Gifts They Can’t Buy You for Mother’s Day: Ask Without Guilt

May 6th, 2008

Ah, Mother’s Day, that one day each year when it’s supposed to be all about us. As kids, we feted Mom with a fancy brunch, a gift, and some flowers.

So it came as a shock to me when I became a Mom and realized that I really didn’t want any of that stuff. The fact is, I just wanted some time to myself…and I felt so GUILTY about it. Then I thought about it some more, and realized that there was something else I really, really wanted – a clean car.


Wasn’t I supposed to be looking forward to Sunday brunch?

When I asked my other girlfriends, I found that many felt the same way. But few dared to ask their husbands for time alone and a “honey do.” Instead, they put on a smile and tried to enjoy another restaurant meal out – always a challenge for those of us with little ones.

But the statistics bear out what I observed in my own inner circle. Check out this survey of Moms and Free Time by Kiwi Magazine and you’ll learn that 79% of Moms say they don’t get enough personal time. In that first, intense year of Motherhood, you really crave it, and unfortunately that’s when most Moms feel most guilty about asking for it.

Fortunately, in my case, my church intervened, scheduling a “Mother’s Retreat” on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. This retreat is so cool that one of my Jewish friends is coming to take notes in order to convince her temple to offer a similar program!

With a simple meal, an interesting speaker, a meaningful service in the Chapel just for the Moms, and scheduled “me time” when you can take advantage of yoga, massage, or simply close your eyes on a sofa or go outside for a walk, the event is immensely popular.

And as for the requisite Mother’s Day gift? My DH asked me at least ten times if I was SURE that all I wanted for Mother’s Day was a clean station wagon. He really didn’t believe me at first.

While I was at the Saturday Mother’s Retreat with the six-month-old, DH and Big Boy emptied the car of assorted petrified Cheerios (okay, Toasted Organic Oatio-Os to be precise), bottle caps, torn papers, lost toys, ancient newspapers and magazines, worn out pacifiers, and about 984 other interesting items. Then they washed and vacuumed.

I was so excited, I was beside myself when I got into my clean looking and clean smelling Mom Mobile.

My DH was a little annoyed by the huge amount of rubble in the car. He made me promise that I would not let it get into such a state again. Did you see the photo up top? That was taken TODAY. Yes, the car is once again in pretty bad shape!

Anyway, I’m still angling for a clean car this year for Mother’s Day. It makes me feel good, saves me time, costs no money, is a great project for the kids, and is “green.”

What do you want for Mother’s Day? Leave a comment and share! OrganicMania will publicize what Moms really want so maybe all our dreams will come true!

And another good “green” option is a donation to a children’s charity…check out these amazing programs at J&J’s BabyCause site. The Parent Blogger’s Network is publicizing this charity, and I thought I’d give them a mention.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania

10 Responses to “Gifts They Can’t Buy You for Mother’s Day: Ask Without Guilt”

  1. Shawn on May 6, 2008 3:55 pm

    Yes … me time is definitely under scheduled at our house, too. And yet it’s so valuable to all of our sanity. Thanks for this reminder. I’ll take one heaping cup of me time this Mother’s Day weekend.

    Good for you! Happy Mother’s Day! — Lynn

  2. Christine on May 6, 2008 4:33 pm

    I hope I’ll be asked, because I’d really like DH and children to pick me up some hanging flower plants. I just haven’t had the time to get any this year! If I insist that I don’t want anything (or something super small) for any holiday, my DH avows that “Men’s Health Magazine says” all women want a gift even if she says she doesn’t. I usually don’t win. :)
    Thanks for your thoughtful blog.

    You’re so welcome – hey, why don’t you tell them? Thanks for stopping by! — Lynn

  3. Amy @ The Q Family on May 7, 2008 5:58 am

    Don’t forget to post your after picture. :)

    I also don’t want anything. I just want a peace and quiet afternoon. Maybe go to the spa and get a good massage… That will be nice.

    Also a clean house.. If we can hire someone to clean the whole house, I will be happy. :)

    -Amy @ The Q Family

    Yes, I thought about that last night as I stood in the tub spraying Green Works to get the mold off of the shower curtain liner. At least I’m not asphyxiated anymore from toxic cleansers, but still! :) — Lynn

  4. Mother Earth on May 8, 2008 1:53 pm

    In my first marriage we always had an elder mom “mama”, she was who got honored on mothers day – it usually involved a meal and my first husband drinking champagne while I chased the kids and got to drive home because he was in a champagne coma, to this day my kids still honor the eldest mother, however before they go I hear that something is a brewing that morning. My second marriage with the kids traditionally gone mothers day weekend was always a gardening and yard project day/weekend – we’d typically work very hard and I absolutely loved it. I usually was treated to a nice grilled salmon dinner, sometimes a nice bottle of wine.

