The official Mother’s Day photo:

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and the follow-up, just-for-the-fuck-of-it photo:
Screen shot 2012-05-15 at 8.49.26 PM
It smiles on command or it gets the Mini-14.

I don’t love Mother’s Day, do you? God, the pressure. Social media, in particular, has shaped this so-called holiday into a sort of competition. You can say it doesn’t exist, but it’s there. Who got the most thoughtful gift? Who has the most beautiful photos?

I’m not exempt at all, in fact, I use Mother’s Day as the one date per year when I absolutely demand a photo of me and the boys. It always, always turns to shit—grumpy expressions, increasingly irritated demands—and what the hell, self. If Mother’s Day should be about anything, it surely shouldn’t involve me blow-drying my hair and barking at my kids.

It seems a little bogus, this idea of forcing loved ones to momentarily stop taking for granted all the mothering mothery things we do, and to be honest, I don’t want picture-perfect gifts or bed-breakfasts. If anything, I’d love a hotel room to myself, with a pile of shitty magazines and 11 PM room service.

We’re not supposed to want that, of course. How awful would that be, to ask that our one gift be this: to shed, briefly, the confines of motherhood? To utterly abandon the expectations of living a perfect family life and dive wholeheartedly in the direction of pure selfishness?

(Ahhhhh, but still.)

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Kate
Kate
10 years ago

I hate it too. It sucked.

Junni
Junni
10 years ago

Effing brilliant. (Photo 2, obviously.)

AnEmily
AnEmily
10 years ago

I was feeling so, so selfish on Mother’s Day during the drive to the hike which we abandoned 1/4 mile in. And so selfish during the next leg of the “surprise adventure”, when we got to the coast after a drive filled with the sound of two bickering boys. We almost went home then, at my request. But the kids turned it around and we had a pretty good time after that. But still, I thought about being alone the whole time. Mother’s Day is dumb. I’m thinking about planning a Boys Camp Away (“surprise adventure”) for my husband on Father’s Day.

Dawn
Dawn
10 years ago

I kind of think Mother’s day should be more about appreciating moms, specific moms, & less about Celebrating Motherhood. To me, the latter equals expensive brunches, overpriced flowers and overblown expectations. The former is about finding out how moms want to be appreciated, & then doing that for them. God knows, with a 1 yr. old & a 3 yr old., a day off sounds like heaven!

toni in florida
10 years ago

In our house, where I am the breadwinner, and where I work nightshifts that include every other weekend, Mother’s Day happens when it’s convenient. And even then, we keep it low key, going out for dinner and making a trip to the bookstore or a movie. Easy, peasy, real and not stressful at all. Ahhhh!

I must admit, tho, I’d love a photo like that last one… with me holding the gun, of course.

Carey
Carey
10 years ago

Amen, sister! I’m one of those awful mothers who, on Mother’s Day, only wants to be alone in her own house for 24 hours with a telephone, a take out menu and a TV. I just want to SIT DOWN for an extended period of time and empty my mind of all obligation and anxiety. I’m feeling less alone now. I thank you for that.

stephanie
10 years ago

I totally felt the same way – If I really could have whatever I wanted, I would choose to NOT be here in my messy ass house covered with Legos and Beyblades. No, I would have preferred to be at a spa somewhere, getting a massage, pedicure and a full set of gels. But I embraced all that was here – the breakfast in bed (I actually requested that, mostly because I knew we had tater tots in the freezer and that my husband wouldn’t give me a hard time about eating them because it was MOTHER’S DAY, for fuck’s sake), the long visit with my MIL and the “fun” outing to a local pool and hot tub (where my husband had a tantrum because his favorite hot tub was closed). Overall, it was actually a great day but I just wanted to tell you that I could totally relate to that desire to be in that hotel room with the shitty magazines and room service. WORD.

Karmen m
Karmen m
10 years ago

Totally agree, mothers should be selfish and left alone if so desired on mother’s day. Btw, hello amazingly perfect legs! Jealous!

stephanie
10 years ago

Also, the gun photo is hot. I haven’t been to your site in ages and gotta say, you look great.

http://www.designermama-manaallamano.blogspot.com/

Next year I am getting some friends together, getting a hotel and having a MOTHERS GETAWAY. Sleeping in, massages, all of it. It will take a year to save up for, but its worth it.

Beth C
10 years ago

Yep, sign me up for Mother’s Day Off.

Amy N
Amy N
10 years ago

Love both photos!! Dylan’s expression is priceless.

And I get it. I am in the process of a divorce and mother’s day happend to fall on “his” weekend. I asked if I could spend some time with the boys, but I eventually got tired of arguing and told him to forget it. I spent the day with the radio blasting and deep cleaned my house. Then I took a shower and sat in my wonderfully clean and quiet house and had a nice cold beer! The boys came home later that night and I was given all of the wonderful hand made school gifts. It wasn’t hallmark, but it was just fine by me!

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Linda you look great as do your boys. And 20 years from now you will be damn glad you did your hair, put on a dress, and took a picture with your boys every year. They’ll be glad. They won’t remember the cranky they’ll remember the love and pride you so obviously take in them.

erin
10 years ago

I had breakfast in bed but only because I knew I wouldn’t have to make breakfast for myself or the three kidlets. I also asked for more time to sleep, so after the required “happy mother’s day hugs” I went back to sleep for another hour. But that’s all I got. After I got up it was back to the same old routine where the older two bypass dad who is sitting right beside them to come find me to ask me a question they could have asked him. And where the 2yr old is hanging on every word from dad’s mouth and totally ignoring me.

