me and my guys–photo by Julianne Kahlbaugh

Right. Like anyone who has tried to set the intention for their Mother’s day has ever really had success in “attracting” the Mother’s day they desire. Am I bitter? Actually no. I’m not going to tell you that brunch, breakfast in bed, or whatever you choose is the wrong way to celebrate. I see a lot of writing out in the blogosphere suggesting that Mother’s day makes them mad. Why just one day? Blah blah. Mother’s day is a unique experience for every mom and child.

While much of the internet (I’m looking at you, Instagram) has been filled with finely curated tiles and generously crafted and monetized gift guides and goals for the past few weeks, I’ve intentionally avoided sharing my ideas. I’m not knocking the ideals and gift guides, I just come from a different place. I am pretty open and honest about the Mother’s day I really want and believe sharing a gift guide just makes it too easy for my boys.

Mother’s Day is a truly lovely celebration. But if we are really honest, we all have some sort of expectation and it often isn’t met with reality. The thought of breakfast in bed, homemade gifts and letters pronouncing their love and gratitude for us just don’t come. And guess what? It’s pretty much our fault. We teach people how to treat us, and Mother’s day is just another example of it. The media tells our kids we need flowers, some Kay jewelry mom’s necklace and we don’t correct that.

I spent the past week with Himself freaking out that we didn’t have A PLAN. I asked my kids to make the plan based on what they knew I would want. I TOLD them it was their job to decide how to spend the day and reminded them I have always been very transparent about what I’d like, if they just think about it.

Yesterday, their dad said, “Well, you left it up to the kids and they’re planning a day with board games and movie bingeing and ordering chinese takeout. Sorry if you’re disappointed, but you DID tell them to plan it.”

Except it IS the perfect day. They nailed it. My boys know that the simplest of times with them are my favorite. As they head to the next phase of their lives with college and girlfriends and such, they know what mom wants most is TIME.

This gift is the most overwhelming response I got when I asked my mama friends what their idea Mother’s day would look like–from the full-time single moms saying they’d love if their kids planned to stay with friends for a weekend so they could have some alone/grownup time, to the mom with adult kids who just wanted her kids to come home to cook out and play cards with her, and to the new mom who desperately wants time to sleep–TIME.

As a mom of teens, I have been able to remind my boys that they have all the tools for independence–confidence that they know me and I will love what they choose. They laughed when I jumped on them this morning yelling “GET UP I WANNA SEE WHAT SANTA BROUGHT!!” (a special payback for all those Christmases past, they found the perfect cards and messages (props to That Girl for helping Conman with the card), and selected special and MEANINGFUL GIFTS. Knowing that I’m known, heard, and loved is what matters.

So to all you mamas out there, the ones with littles, kids who’ve flown, and everyone in between, I wish you the gift of TIME.

And now, I go back to a rousing game of Yahtzee, my favorite ice cream, and Game of Thrones.



PS and a very special mother’s day to the two very most important moms to me….my mom and my MIL. Thank you for all your love.