Surprise! Mother’s Day is just round the corner

Theresa Giarrusso is taking a few days off of blogging to tackle a couple of family and school projects.  Keith Still, a mother of three, will be filling in this week.

I don’t know what kind of mom (or daughter) this makes me, but I honestly didn’t realize Mother’s Day was just a few days away until Theresa mentioned it to me on the phone. I chalk it up to the fact that I have three school-aged children (6, 9 and 12) whose schedules have taken a life of their own as of late.

When I think about it, I am sure I have passed by dozens of Mother’s Day-related displays at the grocery, pharmacy and every other shop around town. I just wasn’t paying attention. Recently, I have operated under the “get in the store and get out” mode. I put on the blinders, grab a cart, power-walk down the aisles and race out the doors on my way to gymnastics, softball, dance class, the orthodontist, Field Day, band concerts, choral concerts, sports clinics, foreign language club, and Girl Scouts.

In short, I didn’t think about Mother’s Day, because I have been inundated with mother-related activities.  With the second Sunday in May bearing down on me, I thought I’d take a quick look at the origins of this special day before I freak out about finding and posting a gift to my own mother in time.

The folks at theholidayspot.com note that mother’s celebrations reach back centuries, varying from religious observances to calls for peace and friendship. The modern-day American version of Mother’s Day, however, began in the early 1900s, when Anna Jarvis was mourning the death of her mother. She worked to create a national day that would help increase parental respect and strengthen family bonds for mothers while they were still alive. The first Mother’s Day was held a church in Grafton, WV on May 10, 1908. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1914, setting aside the second Sunday in May to celebrate.

It didn’t take long for President Wilson’s call for a “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country” to morph into the commercial holiday that we all know; and many people throughout the years (including Anna Jarvis) have lamented the depreciation of the holiday’s meaning. 

Commercial or not, I think the original concept of showing love and appreciation for our living mothers still drives most of us to celebrate this national holiday. Sure, there’s a reason why florists, greetings card makers and restaurateurs throughout the country absolutely adore the second Sunday in May. Flowers, cards and brunch out may not be original ideas, but I know very few mothers who would turn down any of them if they came from their children.

Personally, I just want a free day with my family to help restore some sense of my sanity; a day in which I don’t have to be anywhere or clean anything.  That, according to this story, is a pretty lame, or at least unhelpful, answer to the age-old question of what to get mom for Mother’s Day — but it is sincere.  The story mentions top vote-getters in the Mother’s Day present category. Among them: family time, dinner, sleep, handmade gifts, jewelry, flowers, and a day at the spa/salon or a trip.  

I laughed at some of the “worst” ideas, which included socks, cleaning supplies and, of course, nothing.  Honestly, I’d take a heaping helping of nothing over a bottle of Windex any day.

For something different this year, a day at the zoo, a museum or a park might be a true mother-child treat, no matter your age. I have heard Publix is offering a 2 for 1 deal through May 14 on tickets to the Princess Diana exhibit at the Atlanta Civic Center (exhibition runs through June 13).

If your mom enjoys exercise (or strives to enjoy exercise), consider taking a walk, run or fitness class together with her this weekend. On Saturday, Atlantans can jog on over with their moms to the 20th Anniversary Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run/1 mile walk at Atlantic Station or the 4th Annual Running Away the Pain 5K and Fun Run/Walk at Douglasville’s Boundary Waters Park.                     

Now, what to get my own mother, who lives 5.5 hours away? A nice brunch or dinner at her favorite restaurant is out, of course. Like most women her age, she has everything she could want, need or fit into her house. So another blouse, trinket or kitchen utensil seems superfluous. Given the time, it’s looking more and more like flowers, a card and a phone call are in order for the big day. I know Hallmark, FTD and AT&T may be thanking me, but underneath those cliché Mother’s Day gifts, I will be thanking my mom for all she has given and taught me over the past 38 years.

How do you show your mother love and appreciation on Mother’s Day? What’s the best gift you could receive for Mother’s Day? Have you ever gone the non-traditional route with your mother, or been the recipient of an alternative Mother’s Day gift?

