Tag Archive for: Mothers

The Facebook Post is BS – I Want a Mother’s Day Gift!

Facebook Post is BS – I Want a Mother’s Day Gift! by Debra H. Goldstein
Dear Mom,
On Facebook this week, the unknown
writer cut and paste post tied to Mother’s Day is:
Every year my
children ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give
them my real answer:

What do I want for Mother’s Day? I want you. I want you to keep coming around,
I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for
my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your
problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job, your worries. I
want you to continue sharing your life with me. Come over and laugh with me, or
laugh at me. I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to me.

I spent the
better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how. Now, give me time
to sit back and admire my work.

Raid my
refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. In fact, I wouldn’t want it
any other way. I want you to spend your money making a better life for you and
your family. I have the things I need. I want to see you happy and healthy. When
you ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, I say “nothing” because you’ve already
been giving me my gift all year. I want you.
I think the posters have it wrong. I
want a gift. I’d like the opportunity to spend another day with you. A day when
we talk for more than a few moments. A day when I ask you about you instead of
ranting about my life or getting annoyed because I’d rather be doing something
for work or with my family rather than making my daily telephone call to you. A
day when we go to lunch or take a drive or laugh at a joke.
Thank goodness you were with us for
Jen’s wedding, but I’m so sorry you missed Beth’s. It was special, too. You’d
be thrilled at how your grandchildren and great-grandchildren are doing and
you’d be patiently listening, and silently praying, over the antics of your
playboy grandson.
So, I want a real gift this Mother’s
Day. Memories aren’t the same.


Taking Care of You!

Take Care of You! by Debra H.

I am not a good nurse. In fact, I am a b, which rhymes with
witch, but then again I am married to a man who isn’t much of a patient.

Last week, he had arthroscopic surgery on his knee for a
torn meniscus. Note: arthroscopic surgery is not a knee replacement. It hurts,
but not nearly as much as a knee replacement. He gets my sympathy because I
know it hurts and this is the third time in the last fifteen years he has had a
knee scoped (he tore it the first time when he used to run nine miles a day;
the second time during a random stumble; and this time probably being on the
treadmill too much). I did mention that he isn’t a good patient, didn’t I?

Anyway, this was a same day surgery. The entire procedure
took about fifteen minutes – prepping

and post-surgery recovery made up most of
the time he was at the hospital. He came home on a walker (neither of us is
good with crutches) already allowed to be weight bearing as tolerated. At that
point, he collapsed on the bed (after having lunch because he was a bit

I dutifully kept his knee iced, brought him drinks and
snacks, and did the things necessary, but after a few days, I was ready for him
to be well or at least a little more self-sufficient. Maybe it is because I can
remember how I was after I had the same surgery. I was groggy the first day,
obedient with my exercises the second day, and pretty much back and going
within a few days. I didn’t have a choice.

Mothers don’t have a choice. We keep on running because
secretly we run the house, the world, our kids, our spouse, and anything else
that needs to be taken care of. We take care of ourselves last. That’s why the
commercials about moms getting sick hit home – the Mom can’t and won’t allow
herself to stop to be sick. Too many people depend upon her.

The best example I’ve seen of this is a film made by the
American Heart Association starring the mom from Modern Family. In the clip,
the obvious working woman is juggling a business call, making her kids lunch,
finding her husband’s tie and getting the children off to school. Suddenly, she
feels tightness in her chest, discomfort, and begins sweating, but she ignores
everything because she is Mrs. Mom. Her ability to spread the peanut butter,
get the kids out the door, put the dishes up, and do other simultaneous chores
deteriorates, but she assures everyone she is fine. Her son doesn’t believe her
and shows her on his phone that she is having the symptoms of a heart attack.
She disagrees. She doesn’t have time for that. He dials 911 and hands her the
phone. While the kids leave for school and the voice says the paramedics will
be there immediately, she looks up from the floor at the now messed up house
and asks, “Could you make it ten minutes, so I can clean up a little?”

It is a classic piece that reminds us we, as women, need to
take care of ourselves. As writers juggling families, households, jobs, social
media and deadlines, we sometimes forget to look in the mirror and say, “I care
about you. I need to stop and take care of you.” Please do! It’s important. Be
a B, with a capital B for yourself. And btw, my husband is doing better and
didn’t even notice (or at least he better not admit if he did) I was being a b,
which rhymes with witch.   

