure the pain of pushing a turd past an angry sack of flesh blocking the way. I never had the pleasure of experiencing them before giving birth, and I remember very vividly sitting on the toilet in the delivery room crying about having to poop but not wanting to rip stitches or tear my asshole in half. And crying every single poop after that until the monsters shrunk and went back into the cave where they belong.
To be reminded, on Mother’s Day, of my very first moments as a mother, by shitty food my crotchfruit brought home for me to feast upon on my very special day- it’s just poetic perfection, isn’t it? But the story doesn’t end there.
You see, before my not-so-little friends came to visit, I’d mentioned very briefly wanting to go play mini-golf, and if you have kids, you know that if you DARE mention something funny out loud, you’ve basically signed a contract saying that, unless you’re dead, you will absolutely do it- and since I was just dealing with some danglers and not unconscious on the floor, we were going.
Even though eight hours had passed since breakfast had been consumed, my stomach was still PISSED. Mini-golf was the absolute wrong thing to be doing. The bending, the walking, the climbing- each with a cringe, and gurgle of the gut. And then came the gas. Typically, the angry hot-farts would be no big deal, especially considering we were outside with a lovely breeze and perfect weather, but when you’ve got an angry airbag on your butthole, every bit of air squeezing past it makes it flap like a door-stopper, and you basically wish you would have died so you didn’t have to be there.
I didn’t honestly think I’d be able to make it through all 18 holes with my delightful inflatable crack-buddy, until something magical happened. And maybe this makes me a horrible, terrible person- but when you feel like you’re going to pass out from pain every time you pass a hot fart, you’ll take what you can get.
It’s hole 10, and I’m clenching like my life depends on it at the end of a long green watching Parker get ready to hit his ball toward me. Thomas makes the mistake of stepping behind him and Parker swings that mofo like it’s the last of the World Series, directly into Thomas’ face. THWAP! Like something out of a cartoon, he flails wildly and goes down, and in that single second, my ass unclenched and I said “Now, THAT’S a gift!”
He’s fine. He didn’t spit out a tooth, just lost a little blood- and maybe next Mother’s Day, he’ll think about getting me a gift (even something tiny) instead of having to run out and grab me food that explodes my asshole like the children he impregnated me with!
It was Monday afternoon. The sun was shining and I was wondering why I was off work. As someone who waited tables in a severely understaffed restaurant, I never got days off, but that day, I did. That day, I got an important call, only I didn’t know it was important. It was my Grandmother, and she asked me to call her back. Thinking nothing of it, I went about my day as I would any other day off with nice weather. Driving around aimlessly with my then-boyfriend. Running a few errands. A little this, and a little that, not knowing that soon, my life would be changed forever.
When I finally called my Grandmother back, it only took a few seconds before I dropped my cell phone to the floor, and soon, I followed it.
“Your Mom died this morning”
It felt like a knife to the heart. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. This couldn’t be. My mom was dead. Gone. I was never going to see her again. I was only 19.
The next week was a blur. Making phone calls to family members, trying to make funeral arrangements when no one agreed on anything and I felt stressed and pressured so much that I didn’t have much time to be sad. It wasn’t until her funeral that I broke down. I’d selected her favorite song to be played during the service, and I didn’t last more than a few bars. She loved that song. I knew that, but once family and friends started regaling their fondest memories of her, I came to realize that her favorite song was almost the ONLY thing I knew about her. My mom was a REAL person. Not just my mom. How did I never see it?
Her life, to me, had revolved around our family. She was my mom, and what else? She liked to do crafts, but who knows if she actually LIKED them, or if she did them because it was something she picked up during her years as a stay at home mom to fend off boredom and insanity. She thought she could sing well. She was wrong, but she really believed it. She got her hair frosted at the Hair Cuttery one city away because a long-time friend worked there. But…. what else? Who WAS she?
I sit here now, watching my two children play a game together, over 11 years after my mom’s passing wondering- what do my kids know about ME? What about my life outside of their little bubble do they know?
