If I could write a letter to Santa for Mother’s Day on behalf of all moms out there, I’d ask for just these ten things:
1. An end to the “mommy wars” and universal gratitude for the moms who’ve opted for full-time parenting, because without them there would be no Teacher Appreciation Days, no booster clubs, no cookie sales, no field trips (duh, no chaperones), no one to take an aging mother to the doctor, and no rides home when a neighborhood kid misses the late bus.
2. A boss who values quality over quantity, and who understands that someone who gets all of her work done in six hours might just be hugely efficient and smart, rather than underemployed and, therefore, overpaid.
3. Co-workers who support a mom’s priorities, such as getting to the game before kick-off, or being assistant Girl Scout leader, rather than begrudging her the “time off”. [see the quality vs. quantity idea above]
4. HR professionals who see an employment gap as something to be lauded and praised, rather than as a bar to career advancement.
5. A supportive and true partner who sees socks that need picking up, and picks them up; who cooks regularly; who cleans without prompting; who changes diapers; who fetches a teenager who calls from a party after midnight; who thinks the mom in the house is the most amazing, gorgeous woman on the planet. And tells her so. Frequently.
6. Equal pay for equal work.
7. Sensible yet stylish shoes that can go from pre-school drop off to the office and on to evening ballet lessons without prompting bunions, callouses or plantar fasciitis. [dreaming big here]
8. Girlfriends who support the mom-part of their friends, and who willingly allow children to call them “Aunt”.
9. Space and time for moms to learn, grow, rest and rejuvenate. Space and time for them to receive as an antidote for all the giving they do.
10. A communal sense of pride, meaning and purpose in the life of a mother, who manages to work/start a business/run a family/bake cupcakes at the last minute/smile/love/find the shoes/plan the summer camp schedule, and do it with grace (most of the time), flair (some of the time) and true genuine caring (always).
Yes, it’s Mother’s Day, but you can play Santa by simply checking off one or two of these items for the mom in your life – and you might want to start with the picking up the socks thing.
You can trust me on that one.