Chances are good that if you are reading this you are a mother (much of my readership being female and of a certain domestic bent). Chances are excellent that even if you are not personally a mom, there is a mother in your life: perhaps your spouse or the woman who brought you into this world.
Which brings me to Mother’s Day. My great hope for all you mamas out there is that your tireless, unending work is acknowledged and appreciated more often than once a year. My minimum hope is that your sole gift for the day isn’t pancakes made by a 4-year-old, with you responsible for kitchen clean-up. As all moms know, egg plus flour left on a counter becomes a kind of glue that can only be chipped off with a thumb nail. Usually at the cost of that nail.
Now, because I am a mom, I have naturally been so busy that it only just occurred to me that Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 8th. Actually, someone (I believe my mother) had to remind me. So, here is my Mother’s Day wishlist, and I suspect the wishlist of many mama-gardeners out there.
Top Ten Things I Want For Mother’s Day
I’d love to take advantage of some of the local gardening and urban homesteading classes and workshops offered around town. Learning is good, and getting out and talking to adults is good. Signing me up for an introductory beekeeping or permaculture class would be amazing. It would have to come with an offer to watch the kids, though, so I can actually attend (see below: Babysitting).
9. Gift Certificate + Walk Around Time
A gift certificate to the hardware store, the feed store or the nursery would be great, but what would make that into an awesome gift would be a free afternoon to enjoy wandering around any of those places without kids in tow (again, see below: Babysitting).
8. Several cubic yards of compost
Manure or premium vegetable garden soil is excellent, too. Delivered and willingly wheelbarrowed into place in the raised beds you built (hint, hint) shows extra-special-love. Yes, I’m the kind of girl who just longs to say she got shit for Mother’s Day.
I desperately want these two-handed Felco pruners that double as mini-loppers and can take down a branch over an inch in diameter. And while I’m wishing big, how about a cool leather holster so I can walk around like the pros at the nursery? And, more importantly, so I stop leaving my clippers all over the garden. These clippers are for large-handed people, but since I have big-ol-hands I’m not too worried about it.
6. Muck Boots
After 6 years of hard wear, my Muck Boots have popped a hairline crack along the edge of the sole. I can still use them, but the water can just seep in if I splash in puddles – and I always splash in puddles. Cold wet toes do not a happy mama make. I’m a size 11 in women’s shoes. (Yes, I know I have huge feet. They go with my big hands.)
Don’t get me flowers. I know marketers everywhere are telling you to get me a bouquet of roses, but I really don’t want them. I would much rather have live plants – vegetable starts, some raspberry canes, maybe a few extra tomatoes or a gooseberry. I’m also happy to receive summer bulbs (lilies!) and a box of bonemeal. That’d be super thoughtful.
4. Not Cleaning
It’s not that I hate cleaning. It’s just that it never ends. The productive home is a constant stream of mess. I work so hard to beat the mess down day after day, but deep down I know it’s just a game of Whac-a-Mole. As soon as I get one mess knocked down another will pop up needing attention. Take over the big foam hammer and play mess Whac-a-Mole for me for awhile. (FYI, to the husbands and partners reading this – ongoing assistance on the homekeeping front will make your woman want to play a whole different kind of Whac-a-Mole, if you know what I mean.)
3. Not Cooking
Please do not ask me what’s for dinner on Mother’s Day. Don’t even ask me what I want. Just make it happen. We don’t have to go out, or eat something fancy, or spend a lot of money. But give me the gift of not having to decide. I make approximately 20 meal decisions a week. That’s 1,040 meals I plan and execute every damn year. I love cooking, but I want to take a day off from meal duty. (Mom’s Corollary Responsibility: I promise if you give me a day off from planning and thinking about meals I will not make you feel like you didn’t do as good a job as I do, or imply that I didn’t get what I really wanted if you bring home $15 of Vietnamese pho for dinner. I understand that in order to receive a break I must be willing to actually take one. PS: Pho would be perfect.)
With someone reliable whom I know and would actually trust with our children. The Catch-22 is these people are almost always other mothers, who would also just like a freakin’ minute when they aren’t responsible for little people.
The one thing every mom wants more of is time. Day-by-day we drive time away, running between school and soccer and the grocery store and work. We wash it away in countless loads of whites and darks and delicates, and pack it away with sack lunches and overnight bags and permission slips. It is lost with keys and cell phones and wallets and is never found, not inside purses or diaper bags or upstairs on the nightstand. Even when we make time for ourself it leaks out and around the edges, little crumbs of time spilled as we multi-task our lives away and feel guilt for what we just don’t have time for.
Moms never, ever have enough time. Time is the greatest gift you can give the mom in your life. Sadly, even Amazon does not stock time. However, in lieu of time, several hours of someone else cooking and cleaning and looking after wee ones so we can get outside and play in the garden would be greatly, greatly appreciated.
Happy Mother’s Day to all my fellow moms. Motherhood is a Big Tent kinda party – try to be kind to each other, and yourself, as you make your way through.1