Girl School for Grownups

Like having a big sister, but better because I can't boss you around!

Mother’s Day again?

on April 13, 2016

I hope I wasn’t the only selfish child who dared to utter the words, “Why isn’t there a kid’s day?” when the topic of Mother’s or Father’s Day came up. For the record, I did celebrate my parents when the time rolled around. And I came to understand the magnitude of what they gave me when I became a parent myself.

I have an uneasy relationship with this “holiday.” It feels manufactured (because it is). I hate the idea of creating an obligation because of who I am. And yet as an adult  I did want to honor my parents each year.

Here are some ideas for ways to honor your parents on the Hallmark-iest days of the year.

  1. If your mom or dad is one who really enjoys a tangible gift, think about something they use or do often, and buy something to elevate the experience. If your mom loves gardening, get her some colorful ergonomic hand tools. If your dad loves his car and washes it often, get him a car squeegee (it’s a real thing and it’s very cool) or something else to make car washing nicer. An avid reader might love a beautiful bookmark. Most parents don’t need a lot of stuff, but something truly special from you will be treasured. This strategy also works if you have one of those “it’s complicated” relationships with your parents.
  2. There are parents (like me) who appreciate gifts but would prefer something more personal. So a card that’s written in really floats my boat. One year I wrote a list of lessons I’d learned from my mom throughout the years. I hope she loved it because a lot of love went into making it.
  3. If you live near your mom or dad, give them a card and write in it that you want to take them out to lunch. (The “and then do it!” goes without saying, right?) Time spent with my kids one on one is invaluable to me, and I’ll bet your parents feel the same.

My belief is nobody escapes childhood unscathed. Even the most well meaning parents will do and say things that hurt their kids. Why? Because we’re imperfect people trying our best to figure it out. I used to feel really awful about all the ways I could have been a better mother. From being a CASA and seeing some really horrible family situations, I can assure you that if your parent or parents loved you and cared about you, you have something to celebrate on Mother’s and Father’s Day.

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