Four Very Important (and Sometimes Strange) Things I Learned from My Mother

By Susan McBride

I feel a little like a copycat after Laura Spinella wrote that wonderful post about her mother last Friday.  Not only was it Friday the 13th, but it was her mom’s 83rd birthday (hope it was a happy one!).  Tomorrow is my mom’s 75th birthday.  So that she doesn’t feel left out, I figured I’d pen a piece in her honor, all about some very important life lessons I’ve learned from her.  Let’s just say, they’re invaluable (or at least chuckle-worthy).  Here goes!
Lesson #1:  Threats Don’t Work
I remember one particular time in my young life when I was furious with my mother…for what, I can’t remember.  I was about 10 or 11, and I recall very clearly telling her how she’d pissed me off and then letting her know I was running away.  Not only did she basically say, “Terrific,” I think she offered to help me pack.  I ended up leaving the house, racing across the lawn and down to the grassy triangle up the street, and climbing a tree so I could see the house.  I was certain she’d run outside crying hysterically and shouting at the top of her lungs, “Susan!  Sweetheart, I’m so sorry!  Please, come back!”  I don’t know how long I sat in that tree, waiting and watching for her, but it had to be at least an hour (which felt like days).  My pride wounded and stomach growling, I finally slunk inside and found her in the kitchen.  “I see you’re back in time for dinner,” she said. “It would’ve been a shame to give the dog your meatloaf.”
Lesson #2:  Don’t Troll Mom’s Bathroom for Empty Boxes
I bought what was surely a fabulous present for my mother one Christmas long ago but I needed an empty box in which to stuff and wrap it.  So, of course, I poked around my parents’ master bathroom (this was before The Container Store, you see).  Lo and behold, on a shelf in the linen closet, I found a cardboard box that was light blue with tiny white flowers all over it. Gorgeous!  It wasn’t until Mom unwrapped the box and began laughing that I learned the box once contained Tampax tampons. Not sure at that point I even knew what that meant. But she said that next time I needed an empty box, I should just ask.
Lesson #3:  When it’s Dad versus a Kitten, the Kitten Wins
We always had at least one dog in the house.  When I was really little, it was a cocker spaniel named Cindy.  As I got older, we had a couple of golden retrievers and a giant mutt named Puppy.  At some point after my sister and I were in grade school, we started asking for a kitten.  My mom thought that was a grand idea.  My dad was not so keen.  “It’s either me or a cat,” he very sternly told us all one night at family dinner.  My mom replied, “You’re going to lose there, buster,” then asked us, “So is it a kitten or your father?”  My sister and I looked at each other, grinned, and squealed, “Hooray, we’re getting a kitten!”  And we did.
Lesson #4:  Don’t Dump a Guy Just Because He Wears Weird Shoes
When I was a sophomore in high school, I dated a senior who was brilliant (he went to the Air Force Academy), talented (he played piano like a pro), athletic (he was a star on the soccer team), and hunky.  He also wore desert boots when no one else was wearing desert boots.  For some reason, that bothered me enormously. Superficial, I know. But then again, I was 15. My mom kept saying, “Don’t break up with this wonderful boy over a pair of shoes.”  But I did anyway.  Fast forward 26 years to when I met Ed. He used to wear this motorcycle jacket—a real one, with hard pads that made the shoulders stand out like a linebacker—only he didn’t ride a motorcycle.  (Oh, he had one. It was just not drivable and still resides in his parents’ garage because he won’t get rid of it.) My friends teased him about it unmercifully.  The meanies. But Ed wore it anyway.  He also had a neon-green striped shirt he donned for Christmas Eve dinner at my folks’ the first time they met him. The next morning, Mom asked, “So, what about that green shirt?”  I felt the same way about it as I did the motorcycle jacket.  Yuck.  But thank goodness I wasn’t 15 any more.  I recognized and appreciated all the wonderfulness of Ed that had nothing to do with his clothes.  To this day, I’m so glad I didn’t dump Ed over something as superficial as a silly jacket or a fluorescent green shirt.  I would have missed out on the best thing in my life.


Not sure what the moral is to any of this except that moms are sly creatures.  They know things—sometimes strange things—and we can learn from them if we pay attention.  Seeing as how I’m going to be a mom myself, maybe I really need to write more of this stuff down.  Or make up some new stuff. 

Because I Feel Like It

Rachel Brady

Last week I took a shine to doing things just because I felt like it. It started with painting my toenails glittery orange. Then there was an impromptu trip to the beach with my little boy. Soon I reversed course and started skipping certain things I didn’t feel like doing. I walked past the dishes in the sink and let the unfolded laundry wait for later. I deleted a few events from my calendar. Decided I’d rather do something else instead.

Gotta say, I liked where this was headed.

Some of you may wonder what the big deal is here. Aren’t we all free-thinking folks with the ability to choose a course for ourselves? Sure. But something about my internal wiring has left me forever reluctant to hop on board the train to Changed My Mind. Seems like any time an activity has ever hit my To Do list, it has been cemented there.

Normally, I wouldn’t have made that beach trip until all the other undesirable chores were finished first. Ditto for settling in at night to read a book or work on my manuscript. Those things feel too leisurely, as if surely some punishment must be completed first. All this stems from my responsibility gene, I’ve decided. The same one that has me attending social functions out of a sense of duty and obligation, even if I’d rather be somewhere else. I’m starting to change my mind about all kinds of things lately, and in most cases I don’t even feel apologetic about it anymore.

