My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years and traditionally, like many couples, we developed a pattern of hopping back and forth between our parents houses for holidays. Mother’s Day has been no exception. Most years we rushed from Church to his parent’s house for brunch and then head directly to my parent’s house for an afternoon BBQ. It’s wonderful to be able to spend time with both our families, but it does make for a long day and a lot of moving around for us.
After having kids, my parents would have us over on Saturday for the family BBQ or we would go home for nap time between the two families. It was still a lot of hopping and with fussy babies, it’s always a joy. Then my sweet husband tried something different and well, it didn’t go exactly as planned.
I hate brunch, sorry
Two years ago, my husband wanted to take his mom and I to a Mother’s Day brunch at a local hotspot except he wasn’t able to get a reservation for us (unless brunch at 2:30pm counts) and I refused to wait in the general entrance line (I know, I’m no fun). What we ended up doing was hosting an after church brunch in my backyard with my extended family, which was great since we didn’t have to house hop, but you know what wasn’t great? Who do you think had to do all the cooking, cleaning, organizing, and activities for the kids? Me. It was great to have family around but here are a couple key things to know about me:
#1 – I hate brunch. I really don’t like it. It looks beautiful and pictures of people eating it look amazing. But I hate eating eggs (not in burrito form) at 11:30am. I want a burger at that time of day. I’m probably an anomaly with this feeling, but that’s me.
#2 – Cheap champagne gives me a headache. And I just don’t feel good after it. I know I don’t have to drink it, but seriously. If I’m going to pay for an all you can eat brunch buffet, I’m going to get my money’s worth.
#3 – No one asked me what I wanted to do. Holidays are a lot of work for many moms (women in general I think). There’s cooking and cleaning, making sure that kids are presentable, extra clothes are packed, organizing the schedule of places and times, and gift planning. God love my husband, he does his absolute best on these big days. He’s even gotten mad at me for doing everything when it should be “my day.” But let’s be real here, sometimes it’s more stressful for me when he tries to do everything that I usually do. (Especially when on the way to church that morning he’ll ask “Did you get a gift for my sister?”)
#4 – I work in education, May is generally a very busy time of the school year for me. I really don’t want to do much of anything on weekends and am generally tired most (or all of) the time.
Then 2020 happened
Like everything else in 2020, Mother’s Day was shaping up to look different. And my husband learned a few things the previous year and asked me what I wanted to do. Exciting.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do. And it involved staying home. I told him that I wanted us to have a backyard camp out on Saturday night; with a fire and smores, pizza from our favorite place and a sleep out in our new, giant tent. That’s what we ended up doing.
It was different enough that it was a special treat and even though it involved some planning, we had a blast. We only made it until about 10pm in the tent when the youngest refused to go to sleep. She was having way too much fun running around in her overtired state to rest. And I was pregnant, so sleeping on the ground is not the most ideal thing. But it was great! I loved it. In the morning we had homemade cinnamon rolls (I couldn’t help myself) and watched YouTube church before relaxing and playing in the tent the rest of the day.
We still had short, conservative visits with our families during the weekend to celebrate our moms. But the bulk of the day felt something special for me. I had my little family around me and we had plans that I had thought up. Husbands, just ask your wife what she wants for Mother’s Day. You may find she wants a lot less than you had thought.
As Mother’s Day is approaching, I’m not sure what things will look like this year. Last year reaffirmed the importance of family gatherings. I think I’d taken them for granted in the past but not being able to have them was hard. Still it was nice to do what I wanted but we’ll see what we plan for this year. I have a feeling we will be hopping houses but after the year of changed plans it might be good for the old traditions to come back. Maybe we can do a family sleep out on a neighboring weekend or go someplace to camp, I think that might be a good tradition to carry forward.