The Truth

When A Mom 'Doesn't Want Anything' For Mother's Day

Here’s what she really means.

by Kristen Mae
Originally Published: 
A young mother with brown hair of medium length is smiling while standing on the street who doesn't ...
Eva Szombat/Getty

When a mom says, “That’s OK, dear. Don’t plan anything big for me; I don’t want anything for Mother’s Day!” many people assume she means, “I don’t want expensive jewelry,” “I don’t want a new Coach bag,” or, “I don’t want a sappy Mother’s Day card.”

That is totally not what she means.

What she’s really saying when she says “I don’t want anything” for Mother’s Day is THIS:

I don’t want anything to wake me up during the night before Mother’s Day. I want a FULL NIGHT’S SLEEP. If this or that child requires attention during the night, I will nudge you, husband (instead of the other way around), and you will get up.

I don’t want anything to wake me up in the morning either, not even breakfast in bed. I want to really, truly sleep in. Oh, sweet, glorious unobtainable fantasy of unencumbered slumber…do I even dare hope for this? Do I possess such flagrant audacity? Yes. Yes I do, dear husband. I do possess the audacity. Indeed, I want to sleep without interruption until my body wakes up all by itself. Until my back begins to ache from the shock of too many back-to-back hours of comfort. If you have big plans for serving me breakfast in bed, husband, WAIT UNTIL I WAKE UP. Let me pee and put in my contacts—so I can see what I’m eating and who is serving it to me—and then tell me to go snuggle back up in bed. Then and only then should you and the kids bring me breakfast in bed. And no, it is not OK to send the kids in every twenty minutes all morning long to ask, ‘Mommy? Are you awake yet?’ (like you did last year).

I don’t want anything interrupting my shower on Mother’s Day. I want to have a full-length shower and shave my legs and everything, maybe even have time to tweeze my eyebrows and floss my teeth.

I don’t want anything keeping me away from my Mother’s Day mimosas. Do what you have to do, husband, but just be sure you make mimosas happen.

I don’t want anything on my to-do list. I don’t want to cook, do dishes, wash/dry/fold/put away laundry, sweep, vacuum, mop or grocery-shop.

I also don’t want anything from that to-do list to simply remain undone, thus supplying me with a doubly-long to-do list the day after Mother’s Day, dear husband. I want you and the kids to show your appreciation for me by doing all the chores I would normally do on any given day so that I don’t get punished on Monday for taking Sunday off.

I don’t want anything that may involve boogers, poop, pee or any other human excrement anywhere near me.

I don’t want anything to get on my clothes for the whole day. Keep the kids and the craft supplies they’re using to make me cards far away from me until the glue has dried. I want to wear white and not have to change my clothes in the middle of the day.

I don’t want anything interrupting me for at least 30 minutes while I curl up with that book I’ve been trying to read for three months.

But most importantly, husband, I don’t want anything getting in the way of snuggling up on the couch with you and the kids for an afternoon movie. For that full, delicious hour and a half, I want to feel the kids’ soft, dirty hair against my cheeks and their chubby little hands draped across my body, with your arms enveloping us all.

And that is what moms really mean when they tell their family they “don’t want anything” for Mother’s Day.

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