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Here in the States, we have Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday.  I don’t know about you, but over here, many of the moms are hoping that their families will do something special for them this year.  What you do for your mom is up to you.  All moms are different, so how you celebrate Mother’s Day will be just as different.  Therefore I can’t really tell you what to do to make that special day as special as possible for her.  However, I think I CAN tell you with a certain amount of success what NOT to do for your mother.

That said, before I begin, I want you to understand that I am speaking primarily as a mother.  If I say, “Don’t do this for your mother,” and it turns out she actually WANTS you to do that, then feel free to disregard anything I’m saying here.  As my husband, jaklumen, likes to say, “Your mileage may vary.”

Mom’s job is large and varied.  Once she pushes that first child out, she is a mother for the rest of her life, no breaks, no days off.  When they go off to college, she may move from full- to part-time but she never stops being a mother.  Mom frequently finds herself in one or more of the following positions.

  • maid
  • chef
  • dishwasher
  • chauffeur
  • personal assistant
  • tutor
  • coach
  • counselor
  • judge
  • jury
  • personal secretary
  • attorney
  • accountant
  • banker
  • nanny
  • etc.

So, in my opinion, whatever you do for Mom on her special day, make sure it doesn’t involve more work for her.  In fact, I think you’ll find that this is the underlying principle of this article.

  1. NO potted plants.  Unless your mother is into gardening and has a spot available in her garden for whatever you’re buying for her, all a potted plant is going to mean for her is something else on the list of things she has to remember to do.
  2. NO breakfast in bed, unless you plan to clean up afterward.  Let’s understand something.  No mother on the face of the earth doesn’t like to get breakfast in bed.  What it means for her is that she doesn’t have to cook breakfast this morning and it makes you look super thoughtful.  However, if you fix breakfast and leave a mess in the kitchen, she’s not going to thank you.
  3. NO new kitchen appliances.  Don’t get me wrong, new kitchen appliances are GREAT!  I love getting new gadgets for the kitchen, particularly if they mean I get to throw out two or three old ones in their place.  However, Mother’s Day isn’t the day to give her these.  Save them for her birthday or Christmas.  Really.  Kitchen appliances just remind mom about all the work she’s still expected to do for you.
  4. NO new cleaning tools.   See the explanation for #3.  Moms don’t need reminding about all the work they have to do or all the work that reminds to be done.  If she needs new tools, buy them for her on another day.
  5. NO fake flowers.  Fake flowers, while they’re nice and don’t require any watering, still need to be cleaned if they’re going to go on being nice.
  6. NO personal care items.  When I say “personal care” I mean deodorant or weight-loss videos or things of that nature.  Not only do these represent more work for mom, they give her the wrong message.  For example, give her deodorant and she’ll think you’re saying she stinks.  Give her the weight-loss video and she’ll think you’re saying she’s fat.  Remember, above all else, Mom is a woman, too.
  7. NO aprons.  Think about it.  What do you wear an apron for?  To protect your clothing while you’re working.
  8. NO pets.  Pets are great.  You and I both love them.  However, let’s understand something.  A pet is more work than a child.  Children are comparatively easy to train and they eventually leave home.  Plus, who’s to say you can be guaranteed to know what kind of pet she’ll like.
  9. NO gift cards to home improvement stores.  Home improvement, while wonderful, is work.  What’s more, there’s nothing you can buy in a Home Improvement store that doesn’t involve a certain amount of work.
  10. NO cash.  This one isn’t so much about reminding your mother that she’s in a dead-end job with no prospect for advancement.  All it’s saying is that you’re at a loss as to what to get her this year.

Tomorrow, which is admittedly last minute, I know, I’ll come back with a list of possible DOs for Mother’s day.