As spring rolls around again so does Mother’s Day. Although we should be showing appreciation and love for mothers and the tireless work that they do every day—including the emotional labour of the household the majority of the time, Mother’s Day is a great time to go the extra mile and show your love and gratitude.
Something to remember when doing a special activity or giving gifts to the mothers in your life this holiday is not to give a gift that in turn will have her doing more work.
Some of these things may just slip by people but the little difference will mean the world to the women you are celebrating.
Given that they regularly take on the emotional labour of the household as mentioned before, if gifts are executed from start to finish, the gesture so much better than when only one part is thought about.
Side-note: For those who are unaware, emotional labour is referring to the additional work that is done in one’s home or life outside of their regular jobs and it is rarely if not ever paid work. This includes scheduling the family’s activities (like sports practices and games), helping kids with homework, playing with and looking after children, household chores, cooking meals etc. Essentially a great majority of women in relationships, especially mothers, take on these tasks and it can add up to the physical, mental and emotional labour of a second job. They are the managers of a household and all its moving parts.
Some gifts that mothers have expressed interest in for Mother’s Day alleviate some of that emotional labour, or at the very least don’t add to it.
When reaching out to a number of mothers, most of them had the same answer on what they would like for Mother’s Day: for someone to do some of the tasks that they take on every day.
On the note of following through however, here are some things to keep in mind. If you are going to do a full house clean, or vacuum, or even do the dishes- the task isn’t complete once you finish it. No, it is complete once you have finished and put everything away.
If you are going to clean the house make sure the cleaning supplies are back where you found them, it isn’t a gift if the mom in your life has to lug the vacuum back to its closet.
Similarly, if you are planning on making a meal, say a big beautiful breakfast for Mother’s Day- your gift needs to continue past making and presenting the meal. Make sure that you do all the dishes (in a timely fashion!) and put them away in their respective spots.
If you are going to make lunches for the family for the next day (a task which multiple mothers have assured me would be a fantastic mother’s day gift), make sure you put all the food back after you have made the lunches and clean any dishes you made.
If you are having people over to celebrate- you should be the one planning, preparing, decorating/ setting up what is needed (food, snacks, utensils, etc.), and the clean up. No part of the labour should be done by the lady or ladies you are celebrating.
A big thing for most people to give on Mother’s Day is flowers. To not create work for the mother and to truly let her appreciate her beautiful bouquet, you need to ensure that you are the one to trim the stem and put them in a vase with water.
In conclusion, it is all about the follow through. Mothers give so much and the least we can do is ensure that we don’t create work for them on a day about them.
It may seem small, but these details make all the difference and I guarantee the women in your life will appreciate it as well.