Monday, June 18, 2018

What do moms really want? (Not a mug, flowers or brunch)

Of course we love those macaroni necklaces. And who wouldn't want another mug?

Cereal and syrup for breakfast? In bed? Bring it on!

Mothers truly adore everything those sticky hands make for us on Mother's Day.

But let's be honest here. Want to know what we really want for Mother's Day?

We want to get away from you. All of you.

"I just want some time. Even an hour. Just an hour to sleep in. That's what I want," said my international-lawyer-mommy friend when I asked her about Mother's Day. "I just want him and the kids to give me some time alone."

This isn't a request for a white tea harmony pedicure or sea-scrub facial. Not a girls' night out with margaritas. Not even a shopping spree.

Just. Some. Quiet.

It's a sweet idea, this Mother's Day thing. Why not set aside one day to celebrate the women who birth and care for us?

It's just the execution that's all wrong. Take the Mother's Day brunch myth.

Oh, I've done these. In the early years, I wound up outside, walking and bouncing the kvetching baby up and down the sidewalk outside the fancy restaurant. He erped on my silk blouse and sucked on my macaroni necklace while the rest of the family stayed at the table, enjoying their eggs Sardou.

The Mother's Day Brunch — with the prom corsages and mimosas — is high on the loathe list among many moms.

"The thing I hate most for Mother's Day is going out to eat," said one friend who teaches cooking classes. "Mother's Day is right up there with Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve — days I avoid restaurants if I can help it, after having worked in a restaurant on all of those holidays."

Heck yeah. How about a nice surprise night out at a restaurant without the kids in the middle of the week, honey? Save me from just one night of dinner/dishes battle.

On that night, you pretend I'm out for an important client dinner and you take care of things at home.

Only there is no client. Table for one, please.

That brings us to the whole daddy aspect of things. Many fathers are confused about Mother's Day.

One year, I tried to be proactive to set the tone for the way I'd like to spend the day after I said nothing and ended up corralling kids in a boating store. Maybe I could ask for that hike my husband hates or strawberry picking, the kind of thing he'd never do unless I had the Mommy Card to pull out.

"What should we do for Mother's Day this year?" I fished.

"Probably flowers," my husband said.

"Oh, don't spend the money on a fancy florist or delivery. That's so sweet, but you know I love those $5 bunches of tulips at Safeway," I demurred.

"I mean for my mom. You're not my mom; I wasn't talking about flowers for you," he said.

Okay, then.

I'm not alone in wishing Dad would step up.

"I always thought that Father's Day should come first," my chef friend said, "so wife could set the example for husband on what to do. They seem to forget 11 months later."

Hmm. I remember some of the monstrosity presents my children have made under my guidance for my husband, including a ceramic elephant with bleeding eyes the boys did at the U-Paint-Pottery store. Maybe reversing the holidays isn't the answer.

What about same-sex couples? Two moms have to get the holiday right. Right?

Then again, I remember running into one of my two-mommy-family friends one Mother's Day. It was the one where I got my hike — but had to do it with the kids. They were also hiking, with their three boys in tow. Not alone. Definitely not quiet.

What about dumping Mother's Day for something that more appropriately represents our desires?

Another mom I know on Capitol Hill had the answer.

"Do I sound selfish if I say what I really want for Mother's Day is time to myself?" she asked. "When my kids are more independent, I will no doubt relish them on the big day. Right now I want this to be Independence Day — independent from cleaning, laundry and whining."


© 2012 Washington Post


Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

The Justice Department released Thursday the highly anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and other sensitive issues in the 2016 election. It is not the report President Donald Trump wanted. But there is enough i...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Voter purge may be legal, but it’s also suppression

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Monday to allow Ohio’s purging of its voter rolls is difficult to dispute legally. While federal law prohibits removing citizens from voter rolls simply because they haven’t voted, Ohio’s purge is slightly different. T...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Free rides will serve as a test of whether the streetcar is serious transportation

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to ride for free?This fall, the TECO Streetcar Line eliminates its $2.50-a-ride-fare, providing the best opportunity yet to see whether the system’s vintage streetcar replicas can serve as a legitimate transportation a...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

AT&T and the case for digital innovation

A good way to guarantee you’ll be wrong about something is to predict the future of technology. As in, "One day, we’ll all …" Experts can hazard guesses about artificial intelligence, driverless cars or the death of cable television, but technologica...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

The Florida Department of Children and Families has correctly set a quick deadline for Hillsborough County’s main child welfare provider to correct its foster care program. For too long the same story has played out, where troubled teens who need fos...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

This fall voters will have 13 constitutional amendments to wade through on the ballot, but Amendment 4 should get special focus. It represents a rare opportunity to rectify a grievous provision in the Florida Constitution, which permanently revokes t...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

The Trump administration just can’t stop sabotaging Americans’ access to health care. Instead of giving up after it failed to persuade Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it continues to quietly undermine the law in ways that would reduce acc...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18