Flowers, handmade cards, and mimosa-laden brunches are all great Mother’s Day gifts, but that’s not what she really wants.
Not even close.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can never get mom what she wants the most. Maybe the only way you can really show your appreciation is to at least try to understand the crucial, non-negotiable, heartbreaking items that are really on her list.
- Invent a time machine so she can go back and visit a time she felt the most needed and loved. For most moms, this is that first year. That tiresome, awful, wonderful first year of motherhood that you wish away and then suddenly wish you can get back when tiny hands grow larger and don’t need you as much anymore.
- Let her also fast forward through every disappointment, breakup, heartbreak, rejection, and bullying situation her children are destined to experience while her own heart helplessly breaks into a million pieces.
- End SIDS forever.
- Give her the village she was promised. Most moms are warned it “takes a village” to raise a child, but after those first few sleepless nights, she wonders where the villagers are. Whether it’s family, a mom group, or close-proximity friends, give her a group of people who love her and want to help her and make her feel like she doesn’t have to do it all on her own.
- End child abuse forever.
- Fix the foster care system. Just fix it. So she never has to hear about children sleeping in an office building because they have no where else to go.
- Give her several extra hours in the day. She desperately wants to have the whole house cleaned, make delicious meals, play with her children, have a fulfilling career or hobby, exercise, attend to everyone’s needs, get to appointments on time, have time for herself, have time with her partner, wash, dry, and fold all the clothes, take care of the animals, go to the park, and spend time with good friends… all in the same day. But she usually has to pick two and hope for the best on all the other things.
- End infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth forever.
- Have every soldier who’s called to fight come home safely and make it so there was never a reason for them to go and fight in the first place.
- End childhood cancers forever.
- Survey all children throughout the world and report back letting her know you’ve solved the problem and not one child has gone to bed hungry. Watch as she sleeps peacefully for the first time in her life.
Unfortunately for everyone with a mother’s heart, it will always be a little bit broken. So long as there are children in the world who aren’t safe or loved, mothers will never have what they really want.
But the good news is, the fact that we ache and hurt so deeply is what makes us mothers. And it’s what calls us to action. It’s what makes us volunteer. It’s what makes us donate. It’s what makes us foster parents. It’s what makes us slow down and enjoy every fleeting moment. It’s what makes us cry with a grieving mother. It’s what makes us fight for human rights. It’s what makes us prepare a meal for someone who just had a baby. It’s what makes us not judge each other. It’s what makes us connected to all mothers regardless of our differences in race, religion, or nationality, because we all just want what’s best for our children. It’s what makes us help each other. It’s what makes us demand a better world.
It’s what gives us the heavy, loaded, and supremely privileged title of Mother.
So while you can’t relieve our burden and magically change the world for us, in a way, we wouldn’t want you to. We’re going to change the world ourselves because we have to. We know there’s no easy fix, but we can’t stomach the idea of a child or mother in need, so we’re going to do everything in our power to make it right or die trying.
But you can make us handmade cards. We love that stuff.