This one may not be popular.
Mother’s Day is tomorrow, and like all good husbands I’ve been trying to decide what to get my wife as a gift. You all know standard operating procedure calls for such things as jewelry, flowers, chocolate, a meal at a nice restaurant, etc. You know the drill. But I’m here to suggest something else. Something a little less ordinary. The kind of outside-the-box thinking that makes sense to some, but horrifies others.
This year, I’m going to leave my wife the fuck alone.
No I’m not abandoning her to get out of giving her a gift. Quite the contrary actually. I plan to have the whole house clean by early tomorrow morning. The dishes will be done, the sink washed out, the counters wiped down, the floors vacuumed and the kids toys picked up and put away. I’m going to wake up early and make her a nice, big fresh pot of coffee. Then I’m going to cook her breakfast while she’s still asleep. I will bring her breakfast in bed, complete with the morning newspaper that no one else has read, chewed on, ripped up or peed on yet (the cats are assholes!). Then I’m going to give her a card and a kiss, pack myself and Will in the car and drive away for a few hours.
Let’s face it, moms do a lot. They are selfless and unrelenting in their duties, often failing to take any time for themselves. You moms out there, let me ask you a question. When was the last time you spent 3 hours alone on a Sunday morning free to do anything you want to do? Whether it’s read a book, watch crappy Lifetime TV or sit and relax in a bubble bath without a demon child running in to throw things at you or demand your attention? I bet it’s been awhile. I know it has for MJ, who works like a dog in order to make this family tick.
I’m a dad and for Father’s Day I know I like to have a little time for myself. I value being free of my household chores for a day, and having MJ pick up the bulk of the diaper changes and daily minutiae involved with caring for a 2-year-old. And maybe I’ll go to a baseball game with some buddies and have a few beers. Other dads I know make it a point to play a round of golf. Whatever the case may be, dads often go out on their own for Father’s Day to blow off some steam.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, but the problem is moms face a shitty double standard.
I’m willing to bet even if a mom wants to be left alone on Mother’s Day, she feels incredibly guilty verbalizing that thought. After all, what mother doesn’t want to be around her child 24/7? Societal norms have historically dictated woman are bred for motherhood, and any admission otherwise means you’re some kind of monster who hates her kids. As ridiculous as this sounds, I’ve seen women buy into it hook, line and sinker.
But that’s bullshit. If a mom wants some alone time on Mother’s Day, then she’s earned it and then some. And I’m happy to oblige. So I’ll probably take Will up to my mom’s house to say Happy Mother’s Day to her for a few hours. And when I get home MJ will be rested, recharged, happy and ready to have a great time for the rest of the day with us.
It’s a total win-win as long as you moms are willing to shed the guilt for a few hours.
In closing, I’d like to add that in typical fashion my wife outdid me this weekend by surprising me with a Droid Incredible phone when I got home last night. Can you believe that? It’s Mother’s Day weekend and she got me a gift. I love her so much. And I love the phone. Possibly more than I love her. Just kidding. Kind of…
Happy Mother’s Day to MJ, my mom and all the other great moms out there. We love you!