This past Mother's Day was a beautiful day spent with my family, with several breaks from my normal routine of Mommy-duty. We enjoyed breakfast out (no dishes or floors to clean), an afternoon long-overdue pedicure while Daddy took the kids to the park, and a late afternoon boat ride on Lake Erie with a family picnic dockside. I was appreciative that my husband coordinated a fun-filled day including thoughtful and charming flowers, handmade cards from my three children, a run to the grocery store to procure the necessary picnic items, and of course the fun boat ride on the lake. I realize it takes a lot of planning and administration to make this day special for Mommy. Amidst my husband's hectic and demanding schedule, I am thankful for his selflessness and generosity on this day.
However, and I hesitate to proceed here, at the risk of sounding unappreciative or demanding (both of which I am not, of course!)....but just for fun, if I had to dream up a perfect Mother's Day, a day that would truly be a break from the everyday grind of inevitable mommy duties, (but NOT a break from plenty of hugs and kisses), and allow Mommy to be 'Queen Bee' just for one day, I would encourage all husbands to perform the following (a girl can dream, right?)...
First, let Mommy sleep in - meaning intercept the stealth 5:30 a.m. sneak-ins by little ones into Mommy's bed before they actually reach/wake Mommy, change diapers, help dress, brush teeth, put out all fighting-fires, and take kids downstairs for quiet play...
Second, use your alligator-wrangling, cat-herding powers to put on shoes, corral everyone into the car while Mommy sips coffee and reads the newspaper.
Next, treat Mommy to her favorite breakfast spot and perform all necessary public refereeing, pancake cutting, spill cleaning, and bathroom trips, as needed.
Following breakfast, cheerfully head to Sunday Mass, and again, perform all necessary public refereeing, book/toy retrieval, withdrawal to the outside as needed upon toddler melt-downs...
After Mass, change into play clothes and enjoy something fun outside: trip to the park, playing soccer/baseball in the backyard, bike ride, etc....of course Daddy continues to referee all disputes/wrestle matches, conflicts over bikes, sidewalk chalk, or general bossy behavior.
In the afternoon, give Mommy a little break to be ALONE, doing anything she pleases whether it be an afternoon workout, newspaper/coffee shop date, bubble bath, pampering at the spa, etc. (see various FREE gift ideas in my prior blog about Mother's Day). Most importantly, (this is where it gets tricky) while Mommy is away for this recharging alone time, keep the kids entertained with some sort of educational/creative/outdoor play that does NOT include screen time of any kind. Also, be sure to clean up kitchen, clear/load dishwasher, tend to laundry, put away clean laundry, re-organize toys, feed the dog, water plants, and ensure house is in order so Mommy does NOT come home to a hurricane of a home, (which by the way, would completely cancel all efforts to give her some relaxation time!)
For dinner, coordinate something fun (outdoor picnic, as my sweet hubby did), or take her out to her favorite spot....anything that does NOT include grocery shopping, cooking, or cleaning up after the meal.
After dinner, play with kids again in some educational, creative, or energy-burning way - that does NOT include screen time....rope them into a 'game' of cooperative toy-pick up, give kids their baths, dress for bed, brush teeth, read books, and put to bed while Mommy catches up on either an overdue DVR-ed show, reading of a favorite novel, newspaper, or simply surfing the web.
Once kids are down and the house is scanned for any potential to-do's Mom would be faced with on her rushed Monday morning (i.e. laundry, dishwasher, administrative aftermath), treat Mommy to either a movie of her choice, her favorite dessert, glass of wine on the front porch, whatever to celebrate a fun and relaxing day!
Of course, most readers would laugh at the above implausible scenario, as Daddy would certainly be too exhausted and perhaps exasperated at the end of this day to even make it past the opening credits of that chic-flick or first bite of dessert. Also, needless to say, the aforementioned day is perhaps overloaded with unreasonable requests for any partner of the house to perform. Yet, if Mommy is supposed to feel special and appreciated for just this one day out of the year, I think most moms would agree that a complete AM-to-PM break from all of the mundane/grueling/brainless tasks we perform on a daily basis, it would be the most welcomed and appreciated (yet unrealistic, I know) gift we could possibly receive!
With Father's Day quickly approaching, I welcome all Daddies to illustrate their perfect day....I suspect it would inevitably include plenty of good food, time/space away from the household chaos (golf, boating, fishing, hunting), more good food, more time/space away from the household chaos, with some good old fashioned family time sprinkled in for good measure ; )
No matter what your dream day may look like, I hope every Mommy and (Daddy) out there had (and will have) a wonderful day filled with laughter, fun, and happy memories with their families! Cheers!