True to the predictability of my personality, I always ask for the same thing for Mother's Day. Is it diamonds? You ask.
Nope, got some of those.
Is it a new spring wardrobe?
Nah. Remember, I'm trying to lose a little weight first.
It must be a spa day then!
Nope, not even that.
What I ask for every single year is something practically free for my family:
I want a day during which I do not have to clean up the kitchen.
I am so completely serious. Cleaning the kitchen is probably my most hated household chore. It has to be done, like, 6 times a day - more if you live at my house.
First of all, I cannot stand a dirty kitchen. One of my friends once said, "If there are no crumbs, how do you know you're standing in your kitchen?"
The kitchen is the hub of most homes; it certainly is ours. Not only are meals and snacks eaten there, but homework is done there, Legos and puzzles and art projects are completed there. It is the gateway to the backyard and the thoroughfare to the front. The computer is there and a t.v. is there and everyone hangs out there.
Because Mommy is there. And they want to be near Mommy.
But the funny thing is, Mommy doesn't really want to be there. She wants to be in the backyard pushing someone on the swing. She wants to be in the basement building the coolest, twistiest train track with someone. She wants to be pushing someone in the stroller down to the park. She wants to be taking a bike ride in the sunshine with someone.
So, that is what I do for a day. Hubby takes us out to brunch, he grills something in the evening, and Mommy plays all day with her kids because that is what she wants to do.
I don't get to do this very much anymore. Life gets in the way. School projects and ball games and laundry and grocery shopping and cleaning - it all still needs to get done sometime, right? But for one day, I don't. I enjoy my children because I know, after losing one of my children to cancer, that life is way too short to not take a day - to use my free pass - to just play. All. Day. Long.
So I never ask for flowers or wine or manicures or clothes. I ask for time. It's a pretty cool gift. And it only costs some hugs and kisses and a whole lot of smiles. Mostly mine.
This post was written for a contest at Nerd Wallet. Check it out here: http://www.nerdwallet.com/
*Update: This post won the contest in the category of Best Experience! Yay! Check out all of the other winners here.