Tuesday, April 29, 2008

for the guys reading my blog...

This is a public service announcement.

Mother’s Day is coming up. It’s less than two weeks away, and you should really start thinking about it now. Don’t panic, you still have plenty of time to create a nice day for your wife and/or Mom.

If you have young children at home, the first thing I want you to do is think about your wife. What does she like to do in her free time? Does she garden? Scrapbook? Read? Run? Go out to eat with her friends? These things will give you important clues that will help you select a nice gift.

Do not buy her a new vacuum or cleaning items of any kind unless she asks you specifically for them. Seriously. If she hasn’t asked for it, don’t buy her a new dustbuster to keep the minivan clean.

Enough said.

Does your wife like to read? How about a $5 Starbucks gift card, a new book, and a coupon for an evening off? On that evening, take care of dinner clean-up and send your wife off to Starbucks to read for as long as she’d like. Put the kids to bed and do any of the usual nighttime chores she does.

Does your wife enjoy dinner out with friends? Give her a gift card to her favorite restaurant and an evening off. Again, follow the clean-up instructions in the paragraph above. This is important. If she comes home to a messy house and frozen pizza crusts in the sink, it won’t feel like a night off.

Does she enjoy shopping? Give her a gift card to her favorite store and a Saturday off to shop and meet friends for lunch. (Some malls and shopping centers even have gift cards that are good at any store or restaurant in the whole shopping center!)

Buy her favorite flowers. If you don’t know what her favorites are, ask. It’s probably not roses. (The same rule applies to your Mom.)

Help the children cook her favorite breakfast and clean the kitchen afterwards.

Last year, my husband gave me a beautiful portrait of himself with our three boys. Somehow, he managed to get them all dressed nicely and off to get their picture done without me noticing. I love this picture of all my "boys."

Help the children make her a gift. Family Fun has some fantastic Mother’s Day craft ideas for all ages. One year for Father’s Day, I helped the noisy boys make personalized note pads. They drew their own pictures and we took them to Kinkos and had them made into notepads. It was simple and inexpensive for two four-year olds to make, and my husband loved them. Have the kids shop for a special pen for Mom, and you’ve got a fun, thoughtful gift. (You could make extras of these and give them to your own Mom if you need gift ideas for her too!)

Of course, jewelry is always nice. You know your budget constraints. If you can’t afford nice jewelry, pick something else. Just my opinion.

Whatever gift you decide on, write your wife a nice card and tell her how much you appreciate all she does as a Mom. Help your children do the same. (One of my favorite Mother’s Day cards is from Twin B. His preschool teacher promted him with “I appreciate my Mommy because she…” and he said, “helps me wipe my bottom.” I will keep this card forever.)

Now let me talk to you, Moms. Give your husband a break and tell him exactly what you want for Mother’s Day. If you’re hoping he’ll guess, let me tell you if you haven’t figured this out yet: he won’t. I don’t know your husband, but he probably wants to please you. Explicitly tell him how to do this. You’ll both be happier in the long run!

Oh, and in case I don’t say it later, Happy Mother’s Day!


Erika Haub said...

Very good call emphasizing the clean-up aspect of the night or day off. Recently Doug has been sending me out of the house one night a week to do something fun, but to come home to the mess/chores that normally take those evening hours can quickly nullify the whole purpose (Doug's finishing his MDiv and only has the evening to work on his classes so I have to do all of the chores--so it's not a case of lame-husband, just our circumstances right now).

That said, the crusts in the sink image totally resonated :)

Llama Momma said...

Erika -- thanks for your comment. Yes, the clean-up is the most important part of the gift!

My hat is off to both you and Doug. Your circumstances right now are not easy. I am glad you've been able to get out and do something fun once in awhile. THAT is no small thing! (And maybe paper plates once a week while Mommy is out wouldn't be a bad idea?)

(Thanks, too, for the blogging award. I'll get to that soon...)

WilyHacker said...

And I always thought she liked the tools I gave her. :-)

Gary said...

Hi Llama Momma,

Great advice. Here's something elses that I find works well: I surprise my wife on non-holidays throughout the year with chocolates or flowers, and then holidays are a little lower pressure. And she seems to like the surprises better.

BTW, thanks for visiting my blog!

BBTW, you probably already know this one, but I'll give it to you anyway:

The one-L lama, he's a priest / The two-LL llama, he's a beast / And I will bet a silk pajama, there isn't any three-L lllama. - Ogden Nash

FrazzMom said...

I have to admit that I am totally getting my mom a steam mop for Mother's Day... It seems wrong, I know- but she really DOES want one... Maybe I'll add in a good book to read, since she'll have lots of extra time now... (Instead of having to mop up after my Dad and the dog!)

Anonymous said...

This was great! I think you're onto something when you said to tell your husband what it is you want for mother's day. This kind of communication goes a long way in all kinds of relationships.

Llama Momma said...

Wileyhacker -- well, did she ASK for tools? If she did you're safe. ;-)

Gary -- Thanks for stopping by! Surprises all year long are a wonderful thing!! Keep up the good work! ;-)

FrazzMom -- Why doesn't your mom have to mop up after your dad? Is he away? Just curious. And I'm sure she'll love a steam mop. IMO the rules totally don't apply to gifts among women. But from a spouse? Cleaning supplies are just not cool...

Charity -- Communication is everything, isn't it? And not just for spouses, but friends and family too. To be able to ask for what we want or need is important. Incidentally, I go to the movies with friends every year on Mother's day. It started when the babies were little and my husband asked me what I wanted to do. My answer? "Get away from the babies and see a movie with my friend." And that's what I've done every year since. I wish you lived closer, we could see one together! (But not the Bucket List...)

Craver Vii said...

This is VERY helpful. Thanks!

Llama Momma said...

Craver -- Glad to help! As you can see, I lean toward the gift of time. For me, it's the nicest gift in the world for my husband to just shoo me off for a few hours alone! :-)

(And being that I'm not all that into "stuff," this is what I usually ask for!)

Audra Marie said...

Great post with some great ideas. I so agree - I learned years ago to tell my hubby what I want, so he isn't wandering around the stores with six kids in tow trying to think of something and getting all frustrated. :)

He usually surprises me with his own ideas though lol.

23 degrees said...

LM, good advice here! So true!

23 degrees said...

A day at Barnes and Noble happened for Mrs. 23 and her mom...with no kids in ow. Grandpa and I cooked steaks on the grill and did the clean up. Happy all-around! Sound counsel.