May 1, 2011

The Best Gift of All

The Best Gift of All

...the gift of you

I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy!” As much as I hate to admit it, I know how true that statement is. And, I think that most Moms would candidly admit that they know it, too. 

What I also know to be fact is that most Moms don’t take time for themselves. They feel guilty about taking an hour every so often for a massage, to shop for some new clothes for herself, to get her nails done or to just spend time with some girlfriends. 
Balance is hard. 
I seriously don’t know how some of you mega Moms do it. I have trouble keeping ahead of laundry and household chores, and I only have one kiddo. Some days I’m sure that the laundry will be the death of me. Other days I think I have to choose between sleep and clean dishes for breakfast.  I’ve forgotten about school fundraisers and book fees, and I am embarrassed to admit how long the floors of my house go between vacuuming; I seem to go through most days scared the school is going to call me to remind me I forgot about something else.
A few weeks ago, I took a day to do whatever I wanted. I got a haircut and new color, had a pedicure with a girlfriend, shoe shopped with another girlfriend and tried on way too many jeans in search of the perfect pair. I felt so guilty that night I cooked a pretty amazing dinner for my family--too amazing for a Thursday night!
I firmly (and passionately) believe that the health of our families and our households lies in what’s going on with Mom. If Mom is stressed, unable to take time for herself, everyone suffers. Sometimes I think our drive to be the best mom and the best wife eclipses what being the best really means. We can’t be the best if we aren’t feeling like our best. 
So, here is a helpful note to all the Dads out there; listen closely and please take notes: YOUR WIFE NEEDS A LITTLE BREAK! Not a big break or a long one, just a little time away to refresh, regroup and restore some balance.
The gift of a little break could possibly be the best gift you could give to the mother of your kids this Mother's Day. It is the gift of time. 
I can hear the collective sound of men all over Michiana saying, “time. Uh, ok.”

Let me help you with some concrete ideas:  

·         The Gift of Girl Time: You know that this is the gift your wife needs if you hear her saying things like, “I wonder how so-and-so is” or, “I haven’t seen (insert name here) in forever. Wish we could find time to have coffee.” You can really be a hero if you are friends with your wife’s friend’s husbands and get together with the other guys on this one. You can all get your wives gift certificates to a day spa. I promise, most women can think of nothing better than a little massage and afternoon with the girls!
·         The Gift of You: one thing that most couples soon realize after becoming parents is that months (and years) can go by without you realizing that you and your spouse haven’t had an evening alone in a very long while, too long in fact. Consider taking the day off work while the kids are in school, a night out or a weekend away; it doesn’t matter what you do. It just matters that you two are together. One of my friends was recently swept away for the weekend by her husband. When she got home, she told me, “It was a great trip; I was reminded why I married him. We vowed to never stop dating again!”
·         The Gift of Recapturing Herself: I have met with way too many Moms who have forgotten who they are. Sometimes it is because she started having kids early in life and she is now (I’m now choosing my words carefully here) “later in life.” What worked for her before kids isn’t working now. It takes some time to redefine what works in a wardrobe, and as a busy Mom doesn’t have time. Let her remember how beautiful she is. Get her a wardrobe consultation, makeup consultation and maybe some gift certificates to boutiques or her favorite store. If Mom feels good about her reflection in the mirror, that feeling will carry through to everyone in the family. 
·         The Gift of Sleep: The ‘to-do’ list for most Moms is never ending. Why not surprise your wife one night and tell her you are taking over. Put the kids to bed, clean up the house, get all those evening chores done for her and let her get a full eight hours of sleep. I know; it sounds simple, but believe me, eight full uninterrupted hours of sleep would be the best gift!
And if you are a single Mom, take time to be your best YOU, and you will be the ultimate gift to your family this Mother's Day!

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