Thursday, May 7, 2015
Dear husbands and boyfriends of Mom's on Mother's Day: Mother's Day is upon us. The shelves at the stores are filled with chocolates, flowers, and stuffed teddy bears holding hearts that read "Happy Mother's Day." Restaurants are offering free decadent chocolate cakes for mothers with an entree purchase. Radio stations are spewing out jewelry ads every 2 minutes insisting this is what mom really wants. Husbands, boyfriends, Step dads, Dads, you are under the gun to get it right. Everywhere you turn someone or something is telling you what she really wants. At least according to market research. Right? The only person NOT telling you what she really wants is her. So what does mom really want? It is true, we love to be spoiled. We want spa days and we love surprises, chocolate, flowers and jewelry. We want lots of wine and hugs and breakfast in bed. We love all of those things. We know the world is telling you to get us those things and by all means go for it. Please! We will love it and we might even brag about it on all of our Facebook and Instagram accounts. But I have a different idea, a challenge for you. I ask you to add something to those gifts this year, something small and a little more personal. I challenge you to write your wife or girlfriend, the mother of your children a letter. Not just a "thanks for all you do" summary on the inside of a pre-written card. Write a full page or more in your own words. Don't type it, but hand write it and hand deliver it. Tell her more than what a heart shaped candy, a personalized M&M, or a Taco Bell hot sauce packet can say. Tell her it all. Why? Because so often she forgets. She forgets why she is working so hard. She won't get a yearly review praising her for her improvements. She won't receive a pay raise with a bonus because she made it to all the birthday parties and soccer practices on time. She forgets why she is exhausted and tired. She wonders if she is seen during her days enveloped in laundry baskets and dish soap. She questions her relevance and questions if she is making a difference. She spends so much of her time worrying about others. Striving to make her children, her spouse, her friends, coworkers, and bosses happy, while forgetting that her own happiness matters. She cares relentlessly. She cries when she is alone so she can be stable when she is surrounded. She hides her needs so she can fill the needs of those around her. She is a rock, standing strong when strength is asked of her. She is also a ship; rocking, waning, at times sinking in a sea of self doubt. She is trying and failing and trying and succeeding. No day passes where she doesn't question herself. What the mom in your life needs to hear, needs desperately to know is that she is seen and heard and appreciated for all the things that she feels so often go unnoticed. She needs you to put into words why she matters in your life. Ask yourself; What would my days look like without her in it? Then tell her why you need her there. Not everyone has the opportunity to tell someone how they truly feel. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. So do it this year. Do it now. Make her know she is truly appreciated by telling her what it is you appreciate. Tell her how she makes your life better. Your words, the things that you rarely say, those words are what will make her melt. The words that you pull from the back of your mind and the deepest parts of your heart are what will make her day. Write to her. Tell her she is beautiful and why she still matters. Remind her why you love her. Remind her that she is still the same person she was before children and that she is only more beautiful to you now. Write to her. If you speak truthfully, If you put on paper all the good she does and even remind yourself of all the reasons you love her, you will share in a moment that can not easily be forgotten. A letter you both can bring out and read when that ship starts to flood again. She can read it when she is low. She can smile thinking of your words when she is happy. She will love it. And she will love you even more for it. Now go make a memory and again I say, write to her. Happy Mother's Day.