What’s the worst gift you have received? Do you view Mother’s Day as a day to spend with your children and family– or a day you deserve to spend on your own/with whomever you choose (i.e. a day out with friends or pampering yourself)?

Be sure to check out Theresa’s weekend blogs on two separate recalls involving baby cribs and children’s medicines.

 

67 comments Add your comment

jan

May 3rd, 2010
7:09 am

Mothers Day to me is like Valentines Day. If that is the only day you make an extra effort to be with your mom then why bother. We have a mom/daughter (i have 3) get together once a month. Mother’s Day only one will be in town and we haven’t decided what to do yet, if anything.
2nd year without my mom and I don’t really remember gifts I gave her or she me after I became a mom – I remember moments she gave me and I hope she remembered some I had given her as well.

motherjanegoose

May 3rd, 2010
7:53 am

I love Mother’s Day now, as my ( nearly grown) kids are so sweet and get me the nicest cards and usually flowers. They went shopping while I was out at my last meeting this past weekend, to find me a gift. I have several cherished gifts from my children that I still hold dear. I am typing on the computer my son bought me right now!

Mine do other things all year for me but this is one day for me. We also do the same on Father’s Day. I try to make the kid’s birthdays very special but sometimes I am out traveling on mine, for work.

When I was a girl, I did not like Mother’s Day. We did not have a good relationship with our Mom.
She was very critical and OCD. I can remember times, bringing her a gift and then she told us she did not like it. If my kids got me a turtle…I would be thankful, as this was from their heart .

I ate lunch with some women in Illinois this weekend and they were all telling me what to order and how to order it. I laughed and said I could use a Mother once in a while ( I am 50). Mine is now gone.

Thanks to all the wonderful mothers out there who have helped me and my children in any way at all. To me, being a mother is a wonderful ( if not exhausting) gift and having a family that loves you is a blessing! Thanks too, to all the Mom friends I have made along the way. it has been an honor getting to know you. Some of you I met from this blog: DB and Newmom. Kathy, I knew before the blog and I am now going to check in with Michelle this week!

Hats off to all the MOMS on this blog who love their kids and share tips with the rest of us!
( o.k….the Dads too…LOL).

Get your umbrella out and have a great day!

motherjanegoose

May 3rd, 2010
8:06 am

Lest anyone thinks I am selfish about one day for me…I orchestrate meetings all year long and am often in charge…this is one day my family handles everything and I can just relax and enjoy.

G.R.I.T.S.

May 3rd, 2010
8:08 am

i just want one day of no work or anyone bothering me…:)…just a day to do as i please without having to please anyone else in the world!

G.R.I.T.S.

May 3rd, 2010
8:09 am

@MJG–that is so not selfish!!

Jeff

May 3rd, 2010
8:23 am

Such reasonable moms so far. You give me encouragement that counters the commercials that there are still decent moms in the world. If the only day I recognize people that are important in my life are those special days the commercials tell me to, then I’m a pretty crappy person.

Andrea

May 3rd, 2010
8:25 am

We get together monthly. It not as formal as “The Monthly Mother Appreciation”. It is casual – pot luck, just hanging out type of vibe. I do try to let my mom know how much she is loved and appreciated CONSTANTLY. While Mother’s Day is definitely her day, it is an extension of the way I celebrate her everyday.

Being a mom, I can say the 2nd best Mother’s Day gift I got was a weekend at a posh hotel. No one came with me. I was there from Thursday to Sunday. No kids, no (then) husband, no dinner to make. I had a weekend to shop, lunch with the girls, and do anything I wanted to do. The absolute best gift was a note from my son when he was 6, written in his hand, on the Blue Horse tablet paper, saying what he loved best about me. I framed it and it means the world to me. He is a teenager now, so while I know he still feels some of those emotions for me, he has to express it only in an aloof manner!

Happy Mother’s Day and thanks to all of the moms that share on this blog everyday. Oh, and shout out to the dads that do it as well. :-)

motherjanegoose

May 3rd, 2010
8:41 am

@ Andrea…great memories for you on the Blue Horse Tablet,

A recent memory I cherish was when we were trying to decide something a family and my daughter and I were at odds. My 22 year old son said:

I KNOW MOM CAN BE KIND OF WEIRD SOMETIMES BUT LOOK AT US…WE TURNED OUT PRETTY GOOD, SO FOR THE MOST PART….SHE DID A GREAT JOB.

