What Do I Want for Mother’s Day?

Sometimes Mother’s Day is kinda like Christmas. There’s so much hype about it, and at times the reality doesn’t live up to all the expectations. Sometimes Santa doesn’t fill your wish list, whether it’s December or May.

So, what are the big Mother’s Day gifts? Flowers, candy, jewelry…they’re alright, but do I really want them for Mother’s Day? Honestly, no…especially not the candy. Swimsuit season is practically here and a pound of truffles is not going to help the cause. Flowers…well, I guess they aren’t bad, but they’re going to die in a week anyway.  Jewelry…it’s pretty, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not diggin it this year. So, what’s left?

There are loads of other “Mom” gifts that all the stores are trying to pawn off on all the men looking for that “perfect” gift. But, I don’t see any of those stores wrapping a big bow around a box of “peace and quiet”, “I’m not doing s***t today”, and “Can everyone just STFU today”, do you? They also seem to be forgetting “nap in a box”.  Those, my friends, would be great! But no, instead, we are brainwashed to believe that a bracelet and a dozen of roses would be oh so much better.

I know a lot of you out there would love some flowers, candy, or jewelry, and that’s just fine with me. But, you can’t honestly say you wouldn’t enjoy a day where the kids didn’t scream, a day when you didn’t accidentally stick your finger in poop because your daughter moved faster than you could move the diaper, or even a day when you didn’t have to ask your significant other to unload the dishwasher (the dishes don’t magically walk themselves back into the cabinet, contrary to popular belief).

I think when it comes to Mother’s Day, actions speak louder than gifts. Showing a momma she’s appreciated, or God forbid, actually speaking the words, can actually get you a lot further. Women dig that stuff, trust me.

Okay, so what’s on your Mother’s Day wish list? What’s on mine? Honestly, I just want to have a nice drama free day with the people I love, and I’m not just saying that. If some gifts come my way, so be it. If not, I’m good. I’ll just be steering clear of the poop and the dishwasher.

A $24,000 Playhouse for Suri…What?

   I was driving the other day when I heard on the radio that Katie Holmes was buying her daughter, Suri Cruise, a $24,000 playhouse for Christmas. I thought I was hearing things, so I had to come home and google it. Well, not only did I hear correctly, but I found out this “Suri dreamhouse” is equipped with running water, electricity, a sun room and eat-in kitchen. Not only is she getting this ridiculous house, but she is also getting a kids’ version of a Mercedes that is worth nearly 10 large, as well as an iPad mini and a Chloe fur coat.

   After my eyes went back into my head, I had a WTF moment. With all that is going on in the world today, this really irked me (so, of course, I had to write about it). There are still Hurricane Sandy victims waiting to get running water and electricity. Heck, there so many homeless who would love to live in Suri’s new play gigs. There are twenty children in Newtown, CT, just around her age who will not have a Christmas because they went to school one day and never came home. Their classmates who survived the mass shooting are surely going to be scarred for life. I’m sure a $24,000 playhouse is so far off their radar right now. I’m sure some of them will just settle for a good night’s sleep without any bad dreams.

   I know Suri is not the only celeb kid that will be spoiled this Christmas, but since this is the only one I’ve heard about, I’m picking on her. Sorry, Suri. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think all this stuff is necessary for a six-year-old girl. Come on, does she really need this? No. Does she want all this? Who knows. But, when you lay out this spread for this Christmas, how do you follow up next year? A Barbie penthouse, complete with a life size robot Barbie? I just don’t know.

   I’m getting off my soapbox now, but I’m still fired up. When I hear things like this, my mind is boggled and I actually get kind of sad to think that kids need to be spoiled this way. This Christmas my kids are obviously not getting any houses they could actually rent to their friends, nor are they getting a better play car than my real car. I’m okay with that. They’ll be happy with what they get. They’ll be happy they have me. I’ll be happy I have them. These days, that’s all that matters.

Costly Christmas with Kids? I Don’t Think So!

  “Mommy, I want that…no mommy, I want that…and that…no wait, I have to have this.” For the love of Christmas, this season can make you lose your mind…and a lot of money if you let it!  Chances are your kids have made their lists and now you’re checking them twice to see what you can afford. Right now, I’m lucky, my kids are two months and two years old. Although my two year old can now form sentences “I want (fill in the blank)”, she hasn’t picked up on actually wanting toys or seeing them in a commercial and realizing she will die without them. A lot of people tell me this is the last year I can “get away cheap” with her. My two-month old doesn’t even know what day it is, so I’m safe there.
  So with no real lists to lead me in the right toy aisle, what do I buy and how much do I spend? Hmmm…there’s the Barbie Jeep for $300 that my two year old can only ride for a few months out of the year and will probably grow out of in two summers, although her sister will be able to use it down the road.  There are Barbie dream houses for upwards of $100, but she’s too young for those yet. Her and Barbie are still strangers, so scratch these things off the list. Then there’s that new annoying rock star Elmo thing for about $60. If that thing enters my home, I may need to find it a new one…in the garbage.
   As far as my two-month old goes, there are a lot of educational toys out there I could buy that promise to have her reciting the encyclopedia by the time she’s one. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’m never going to buy into that again! I’m not sure what other hot toys are out there, but there’s a good chance you won’t find them in my house the morning of December 25th.That’s not to say my children won’t be getting gifts, but I’m not going overboard. I know so many people who bombard their kids with so many gifts that it looks like the Toys R Us toy book threw up in their living room. A.) I think that’s ridiculous and B.) I think that’s setting them up to expect that flood of gifts all the time, which is really setting them up for disappointment, unless they have some rich uncle or something.
   So, why do we feel like we need to spend so much on our kids? Between diapers, clothes, and little odds and ends, I spend more money on them on a monthly basis than I do on myself even before they came along. So just because it’s Christmas, I have to empty my bank account? Why…to show them how much I love them? Did the three Kings max out their Visa cards or cash out their Christmas Club account (do banks even have those anymore?) before visiting baby Jesus? I think you get my point. I just get so frustrated when I hear how much some people spend on their kids for Christmas. I know it’s none of my business, but I just don’t get it, so if someone could explain it to me, that would be great!
  I can honestly say that I did not spend a lot on my kids this Christmas. And by “a lot” I mean I didn’t even spend $100 each. Call me a bad parent, call me cheap, call me whatever you want. But, will my children love me any less Christmas morning? I think you know the answer to that.

