Come the second week of May, everybody usually starts scrambling to get their hands on the best dinner tables, jewellery deals, bouquet arrangements and everything else you would probably get on a certain other special day that will not be mentioned.
But just like the claims of commercialisation has washed over many other holidays; has Mother’s Day really lost its reverence in the long list of overly retailed occasions?
The dust has settled the pictures of moms on social media have been posted but who really had the best day: Your maternal powerhouse or the florist?
What We Are Told Mom Wants
Open a newspaper; surf the net or stroll through a mall and you’ll find many retailers and restaurants just waiting to tell you what your mom wants for Mother’s Day. From a massage chair to pearl jewellery – the ads often have the audacity to suggest that you are a lesser child should you not swipe your credit card at the establishment right away.
The answer to the question of what mom wants begins to drift further into a perplexing state when guilt starts to take over our conscience with advertisements implying the above and we sometimes irrationally buy into it all.
But once it is realised is that Mother’s Day, along with other previously sanctified days of appreciation, have been perverted by the vultures of commercial industries, are we then safe from making the wrong choice?
Not quite. If it isn’t a retailer telling you what you should be doing, you will often find well-meaning friends and relatives doing the same. We say well meaning because unlike the aforementioned retailers; they really are well-meaning.
Yet all this serves to further convolute the very simple event: a day to simply honour one’s mother. That is, your mother and not anyone else’s.
So What Should I Have Done For My Mother?
It might be a little late to ask this question now but it is only after the weekend past have we all looked at this question to a meaningful degree. One of our writer’s organised a spa session for her mother under the advice of others only to find her mother wanted nothing of the sort. With RM300 burnt from a payment she could not get back, she relented to allow her mother to do exactly what she wanted to do on Mother’s Day – nothing whatsoever.
The spa even arranged with other mothers in the family also brought about the debate of whether the mothers should bring their young children. Whilst some mothers couldn’t bear to be apart from their children – some couldn’t wait for time alone.
The deviations in preferences just made everyone question – what should one do for one’s mother on this special day? Let us first take a peek into her life through her lenses and though there may be several possibilities to this equation, we’ve narrowed them down to two.
The first type of mother has her kids; irrespective of age, around her all the time and she cooks, does the tidying, dishes, laundry and the list just goes on. The age range of kids in this maternal category could span from the first stage (1-18 years old) and spill into the second (19-25 years old).
A mother in any given category would of course love to be showered by material embellishments, but one in this category would appreciate some time out from motherly chores, even if it means the entire day without kids running around.
And then there is category number two where mothers do not have their kids around them because they’ve left home in pursuit of building a career or a family of their own.
Naturally, a mother in this category would love the opportunity to spend quality time with their children or simply to catch up on things they have missed out on; again depending on respective reasons.
Sure, you could arrange for her an over-the-top dinner with all branches of the family tree present; order the most sparkling charm bracelet under the sun; an entire day of pampering at the spa; a modest card and bouquet saying how much you love her and appreciate all that she’s done; but is this really what she wants?
Of course, we can generalise and stereotype all we want but all women, and all moms, are made differently.
Back to Basics: What Mom Really Wants
Let’s be completely honest and re-evaluate our existence for a minute; unless of course you we’re assembled in a factory, I can assure you that a mother’s role has indeed crossed paths with your life.
And perhaps the single most important thing to do is just ask your mom what she wants. Sure, we may not want to put you out or cause you trouble so she may say nothing much but she also may hint to what she’d like most.
In the end, no one quite knows her like you do and you’d probably be a much better judge of what she wants than all the copywriters employed by big brand names put together. So maybe, use that advantage to find out what it is that makes your mom tick in order to be able to provide her with a treat that is a gift of love; tangible or intangible, that will make the day one truly worthy of her – to honour her as Anna Jarvis (the creator of mother’s day) intended.