When you work for a company, it is often policy for every employee to receive an annual review. Ideally, this is a positive experience; one that possibly ends with some kind of bonus or token of the company’s appreciation.
To me, Mother’s Day should be like that. Only instead of a pen or a mug, the “token” should be something custom-made for the
employee Mom, something that will make her feel valued.
Being a Mom is our most important – and maybe only – job. It’s a job that requires long hours and often uncomfortable working conditions (let’s face it, we touch a LOT of poop.)
It’s a job for which we are NOT receiving regular compensation or routine praise. There’s no boss saying, “Hey, GREAT job on those puréed carrots today!” or “Fantastic work negotiating that sibling rivalry… I thought for sure that was going to get violent until you stepped in!” or lastly, “Stellar performance with preparing those three meals EVERY DAY… great balance of carbs and protein… AND you’ve managed to cut sugar in half! Well done!”
In my mind, Mother’s Day is really the chance for the family to offer that kind of feedback. In other words, we want to hear during our 360° performance evaluation:
- You’re doing an excellent job; you are a prized team member.
- We truly value the astonishing contribution you’ve made to the family this past year.
- Even though you don’t do perfect work everyday, we can tell you’re working really hard and we want you to know how grateful we are.
- Keep up the AMAZING work!
We want to feel respected. And know that our contributions – and let’s face it, they are massive – are appreciated.
In most companies families, there’s also a token of that appreciation. Maybe it’s flowers. Maybe it’s jewelry. Maybe it’s a homemade macaroni necklace. Maybe it’s an afternoon alone to go to the movies. It’s up to each organization to come up with their own policy regarding gift-giving, but the message should be the same:
We love you and we think you’re the BEST.
*Dads, let me tell you something. We want to hear this message from our kids, but we also want to hear it from you. It’s true, we are not YOUR mother, but we are raising YOUR kids… this is the day to tell us that you think we’re going a kickass job. Just saying.
(For what it’s worth, I know that very few husbands are reading this… maybe you can forward to them? Add the subject line “HUGE SPORTS NEWS!” just in case.)
From 2003 through 2006, Mother’s Day sucked for me. Then, in 2007, I celebrated my first Mother’s Day and thought it would be AMAZING, but you know what? It’s still very, very bittersweet. (I’ve written a lot more about this in my original Mother’s Day blog post.) So, I often just request alone time and the tradition has become for KJ to take our kids to visit his mother in NJ.
It goes without saying that this tradition has nothing to do with my feelings towards my mother-in-law or obviously, my kids, ALL of whom I love very much.
*I kind of want to repeat that: if you are someone – like me – who likes time AWAY from your kids as your Mother’s Day compensation, I do NOT think you are a terrible person. I also do not believe that means you love your kids one iota less than the Mom who wants her kids crawling all over her during breakfast in bed before dressing and heading out to brunch together. We’re ALL good.
Instead, it has everything to do with the facts that 1.) Mother’s Day sucks a little for me so I’ve always appreciated some alone time and 2.) my kids are amazing but also EXHAUSTING and I’m with them almost all the time, so yes, it’s a treat to have my house to myself for a few hours every year.
Bottom line, I don’t think it’s that hard to make us Moms happy… I really don’t. It’s about finding a special way to give us a glowing review on our job performance for this past year. 🙂
See? Easy, peasy.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, to all of you hard-working team members out there. You’re doing GREAT work.
PS. I just read THIS BLOG POST about an author who asked people to describe their mothers in one word and is currently collecting the answers in a “cloud.” (Click on the link… you’ll see.)
Some are very predictable… LOVING, GENEROUS, STRONG.
Some are sad… ALCOHOLIC, ANGRY, NARCISSIST
(One made me laugh… VACUUM. Hmmm?)
I knew the word I would submit for my mother immediately:
But that’s a description of her NOW, not who she was when she was alive. That one is easy, too. In fact I’ve used it about 976 to describe her on this blog alone so I’m sure it won’t be a surprise…
I decided to take a real leap of faith and ask my kids to describe me in one word. Here’s what I got:
The Loud One: AWESOME!
The Nibbit: LONG HAIR
So, we have an inability to follow directions BUT other than that, I’m ok with it. It’s better than some of the other words I half-expected him to say.
Then I asked Happy Dude and he actually thought about it. Said “Hmmmm…” for a few seconds and then yelled,
My work here is done.
I’d love to hear your one-word descriptors for your Moms… please share. And definitely ask your children to describe you and share those, too. I promise, the Commander won’t judge.