Too Pushy?

  Labor… we all know it as some kind of work, but to women it has a special meaning. For some, labor can be another word for hell. Others will tell you it’s not so bad and a select few will tell you it’s just great. However the experience is for you, do you think you should receive some kind of reward when it’s all over? That is besides the beautiful bundle of joy, of course. Well, it seems a lot of women are getting “push presents”. And we’re not just talking about flowers and a card. There is some serious bling being tossed around. There was a piece on Good Morning America this week that talks about these presents (Check out this link in case you missed it http://abcnews.go.com/US/push-presents-moms-babys-gift/story?id=14046485). You’ll see they’re not just for celebrity moms. They make it seem like everyday moms are getting these presents. Hmmm…I didn’t get a “push present” the first time around. But, I did buy myself a “pregnancy present” before the labor process. I splurged on a Coach wallet that I normally wouldn’t have bought. I didn’t ask anyone like my husband to get it for me, just went to the store, used my money and bought it. I still love it to this day, two years later.
  This time around, I haven’t bought any pregnancy presents yet, but I still have 11 and 1/2 weeks to go. I do plan on getting a little something. But this time instead of something I can drool over, I may opt for a spa day. A little mommy massage, mani, pedi, and I think I’m good. I’m not expecting a “push present” either. First of all because I know my husband all too well and know he would never buy into it, both literally and figuratively and simply because I’m not a bling kind of girl.
  For those who want them and get them, more power to you. But, I think I’ll settle for a little R&R at the spa (okay and maybe some flowers!).

The Perfect Present

   Many men search and search for the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Where do I go? What do I get? What does she really want? Jewelry, flowers, a fancy dinner…they’re all great gifts, but not really what I’m looking for this Mother’s Day. Although if they did come my way, I wouldn’t say no! (Mama didn’t raise a fool!)
   Although I’m only about to celebrate my second year of this joyous holiday, I’ve quickly come to realize being a mom can sometimes be a thankless job. Don’t misunderstand me though, the rewards are great. Seeing your child do something or say something for the first time, or just getting a big old hug and smile are heart-warming. But sometimes, you just need a little something extra.
   As mothers, we do so much besides take care of our children. Often times, we’re the cooks, the maids, the organizers, the financial planners…etc. And those jobs are just ones that have to do with the house. Many of us work outside the home, which brings on a whole other dimension of responsibilities and headaches. We do all these things with hardly ever getting a “thank-you” or a “good job” or a “hey, can I help you with that?”. I’ve learned all the hats we wear as mothers just seem to come along with having a uterus.
   So this Mother’s Day, it would be great to actually hear the appreciation through words, not just gifts. They say actions speak louder than words. But, not when those words are never spoken. Although you may know you are appreciated, it would be nice to hear it once…and really it probably will only happen once! I’m not talking about a sappy litany of appreciation and love sponsored by Hallmark. A simple, “Thanks, you’re the best” would really be the perfect present. Guys, if your little ones can’t the words out yet, it’s your job to be the spokesman. Those words will never rot and smell bad in a vase in a week. They’ll never be forgotten at the bottom of the jewelry box or be spent on something foolish. They’ll actually be something remembered, something treasured…the perfect present.

Our Most Precious Gift

   Children are our most precious gift. Seems like a “duh” statement, but how many times do we forget that? Whether they’re an infant, a toddler, or a teen…kids are a challenge and quite bluntly, can be a pain at times. They can cry, they can whine, they can scream at you, but what would you do if they suddenly vanished? It’s safe to say you would be lost. Even when my daughter has a one-night sleepover at Grandma or Nonna’s house, our house just isn’t the same when we wake up the next morning. It feels empty. Something is missing. Funny, before she came along, it would feel normal…it would feel complete. But, now it’s simply not. Children have a way of grabbing onto our hearts, making us vulnerable, but at the same time tough as nails because we would do anything to defend them and keep them out of harms’ way. But what happens when you can’t protect them?
   I have to say, I had a totally different topic chosen to blog about this week, but the recent story about a missing girl made me change my mind. As a news producer, I often glaze pass stories because they become just another accident, just another fire. But some stories pull you in, tug on your human side…and this is one of them. The outpouring of emotion from people from all walks of life when it comes to this story is really amazing. I think it’s because we all know how innocent children are. Children should be untouchable. They shouldn’t have to experience pain or sorrow. But too many times they do and it’s heartbreaking. Fortunately, this story had a happy ending. The little girl was found safe. It turns out she ran away and luckily didn’t get into any trouble. But often times, we hear stories where that is not the case.
   When you hear stories involving kids getting hurt it really makes you hold on to yours a little tighter. It really makes you think. What would you do if you woke up tomorrow morning and your child was suddenly gone and you had no clue where he or she could be?
   I freak out when my daughter hides in the bathroom for a minute. I can’t imagine her out there in the world by herself or worse with someone who could harm her. That’s why you have to treasure every moment you have with your children, even when they drive you nuts. Simply put, you just never know what can happen. So tonight, give your child an extra hug and kiss…why? Just because. That’s reason enough.