It’s a common misconception that once a woman has children, they become her entire life. Her world as she knew it stops revolving, and begins orbiting her child. Maybe that’s true, at least a little, even if just for a little while- but we are REAL people. We had REAL lives before kids. We still have REAL dreams, wants, and needs, that have nothing to do with them.
My mom, just like me, was a real person. A real person I will never get the opportunity to know.
I know how volatile one’s relationship can be with their mother, I know mine sure was, so I’m not going to sit here and stress the importance of getting to know her- because sometimes that’s simply not an option. I get that.
At the end of the day, if you can’t get to know your mother, or if you don’t want to, or if it’s just impossible- at least understand that she is merely a human, just like you. She has a life, flaws, dreams, hopes, wishes. She had them before you, she had them FOR you, and she had them through you. She made sacrifices, mistakes (lots of them), cried and laughed more times than you can imagine, loved, lost, and all in all, was merely a human. An imperfect human. Not just a mom who is supposed to be the perfect bright shining example of goodness and light- but human. That’s one thing I wish I’d known, and I hope you remember going forward.
We may not get what we want for our birthdays, maybe we were a little disappointed- if we’re being honest- with ourselves, about what we got for Christmas- but Mother’s Day, in my opinion, is in a league of its own as far as “holidays” go. It’s not just the day we celebrate the fact that we shot a baby out of our crotch, had one ripped from our insides, or brought one into our lives- but a day to appreciate the multitude of BULLSHIT we moms put up with for the other 364 days of the year. Needless to say, a celebration of sorts is deserved. But do we ever ask for one? No, we don’t. We (mostly) thanklessly live Mother’s Day as if it were just another no-big-deal day, maybe with a card, maybe with some flowers, a few smooches and hugs and if we’re REALLY lucky, a dinner out- and all with a smile on our faces, for that is our job. Ruler. Matriarch. Keeper of peace. Our crown locked tightly within, for we only use it to lord over those residing in our kingdom when shit hits the fan, and thanks to our successful dictatorship, that doesn’t happen often. Go us!
Knowing all those things, after careful consideration, I have come up with the BEST Mother’s Day gift of all time for moms of school-aged kids. Ever. And forever. Nothing will ever be better than this, and nothing else will ever be acceptable again.
Come Mother’s Day morning, we should be pampered. And I’m not talking “Here’s a warm pop tart and why don’t you go get yourself a manicure, honey” Ohhhhh no. I’m talking a full home-made breakfast in bed, coffee, fresh baked muffin, and assortment of fruit. Oh, and a mimosa. From that moment on, anything that comes out of anyone’s mouth should be positive. “Mommy, you look more beautiful than a Disney princess” or “Mommy is the fairest of them all” will do nicely.
The whole house shall be cleaned while the Mother sits with her feet up, eating chocolate, and reading trashy magazines. On second thought, one family member should be rubbing the Mother’s feet while the others deep-clean, dust, and scrub every nook and cranny.
There shall be shopping, without any “you’re spending THAT much on (insert gorgeous fashionable item here)??” commentary.
The mother will not lift a finger to prepare any kind of meal, but a delicious one shall be served- whether at home or out, without anyone complaining about the amount, flavor, or place.
Gifts will be bestowed upon the mother; whether it be macaroni school-made gifts, or lavish tiaras- it had better be SOMETHING, or you will be scorned from there until eternity.
The mother will be fed as a small child is fed; food cut up, spoons lifted, chin dabbed. In fact, the mother should not even have to wipe her own ass for one day. It should be done by the children as a form of early payback. Dry toilet paper AND wet ones must be used.
Okay, I’m totally fucking kidding. Most moms, while any of the above aside from the butt wiping would be nice, don’t really have a deep desire for any of the above. We’re more realistic than that! Just give us some chocolate, or some cheesecake, or some chocolate cheesecake, let us pee in peace and watch what we want on the damn boob tube, and don’t whine! That is truly ALL we all really want! Though I am sure some people thought all of the RIDICULOUSNESS above was accurate- we moms aren’t that needy, greedy, or crazy. We wipe other people’s butts for a living- how complicated and/or fancy can we REALLY be?
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