    Now with that marriage behind me and the kids gone the only thing I have on the docket is lots of laundry – and some alone time. Treasured alone time for what it’s worth has its bliss.

    I think it’s brave of you to share the pic of your car after your hubby cleaned it for you already, perhaps the kids could have car cleaning patrol for some piggy bank money to help mommy keep it under control!

    Great idea, Mother Earth! Thanks for stopping by! — Lynn

  5. HappyYogaMama on May 8, 2008 4:03 pm

    I’d like to sleep late, take a long bath, put on a fresh pair of PJ’s, get back in bed & read a book. No mothering on mother’s day. Except maybe some kisses and hugs – but that’s all! If the house & car were magically cleaned during this time, man!, that would be icing on the cake. Cake might be good too…

    Yeah, then you would be a real happy yoga mama, eh? I’m with you! — Lynn

  6. Kristen on May 8, 2008 4:49 pm

    Because I had my two children back to back, I’ve been pregnant or nursing for 30 out of the past 32 months. When asked recently what I wanted, I said a full 24 hours without responsibility for either child. Unfortunately this isn’t feasible since my infant is still nursing, but a gal can dream.

    Thanks for the fun car photo. It’s good to know that I’m not alone in my car cleanliness deficiency!

    Hi, Kristen, thanks for stopping by – wow! 2 kids back to back…ai yi yi…I have friends with kids 15 months apart and they say the first three years are the roughest. Good for you for nursing so long though! Congrats on the new baby and thanks for stopping by! — Lynn

  7. A Conservative Christian Environmental Blog - 'Cause the World's Not Ours to Mess Up [Ps 24:1] on May 12, 2008 7:09 am

    […] Mom Lynn from OrganicMania reflects on what Mom’s really want for Mother’s Day…but often feel too guilty to a…. Yes, yes, I know it was yesterday. But as we say around our house, “Every day is […]

  8. Debbie on May 19, 2008 7:21 am

    Hey Lynn! Great post. Debbie G. passed it along and it jolted my memory about owing you a phone call! Now, if I could only find the time …. LOL.

    As a full time working mom of 4, I can TOTALLY appreciate the desire to have some time alone; to do nothing, or to do everything I’ve always wanted to cram into a day. Sounds luxurious. However, as much as that’s an entirely appealing concept, I also realize that there will come a day when my children will “outgrow” their need to have me around all the time. I already see it a little bit with my oldest (11). While I’m still a central figure in his life, the older he gets and more mature he becomes, the less he “needs” me on a day-to-day basis like my other little ones do. And this is what makes me (sometimes) re-think the concept of wanting these “alone days” for myself. I will most certainly have them in abundance one day, so perhaps I ought to enjoy all this love and attention I get from my little ones while they’re so willing to give it?? :-) It’s a constant trade-off to be sure. And, I always say to everyone “yes, I’m 6th on the list, after the 4 kids and DH”. But at the end of the day, I also know I’m the luckiest person in the world to be the woman and the mom that I am, and to have such a solid and strong marriage that I enjoy.

    So those alone days will come … I will dream about them for now …. revel in them when they arrive …. and miss the days I leave behind filled with craziness, noise and my BIG wonderful family!

    Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I definitely did!

    Hey Debbie, thanks for stopping by OrganicMania and for that wonderful comment! — Lynn

  9. Josie on July 2, 2008 6:49 am

    Thanks for posting this. This is a great reminder to dads. I have a 3 month old and a 20 month old. My wife has recently resigned from a prominent career and spends all of her time with the kids. I have given her an hour here and there, and 3 hours for a spa once. I normally give her gifts, cards, etc. From now on I will work on giving her more free time.

    Oh, that’s sweet, Josie! I love when I hear from the Dads! :) Glad this was helpful. — Lynn

  10. Organic and Green Mom Blog | What to Get A Green Mom for Mothers Day (Or Any Other Time!): Top 10 Gifts for Green Moms at Organic Mania on May 9, 2009 8:49 am

    […] past years, I’ve taken a real minimalist view – all this Green Mom wanted was a clean car. That may still be a need, but with so many of us putting off desires this year due to the economy, […]

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