I will NEVER forget it.

G.R.I.T.S.

May 3rd, 2010
8:48 am

yes really some of the best ‘mothers day’ gifts i have received are the times when one of my kids tells me of a good decision they made based on some word of advice i have given them at some point in their life…you never really know they have listened and paid attention until you see that happen.

Lady Strange

May 3rd, 2010
8:50 am

Being a single mom with a small child I know I won’t be getting or doing anything for Mother’s Day besides be with my son. Which IMO is the best anyway cause he’s just awesome! My mom works 2 jobs so we get together when we can. I took her to lunch this past Saturday since I doubt we will see eachother on Mother’s Day. I try to visit my mom once a week/every other week so we can play catch up and she can see her grandson. And we talk all the time. I’m luck to have my mom living so close by.

Erica

May 3rd, 2010
8:58 am

This Mothers’ Day, I will be travelling back from a college commencement with my mom, grandmother, husband and little one. I will simply be happy to be with my loved ones on such a special day. I feel grateful to have my mom and grandmom alive and still in some measure of health so that I can spend some quality time with them. I already told my husband that I’ll be perfectly happy with a good, funny card from the little one and just some good laughs, and maybe a good “road trip” lunch! It’s a blessing to be a mother and to have the kind of mom that I have, so this year, I want to keep it simple! As for my mom, jury’s still out on what I’m getting her, but I think it’ll be something fun, and something where I can spend some fun time with her. She’s the best!

RxDawg

May 3rd, 2010
9:03 am

Your name is Kieth, and your a woman? Huh, that’s a first for me. Anywho, carry on. I love my momma.

Meme

May 3rd, 2010
9:11 am

I have never been a mom, but I think I have done a good job as an aunt. I see my family often but a special invitation by the 12 and 9 year old nieces for a picnic Sunday makes me very happy. I am celebrating Mother’s Day with the 5 and 3 year old greats on Saturday. Life is good!

I don't understand..

May 3rd, 2010
9:15 am

why someone always has to spout off about “if this is the only” whatever.Nobody said that this is the only time they show their Mother that they love her, this is just one special day..As Keith posted, her Mother lives 5.5 hours away, do you expect her to do something special with her Mother 2-3 times a month? Please get off of your high horse.

Lori

May 3rd, 2010
9:27 am

I don’t really need a gift. My son is only 6, so he really can’t buy me anything anyway. But I appreciate when he tries to help me with my chores. He is getting pretty good at folding towels and vacuuming!! But really, a big hug and an I love you from that little angel is all I ever need.

The best mother’s days are the ones you just spend together. Last year, my sister and I took my mother on a big shopping trip. She lives way out in the boonies, so she never gets to shop anywhere nice. She also doesn’t like to drive a long way, and walks with a cane, so it’s a big effort for my dad to take her anywhere. We took her to the Mall of Georgia. It took us 8 hours to walk that whole mall with her, but she had a blast. She got to pick out a nice outfit for herself that we bought. She loved it because it was just a whole day spent just being together.

The best mother’s day gift I ever got was a flat screen tv for my bedroom. It’s great, because I can “get away” and watch a chick flick on nights when I’m particularly stressed or tired. Before that, all I ever got to watch in the living room was unending reruns of Spongebob!!!

JATL

May 3rd, 2010
9:38 am

I just want some acknowledgment. Personally, I prefer a little homemade something from my boys, but they’re still so little that my husband HAS to help with anything for it to happen. Our mothers are close-by, so we have to take them into consideration, except this is my first year without my mother. I plan to go out to the cemetery early that morning and take some flowers, and my oldest likes to go with me to his grandmother’s “special place.” We’re getting my MIL and going to brunch at Villa Christina, which promises to be pretty, yummy and THEY HAVE ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE KIDS!!!! Wooo hooo -a small possibility that at least one plate will be eaten in relative peace ;-) If it were only me we needed to “celebrate,” we would all be going hiking and on a picnic.

