by Michele Johansen
My first Mother's Day occurred when my daughter was eight days old. I had been looking forward to it during my entire pregnancy, and, although I gave my husband no specifics on how I wanted to celebrate, I made sure he understood that it was The Most Important Day Ever.
The result? I was sick with an infection and in no mood to enjoy myself—hardly the day I dreamt of. To be honest, the Mother's Days after that didn't fare much better, and though I don't detest the day, it's not exactly the holiday I long for as I once did.
I'll admit that much of this has to do with unrealistic expectations on my part as well as not telling my family how I would like to spend the day. Am I the only mom who goes through this? No. Not by a long shot. Can we make it better? Absolutely.
It's been close to 100 years since the first national Mother's Day was celebrated in 1914. Back then, it was commemorated with simplicity. Carnations were used to honor mothers, red for those still living and white to remember those who had passed. It's evolved quite a bit. Now we have Mother's Day brunches, teas, and socials. We're taken on family outings or sent to a spa, when what we may really want is to stay home alone to read a book or watch recorded episodes of Glee to our heart's content. Perhaps the solution to avoiding a deflating Mother's Day is to take control of it, from beginning to end.
This may sound a bit radical, but what if Mother's Day wasn't crammed into just one day? What if we, as mothers, were given the gift of having several days of celebration in a way that we design ourselves?
Before you start panicking or laughing at the idea of honoring moms for more than one day, let me explain. Think about what moms want, what they get, and how the day is spent. When broken down, much of the actual holiday is spent focused on our own mothers and/or mother-in-laws.
Want proof? Mother's Day is the busiest phone day of the year, with roughly 123 million phone calls made to dear old Mom. In addition, Hallmark says that Mother's Day is the third biggest card-sending holiday of the year. We can't help but love our moms!
Here is how this vision of multiple Mother's Days plays out in my mind:
In addition to whatever lovely gift and day my husband and kids have planned for me, they'll also throw in a little extra. I'll be given a menu of activities that I can order from à la carte. For example, I might choose one afternoon of alone time while my husband takes the kids out for four hours. My next "Mother's Day" may find me going to a movie with a girlfriend followed by lunch. And finally, on my last Mother's Day, I may decide I want the whole family to go bike riding.
According to a Cozi poll of 5,000 moms here are the gifts they'd like to receive and the way they would like to spend the day:
- 35% of mothers wanted a simple handmade card or handmade item.
- 31% of moms wanted to spend their special day at home with the family.
- 23% of moms preferred to spend the day doing anything with their kids.
I still love Mother's Day and the original intent that founder Anna Jarvis had: To spend quality time with our mothers and let them know how special they are. But I wouldn't mind ensuring that the day is celebrated exactly the way I'd like it to be!
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