A rejection of the cliched Mother’s Day gift offerings on the premise that no two moms are alike.
The most difficult thing I have ever done was become a mother.
Just kidding, the most difficult thing I have ever done was rock climb. Becoming a mother was relatively easy, considering that growing and producing a baby is something my body just sort of knew how to do (unlike rock climbing). The Newborn Days are challenging, sure, but they’re temporary, and you’re rewarded in a few weeks with a smiling, pudgy bundle who thinks you’re tops.
Sure, the sleep sucks and the pay’s terrible, but it’s nothing I didn’t willingly sign up for, and any mother who complains about their child deserves a swift kick in the ladyparts from every woman who is currently undergoing fertility treatment.
That said, I’m stoked about getting a gift for Mother’s Day, guys!
Being a mother is its own reward, yeah yeah, but I have new perspective on how many “You’re welcomes” I should be giving out. A LOT. You’re welcome, parents, for providing you with a grandkid to freak out about. You’re welcome, husband, for getting up in the middle of the night every night. You’re welcome, every person I come in contact with, for not just showing you pictures all the time like I want to.
I never thought about Mother’s Day or Father’s Day much before now, but as holidays, they make so much sense. It’s an all-consuming job to be a parent, and most of us have sacrificed something or other just as our parents did before us. Why not celebrate the effort we’ve made?
Unfortunately, these holidays are in desperate need of some help in the image department. Much like you don’t leave the hospital with an instruction booklet for your new kid, you also don’t leave the hospital with a new appreciation for hats, tea parties, and old lady purses (moms) or golf, grills, and expensive pens (dads). More than anything, you just want someone to agree with you that your child is the cutest one that has ever condescended to scream among us mortals. That and some decent take-out and maybe some late-‘90s NBC Must See TV comedies on DVD.1
In fact, this year, when Mother’s Day commercials started ramping up again, I found myself wondering if our society really and truly believes that once we’re mothers, ladies all unite together in one cohesive force that aggressively seeks out pink flower arrangements and heart-shaped diamond necklaces.
It turns out, though, that women are still unique individuals with varying interests. I know, I know, we tend to carry purses, so that handbag-shaped layer cake at Kroger2 may seem like a dynamite idea, but how about considering the specific desires of the mother in question, much as you would any human being who will be the recipient of a gift.
My gift guide for new moms, therefore, is simple. In fact, it’s useful as a gift guide for seasoned moms as well. Or dads. Or sisters. Or teachers. Or mail carriers. Get a mother what she wants and avoid the cliche Mother’s Day swag. I like playing the piano, so some sheet music would be cool. So would a ticket to Busch Gardens. So would a framed oil painting of the waterfall scene in Last of the Mohicans. But that’s just me. What does your mother or your kids’ mother (equally as important) want?
Together, we can turn the tide of retail advertising’s insistence on branding Mother’s Day with Things That Are Associated with Middle-Aged Females from the 1950s.
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Photo by: Ken’s Oven