This year I did ask for a personalized “mommy” necklace from one of the Etsy.com artists. If you like unique items -jewelry, gift items, art, etc. and you’ve never checked out etsy.com -do so now! Most things are really inexpensive as well. It’s all handmade artist’s wares, and they’re reviewed and ranked so you know if you’re dealing with a good seller. I’ve found some beautiful jewelry and gifts on that site.

Belle

May 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

When my mother was alive we would always get her those hanging baskets of flowers. She loved having flowers out on our front porch.

My kids are little but I’m looking forward to what ever project my daughters pre-school class does for the day.

JJ

May 3rd, 2010
9:43 am

I’m getting the best mother’s day gift this year. My daughter will be home from college next weekend. That’s all I need.

We decided a LONG time ago, not to try and kill ourselves on Mother’s Day. This happened way back in the 70’s when we tried to go out for dinner, had reservations at a rice restaurant up on the mountains, and once we got there, we were informed there was a 3 hour wait, even with reservations. We ended up at McDonalds, and my mom said that was THE LAST time we would try dinner.

My mother knows she is loved, I tell her all the time, so does my brother, and we make the time to see her often. The kids will call her out of the blue and just talk to her. She knows she is loved. We don’t need a special day to recognize her. I don’t need a special day either. If I don’t get anything that’s ok with me. I will send my mom a card.

But my daughter will be home next weekend, and that makes me VERY happy!!!!!

TechMom

May 3rd, 2010
9:54 am

Mother’s Day is usually overshadowed in my house by whatever my mother-in-law wants to do, not me. I guess she figured she’s earned that day more than I have and my husband doesn’t really see anything wrong with going wherever his mom wants to go every year. I try to humor her and not make a big deal out of it but for once, it would be nice to go or do what I want to do on Mother’s Day. I told my husband that Mother’s Day is next weekend so he’ll need to get his mom something this week (I’ve decided I’m done buying her gifts that he won’t put any thought into- which means she’ll end up with a gift card).

My mom lives further away so I don’t normally see her on Mother’s Day. If we know we’ll be together shortly after Mother’s Day we’ll just plan something for when she’ll be in town but this year we’re busy for the next month. I bought her a new cell phone (b/c her old still works, she won’t buy a new one but it’s about 4 years old and pretty outdated) and I’ll send her flowers and of course call her.

I’ve already told my son what I want for Mother’s Day. He’s 15 so I picked out a necklace I really like for $40. Nothing too pricey and something he can get me with his own money. I’m sure my husband will pay for the card and flowers. I’m actually hoping the weather will be nice so that even after I go to eat wherever my MIL decides, maybe we (husband, son and dogs) can go to a park or go hiking in the afternoon and just spend an afternoon of hanging out.

CDD

May 3rd, 2010
9:57 am

Actually, I don’t like this holiday so much. I have 4 children of my own and they shower me with affection most of the time anyway. But my own mother is the type that no matter what you’ve done for them recently, if you don’t do something specific for “their” day then they act like you don’t care about them. No matter if you’ve gotten them appliances needed for their house within the past couple weeks. I do love my mom, just could do without the guilt that seems to come along with Mother’s Day. Maybe I feel like I should be able to enjoy my day too and am just jealous that I don’t get to. Yeah, I know – whine, whine.

The best Mother’s Day present I’ve ever gotten has been a t-shirt that my kids helped make for me in ‘06. My mom orchestrated it (she’s not totally self-centered) and had them put their handprints on it with their names underneath. I still wear it a lot.

JJ

May 3rd, 2010
10:20 am

So Techmom why don’t you do what you want on the Saturday before Mother’s day? It doesn’t necessarily have to be ON mother’s day, does it? Since your Mom in Law seems to want to spoil YOUR day, just have YOUR day one day sooner. Then let mom in law have her glory, it won’t spoil yours!!!!!

