Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that never really meant a whole lot to me until recently. About the time when I became a parent, I realized that overwhelming anxiety and joy that comes with caring for a little one. It’s weird. I guess I thought it wasn’t that big of a deal before. I mean…I had a mom…she was there….I was here….we all were cool. But I didn’t know there was so much going on behind that relationship….the hourly stress of parenting….even if the relationship was great. And for all of you that haven’t realized it yet….there is a stress factor.
Just simply the idea that you are responsible for making sure someone stays alive and doesn’t put their foot into a shoe that has a lurking brown recluse….that’s stressful. You are on high alert at all times….did they drink enough water today? did they eat too much sugar? did I check their diaper recently? did they unbuckle their seatbelt? are they getting an ear infection from the neighbors pool? should I take them in for this rash? what books are they reading? did I brush that left molar well enough? are they getting bullied? what if that headache is serious? are they gonna climb up the table? will they lunge out of my hands and hurt themselves? the questions about their person are endless….
And then comes the stress of actually guiding them as they become BIGGER humans….how do I teach humility? how do I teach confidence? are they being compassionate at school? what if play too many video games? will they become hard workers? are they respectful? what if they steal and get arrested and it’s because when they asked for treats, I never actually said no…or yes…or don’t steal? is it important for my toddler to go to museums? what if we miss church? will they grow up to never depend on anyone? will they grow up to depend on everyone all the time? Literally, I have thoughts like this all the time. The stress of being a mom is REAL. And when I realized that, I decided my mom deserved everything I could give her to say thanks.
So that is the idea behind this post….just saying thank you for keeping me alive and raising me to be awesome (at least partly awesome some of the time!)….and for all the other things that you are and do and have done. If you want to say thank you for a specific thing, I put together this gift guide that can do just that.
(mothers day 2013 with my mom and sister)
when you want to say…..THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS THINKING OF OTHERS
Each of these items gives back to a cause….whether it be orphans in India or women in Africa that are HIV positive or shoes for someone that just needs shoes….you can shop these items and tell your mom that you know how important it was to her to always think of others!
when you want to say…..THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS MAKING ME FEEL COMFORTABLE
Giving back that comfortable feeling is priceless….it can heal, build and strengthen. I know my mom had the perfect tucking in technique that always made me feel safe and sound….and any one of these gifts would do the same (of course, I would include a note that said I owe her a foot rub….because all moms know….a foot rub is that PRICELESS comfort!)
when you want to say…..THANK YOU FOR TELLING ME I WAS BEAUTIFUL
My mom always used to say how beautiful I was….even during the permed hair, braces, acne and crooked teeth stage. She always built up my self esteem even when none of the boys paid attention to me and she let me wear the ugliest clothing (in 7th grade I wore a slightly oversized plain Hanes sweatshirt with a pair of doc martens for my school photo) because I thought it looked good. I didn’t necessarily have a super sweet personality or a chic sense of style….but I always thought that I was beautiful in my own way because my mom always said so. She spoke that into me. And I know each of these gifts is a way to say that she is beautiful to me!
when you want to say…..THANK YOU FOR MAKING OUR HOUSE A HOME
I like to think that part of our job as a mom is making the box we live in feel like the most perfect box in the whole world….one that is filled with laughter and fun and beauty and comfort. We all live in different boxes….different sizes and shapes and styles in different climates and with different boxes next door….but that box, that house, is where we make memories…and if your mom did an outstanding job at making it a beautiful place, now you can give her something to make even more memories in the future.
when you want to say…..THANK YOU FOR TELLING ME I WAS STRONG & CAPABLE
As a mom, one of the things I want to focus on repeating with my kids is that they are strong and capable. Even when they make bad decisions…they are strong and capable. Even when they are told by others the opposite….they are strong and capable. Even when they feel weak and can’t do something….they are still strong and still capable. It’s something I felt my mother preach to me (and yes I had to go to physical therapy for low muscle tone…true story) and it’s something that follows you through adulthood. If your mom made you feel this way….here are some things that you can give back to her with a note that makes her feel strong and capable too.