Every year when my husband asks, “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” I always respond exactly the same way: “Amor, I don’t need a Mother’s Day gift. My kids are enough.” But wait a minute, who am I kidding? I do want something!
Why do I feel guilty admitting that I secretly want something for Mother’s Day? Is it because I feel like I should not get a gift for just “doing my job” as a mother? Honestly, I feel like a hypocrite hoping for one thing and saying another when he asks the question. I just want him to read my mind or come up with something himself without me having to plan my own Mother’s Day.
I know I do not want some expensive shopping spree, shiny jewelry or designer shoes. I just want a little more sleep, a little time to myself. I want to be able to use the bathroom without my daughter banging on the door or just walking in. I want the house magically cleaned and organized, and to have dinner without telling my kids 20 times to sit down and eat!
I wonder if I am alone in my Mother’s Day neediness. Or is this neediness at all? Am I the only one who feels guilty about asking for a little peace and quiet? Does feeling this way make me selfish or a bad mom? I struggle with mommy guilt a lot, so I asked a few moms on social media how they honestly felt.
Tanya Hayes O’Neil, the mother of a 2-½-year-old, said, “I want to nap and wake up to Mexican food that has magically appeared.” A West Covina mom, Amanda Vargas, admitted she would want to “be alone … for once!” @Mimintony said, “I’d just like to eat a hot meal uninterrupted.” For @katiedimond84, a great Mother’s Day is simply to, “work out, shower and do my hair.” While most moms talked about some private time, Edlow Schwing said she would love “uninterrupted girl time with friends, come back to a clean home with happy kids.”
The pattern seems obvious, right? Do the responses make you want to yell “Yes!” out loud? All the comments made me feel a little better about my desires, but it was Patricia Quintero who cracked me up when she said, “Hmmm, is it too much to ask for diamonds on Mother’s Day?”
Lifestyle expert Catenya McHenry says it is not surprising that mothers want what they do not have: time to themselves. “Sometimes moms need an emotional break, because a break is healing to the soul, body, mind and spirit,” she says. “Material things are awesome and bring temporary happiness. But a quiet afternoon can be rejuvenating, which in the long run helps Mom get re-centered and refocused.” As for Patricia’s diamonds and other material gifts, McHenry told me she thinks dads and kids should definitely get Mom a gift, even if she says she does not want something. “We as humans want to feel appreciated. Mom’s modesty doesn’t necessarily mean she wants to be ignored on Mother’s Day,” she says.
A thoughtful or even homemade gift from the kids goes a long way to show appreciation and gratitude, as long as it comes from the heart. A little quiet time to myself would be the icing on the cake. It really resonated with me when McHenry said, “It’s in the peace and quiet that mommies come back to who they are as strong women. And that is priceless.”
Mother’s Day is the one day of the year devoted to appreciating the women who hold the hardest job in the world, working for our kids, who are often the most demanding of bosses.
Now do you feel better about asking for what you want? I know my family will love to give me what makes me happy, even if it is a little peace and quiet for one day.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you strong, loving, sacrificing, generous, supportive, amazing and beautiful superwomen!
Daniella Guzman is the anchor on “Today in LA” weekday morning newscast, 4:30-7 a.m. A mother of two, Daniella’s column, On the Record, brings her views on parenting, fun family activities and her take on work-life balance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @daniellanbcla.