JATL

May 3rd, 2010
10:28 am

Going back to several topics ago -my husband and I went here with friends on Saturday night. It was a wonderful dining experience and I don’t think anyone could be disappointed with it. I posted this on the old topic, but I don’t think anyone is going back and reading those:

We went to Repast Saturday night on the corner of Glen Iris and North -across from old City Hall East. It was AMAZING!!!! Incredibly good food, beautifully decorated -a wonderful “grown up” place to go for a date or with friends. The food was exceptional. It’s received a number of awards, and they are well deserved! They have small plates and regular entrees. Entrees are $25-$35. Bottles of wine are $30 on up. They also have a full bar and a decent beer selection. The desserts looked divine, but there was no way we could hold any, so next time we’re sticking with the small plates and trying some dessert. The dark chocolate terrine with sea salt and pistachios is calling to me…

Spooly Retune

May 3rd, 2010
10:40 am

I had a wonderful Mother. She raised five kids alone in extreme poverty and often times desperation. She struuggled to at try to give us what we needed and I watched her sit and cry many times when she couldn’t. We didn’t own a house and never had a car.She loved us and never gave up even in the face of overwhelming odds. Momma went on to be with Jesus several years ago but she stays on my mind a good bit. Thank you Momma. Please don’t forget to thank your Mother on her special day. You don’t have but one and when she’s gone it’s too late to simply say- “Momma, I love you.” While you can, tell her that on Mother’s Day. She’ll appreciate that more that any gift.

TechMom

May 3rd, 2010
10:45 am

@JJ, that’s a good idea. I think what disappoints me most about it though is that my husband doesn’t seem to think it matters that we only ever go wherever my MIL wants and never even asks me if I’d like to do something different. It comes back to “it’s the thought that counts” and unfortunately my husband can be pretty selfish. Since the boy is old enough now though, I’m thinking maybe I’ll suggest it to him and see if can help in that department. (Planning my own mother’s day seems a little absurd though I guess it’s better than stewing about not having a mother’s day at all).

Becky

May 3rd, 2010
10:52 am

Happy Mothers Day to all that are Moms, still have their Moms or are about to be Moms..My Mother has been gone for 20 yrs. and I still miss er to this day..

Why is...

May 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

Mother’s Day MOTHER’S Day, while Father’s Day is Sunday?

Keith

May 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

Hi RxDawg — Yep. My name’s Keith, and I’m a woman. I even have an older brother, who has an appropriately masculine name. :-) In good ol’ southern fashion, my parents gave me a last name in honor of someone. (Keith is a Scottish family name.)

It has been an interesting 38 years, and I tend to forget now how odd it must seem to strangers when they hear it. But I will say, as a mom myself, I went out of my way to make sure my daughters’ names were unmistakenly feminine.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! May you get lots of rest, family time and homemade pictures this Sunday!

JATL

May 3rd, 2010
11:09 am

@Keith, it does seem to be a REAL Southern thing to do to kids (especially girls)! I know so many women named, Gerri, Billy, Steve (I do know one and it’s NOT “Stevie”!), Clyde -yep, it’s true, Stuart -I’ve met three of those as women, and a Gregg -two g’s.

TechMom

May 3rd, 2010
11:16 am

I met a woman named Kevin last week and know two girls named Michael.

irisheyes

May 3rd, 2010
11:18 am

I started something new for my mom last year. Our church had a display of handmade jewelry created by women in Thailand who were forced into prostitution and then rescued. It’s a way for them to earn a living to support their own children. The jewelry is absolutely beautiful, and it’s helping others. I got my mom a bracelet and earrings last year and another bracelet and earrings this year, and I hope to mail them out today.

A

May 3rd, 2010
11:19 am

Maybe people who give their girls more masculine names were hoping for a boy? I would hope that’s not the case, and it’s more about family tradition or honoring someone, as is the case with Keith.

JATL

May 3rd, 2010
11:28 am

Oops -I forgot the Mikes and Michaels I know who are women! TechMom -that seems to be getting more popular!

JJ

May 3rd, 2010
11:58 am

Techmom, just remember, Father’s day is right around the corner too….LOL….what goes around, comes around.. hee hee…

We named our second child...

May 3rd, 2010
12:17 pm

…with a name that was good for either sex – Kyle!