It began with a comment from my friend Carrie last February. After asking me to go running with her on the upcoming Saturday, she told me it was okay to just say, “Maybe. If I feel like it.” No yes or no required.

Strangely, this response would never have crossed my mind had she not put it out there. I’d have either said “yes,” and honored that commitment, or I’d have said “no,” and then felt obligated to offer up a really good explanation of why not. And I never would have been so rude as to remain non-committal like she was suggesting. But having her permission, I took her up on it. And I discovered that I liked leaving my calendar open to make last-minute decisions depending on whether or not I felt like doing something.

It started spilling over.

Carrie was the only person in my cast of friends to offer this carte blanche approach to planning, but I started using it with everyone else around me anyway. I said no to requests for volunteer work (don’t judge me!), turned down invitations to do local races with friends, and even (yes… Mom Guilt here) set boundaries with my family.

I learned a few things. My young son can dress himself and brush his own teeth. My daughters can put away laundry and pour their brother’s cereal in the morning. And somebody else around here has been feeding all the pets because I stopped doing it a long time ago and, as yet, none are dead.

What do I feel like doing instead? Writing.

For years, I waited until everyone in my family was asleep before I started to write. I made all their lunches, loaded the dishwasher, picked up toys, and did laundry–all after bedtime–and then turned on my laptop at nine or ten o’clock and wrote if I had anything left to give. I don’t feel like doing it that way anymore.

I want to write a book this year. A whole book, not a few disjointed chapters spread out wide over the course of months and years. So, twice a week I’ve been leaving and going to my local library for about three hours at a time to write. Alone.

Do I feel guilty? You bet.

Is it stopping me? Nope.

Somewhere in here, there must be a balance. I’m still looking for it, just like everyone else. The day may not be far off that I’ll decide my new M.O. is selfish and then revert to my old ways. I’m open to that possibility. But this year I’m serving others less and writing more.

Admittedly, I’m having a little rebellious streak right now. Still, I hope the Stiletto Faithful will also consider what you’d most like to do in life. Once in a while, I hope you’ll pursue those things too, because you feel like it. No apologies required.

A Dad’s View of Mother’s Day

Austin S. Camacho is the author of the fast-paced Hannibal Jones mystery series, starting with Blood and Bone (Echelon, 2006). His newest book, Successfully Marketing Your Novel in the 21st Century (Intrigue Publishing), was published in April. Visit Austin’s web site at www.ascamacho.com.

Considering the name of this blog site and the holiday coming up in a couple of days, I kind of knew what I had to write about today. That was a little intimidating. After all, what’s left to say about Mother’s Day? But then my lovely wife Denise bailed me out, as she so often does, with this comment about this weekend’s special day:

“I don’t mean to make it sound like I don’t appreciate it, it’s just that sometimes the kids make me feel pretty unimportant in their lives and on this particular day it would be nice if they made an effort. Sounds pretty selfish I guess, but I think all moms want to feel special on Mother’s Day. Do you feel the same about Father’s Day? Does it matter to you at all?”

Well, her question about Father’s Day got me thinking. After a while I realized that at one time Father’s Day was very important to me. I remember wanting so badly for my little girls to realize how hard I worked at raising them. Not just the canoe trips or Disney World tickets, but the skinned knee tending, tolerating the slumber parties, the days I turned a blind eye to small misdemeanors and the nights I chased the bad boys away.

Of course, they never did appreciate all I did, not until years after I was finished doing all I could for them. And why should they? After all, my love was never unconditional, the way my wife’s is. I criticized the goofy hair styles, crazy fashions and shady friends. She, God bless her, accepted them exactly as they were, and loved them for exactly who they were.

Today, I’m not really being a dad to those kids. They’re on their own, using the tools I gave them to build their own lives. The old dog has learned, and I no longer expect kids to appreciate the work I put into them. Besides, I’m not really a friend to them the way my wife is. I think maybe fathers can be friends or they can be teachers and caretakers. We men just don’t have the goods to be both at once. And I think that maybe, just maybe, that’s what makes mothers so special. You see, even the best of men can only be in one place at a time. Only your mother can lead you, stand beside you, and get behind you, all at the same time.

On the other hand, it seems to me that guys don’t care that much about getting gifts and such either. The only thing I’d really appreciate on a day like Father’s Day would be for the kids to just call or come by and say thank you for trying and for caring what happens to them. The rest is form and artifice, like Christmas wrap and tinsel, which also mean very little to me. And I know that makes me a Scrooge and ruins it for everyone else, so I try to keep it to myself.

By the same token, Mom will make every flower, every card, every little gift bought with your allowance seem like solid gold and just what she was praying for. She’ll make you feel good just by appreciating your effort and a little thought. And I can’t say how much of that reaction is for your benefit, how much of it is tradition, and how much is Christmas wrap and tinsel.

But, just in case, no matter what else we do, we should all be sure to go to Mom on Sunday and say thank you for trying and for caring.

It’s a small price, I think, for unconditional love.

Austin Camacho