It’s Mother’s Day

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

May 13, 2012

The Husband

The Husband, a humorous picture from Easter 2011. (Photo credit: alexis22578)

Disclaimer: This is sort of a grumpy post.

A few days ago, I was asked, “What are you doing for mother’s day?” I answered, “Oh, I’ll probably have to do dishes, make bread, you know…” “What do you want to do?” was the response. “I don’t want to do dishes, I want to be shown I’m appreciated.” “Well, then what you need to do is say, ‘I’m not doing dishes.'” I tried to explain that doesn’t work in my family and that the dishes would simply be waiting for me the next day.

True to form, this Mother’s Day has been more or less like any other. Any other day, for that matter. It’s not that it’s been a bad day – but it hasn’t been particularly special. And, ultimately, that’s what I wanted – to be treated special.

My husband asked me, to his credit, what I wanted. He wanted to know how he could show me that he appreciates me. I told him I didn’t want to do dishes on Mother’s Day, nor did I really want to make any food. So, we went out for Thai on Friday night. But, that’s not Sunday. I want to get caught up in this collective silliness and celebrate the day on the day, not two days before.

Sunday morning rolls around, and Levi is the first up. I get up shortly after Levi, and begin by … you guessed it .. cleaning the kitchen. I can’t make breakfast if the kitchen is messy. So, I finished putting dishes away and reloaded the dishwasher. Then, I started to make breakfast, at which point, my husband got up. He immediately realized that I was doing dishes and making food on this day. And, he clearly felt remorseful, but he always claims he can’t cook – so how is he really going to help?

We ate, cleaned up, and prepared for our next adventure: Home Depot. The husband has been desiring a trip for some time, so we could collectively decide and plan on more planter boxes for our backyard. Sure, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time, but again — my favorite Mother’s Day errand? Not hardly.

All told, it hasn’t been a bad day. No one has been mean. No one has been incredibly disrespectful. And, certainly, no one has been spiteful. But, it hasn’t been special.

I can’t answer the question of what I would want to be treated in a way that my family shows me they appreciate me. A card would have been nice, but I’ve even forgotten cards for other events (my own mother! for example). So, that’s not a deal breaker. I don’t need breakfast in bed. What would it be? Cereal and milk? That’s not what I like to eat for breakfast.

I was able to explain to my husband tonight that doing housework makes me feel like a maid or cook for my family. Sure, they say thank you after meals, but mostly I feel like a made-to-order cook. I work for me. I’m home for my family.

Levi did a sweet thing. He arranged the couch so we could both share it, lying down, to show me that he appreciates me. My husband has another layer peeled off of understanding. We’ll see how next year goes.

Yes, all told, not a bad day – despite the learning we still have before us.

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