Roberta Wennik

May 3rd, 2010
12:19 pm

Here’s a great gift idea for Mom on Mother’s Day that is so unique and clever, she’ll be using it all year round. Give her a gift of membership at http://www.spinarecipe.com. She gets to play a slot machine to select recipes to cook. Then she can spin the wheels for the ingredients. No more thumbing through page after page of recipes, only to be frustrated at not being able to make a decision what to make. Besides, this is aa win-win situation: she has fun coming up with what to make for dinner and you get the pleasure of eating it. Yeah!

Photius

May 3rd, 2010
12:43 pm

Mother’s Day is a conspiracy by the card and floral industry to pump up sales – it means nothing. As a teenager I bought my mother flowers for Mother’s Day and she lectured me about how I was manipulated via the system into paying double for flowers that would be half off the next day. A simple card will do. I find it bizarre how many mom’s really look forward to this idiotic day of being manipulated via the system into spending money – the real way in America of showing love… how much do you spend on her. Please….

momnteacher

May 3rd, 2010
12:47 pm

My name is Michael, and I’m a woman! It’s a family name, and we are a family full of girls! Keith – I am the exact same way; I’m so used to my name that it sometimes surprises me when people look at me strangely after introducing myself. I really disliked my name as a child (kids can be mean!), but as an adult, I love it! There are so many Jennifers and Kellys….but I don’t know many other women named Michael!

Katherine

May 3rd, 2010
1:16 pm

momnteacher – My company’s receptionist (a woman) is named Michael-Ann. :)

TechMom

May 3rd, 2010
1:23 pm

@Photius, I think for most moms it isn’t about the flowers or store-bought card; it’s about the thought. I would be perfectly thrilled with a hand-made card and dinner prepared at home by my husband and son or even $5 flowers from Publix (because I like flowers, not b/c of the price). Usually for Father’s Day I buy my husband something I know he will like that’s not expensive (like a new ball camp or DVD) and I’ll suggest to our son that he does something for his dad (like wash his truck inside and out) and then I’ll make a dinner for us to share. Nothing fancy but thoughtful.

TechMom

May 3rd, 2010
1:24 pm

sorry ‘cap’ not camp

Pharr Tow

May 3rd, 2010
1:28 pm

I am a woman and my name is Fred. I like women very much.

LM

May 3rd, 2010
1:32 pm

I have a older 1/2 brother named Christopher and a younger 1/2 sister named Kristohpher…wish I has a unique name

motherjanegoose

May 3rd, 2010
2:11 pm

TO MY KIDS….please do not get me the spin a recipe thing Roberta suggested…I would rather have a turtle…maybe it is just me….LOL?

TechMom

May 3rd, 2010
2:31 pm

MJG- bahahaha, I’m with you, any gift that has an ulterior motive for the giver is a bad idea in my book. Roberta even suggests that it’s a win-win since mom will be cooking for you. Isn’t the point of Mother’s Day to simply show some appreciation for all those meals mom did make for you? (And of course it isn’t just meals but the time and effort and love that mom puts forth every day of the year.)

Isn't "LM"...

May 3rd, 2010
2:56 pm

…unique enough?

And, how do you catch a "unique" rabbit?

May 3rd, 2010
2:56 pm

“Unique” up on him…

Becky

May 3rd, 2010
2:59 pm

@MJG and TechMom..I’m with both of you on this one..Something sounds not right with this spinawheel..

As for the names, I’ve never really cared that much for my name, but not real sure about a name that most think is for a man..Have never given it that much thought..Aren’t most people unhappy with their given names or at least most that I know…

jd

May 3rd, 2010
4:19 pm

I am so with you guys on the spin thing too. I bet her mom is just tickled pink about that gift haha.

Andrea

May 3rd, 2010
4:49 pm

I don’t think the spin a recipe thingy sounds that bad. I am sure it is great for getting ideas for dinner. However, I can’t say I would ooze with enthusiasm if I got that for Mother’s Day! LOL.

motherjanegoose

May 3rd, 2010
5:09 pm

@ Andrea…I own probably 50 cook books and use many of them too. My daughter subscribes to many of the Food Network magazines. We will never have time to cook everything we’d like.
I simply want a present that is for ME…a bucket of flowers or a birdhouse is fine. I do not want something I will use to make everyone else happy…perhaps that IS selfish. Is it?