Mother’s Day is overrated. I didn’t post anything about Mother’s Day on Facebook because I don’t see the point, really. But at least you got a cute photo of you and your boys. I forgot to take a picture of me and my kids. Oops.

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

Oh my gawd a (fancy, if we’re wishing here) hotel room, unfettered room service/take out and the complete box set of Gossip Girl is ALL I WANTED FOR MOTHER’S DAY. I didn’t ask for it, and to be honest, had a surprisingly awesome day by just me and my kid on the beach which was so super great and all but still. To be able down a cheeseburger on a big white bed with impunity, engage in uninterrupted bathing and Chuck Bass is really ALL I want for a one day. If you’re asking.

Abby
10 years ago

Several female friends from college and I get together in the spring for Women’s Weekend. Frequently it occurs on Mother’s Day weekend, which makes it even more special. A weekend away from the family is the *perfect* gift! And we come back on Sunday all refreshed and happy. I highly recommend it.

Lori
Lori
10 years ago

I never used to like Mother’s Day when the kids were little. It just seemed forced and even though I tried not to let it happen, was always a bit of a let down. Now that they’re 6 and 5, it’s fun. A few days before they start bringing home and hiding little bags and artwork from school. They get so excited about it. I love waking up and opening all the homemade gifts. And yes, at least one will always make me cry. This year it was a homemade book my son made at school. But, other than the homemade goodies and a nice big breakfast together — that I cooked — Sunday was just another day, which is fine with me. I really did not care for all of my Facebook friends posting pictures of their Mother’s Day gifts. I thought it was odd.

Great idea to get a picture, though. I need more pics of just the kids and me.

Christine
Christine
10 years ago

All I wanted was to be alone too! And here is the real thing that makes me feel like total shit: I would LOVE to be alone on Mother’s Day (which I think is a fucking stupid day) and not only do I feel like shit for wanting that but my OWN mother insists that I drive to get her (the day before) and take her home ON Mother’s Day so not only do I get to NOT be alone or enjoy a low key day with my husband and two girls but I get to spend it stuck in TRAFFIC from NJ to Staten Island every. fucking. year. for the rest of my life. I have tried saying to my mom “Hey, let me pick you up on Thursday and we can celebrate Mother’s Day on Friday and Saturday and I will drive you home Saturday night, but the look on her face and non-committal grunt told me that was not going to happen. And SHE complained her whole life that HER MOTHER ruined Mother’s Day for her every GD year and now she is doing it to me (my brother NEVER spends Mother’s Day with her so his wife gets to do whatever the fuck she wants). Wow! I am way more bitter than I thought about this. Sorry I ranted in your comments section, this is the first time I ever really let all this out. Sorry again and thanks for letting me just babble on bitterly. :)

Brigid
10 years ago

I warned my family that Mother’s Day was the one day I was going to sleep in as long as I possibly could and that I would injure anyone who woke me. They actually listened, but I forget to tell them to keep the effing cat out of the room. I ended up taking a tiny nap later and then falling asleep during movie time. So basically I slept most of the day. Guilt-free.

Christine
Christine
10 years ago

ALSO! You and the boys look GREAT in those pictures. The gun pic is HAWT and I love your dress AND your hair looks amazing!

Barb Ruess
10 years ago

One of my best mother’s days ever was when my husband took the kids to away for the weekend. Two days all alone – that was a great Mother’s Day.

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

I just wish the week before Mother’s Day didn’t involve stressing over getting gifts for my mother, my mother-in-law and teacher appreciation gifts. What genius thought the week before mother’s day was a good week for teacher appreciation?

I had to drop my kid off at 6am for a 4-hour bus trip to a soccer game. I chose not driving the 8-hour round trip as my mother’s day gift. Then I ran 3 miles in Colonial Williamsburg, which is really nice when all the tourists are still in bed. It is also graduation weekend at the College of William & Mary, so I was thinking of those moms whose mother’s day gift was their kid graduating from college. Sure, those kids will most likely be making a mess of their houses next week, but that must feel good.

Amy

Alexis
10 years ago

My mother’s day gift (though not really since Chris and I really don’t “do” these kinds of holidays) was for him to be me for the day. For that day he took the kids on all his errands and left me to my own devices. It was far from perfect, I am still cleaning up the mess left in the wake of him “totally keeping up with all the house stuff, no worries,” but for one day, I was responsible to no one. I think that is what all Mom’s want and we shouldn’t feel guilty. Now I just have to reciprocate on father’s Day though, note my feminist rage here, THAT day will just be the same as all other days.

erica
erica
10 years ago

Your Mother’s day pics are a yearly source of enjoyment for me. I love this year’s! My family forgot about Mother’s Day. I helped my Sunday School kids make presents for their mothers while my child had a tantrum in the corner and then ate all of the candy herself… I had to go out and buy my own flowers for the front porch, make my own dinner that I didn’t even want because no one likes the food I like and then no one would stay at the table to have the ONE thing I wanted, which was a strawberry dessert. I think i’ll make myself scarce next year and have a nice day to myself.

Christina
10 years ago

Nothing about motherhood is perfect so why would we create the illusion that it is!? Love the 2nd photo, in fact? You could shape your 2012 Christmas photo around that one!!

Nerissa
Nerissa
10 years ago

i call it Anti-Mothers day because I refuse to do any of the getting my hands dirty mommy stuff that I do each and everyday like a million times. Hugs, cuddles…no problem. But none of the dirty stuff. I am also completely unapologetic about it too….

Lori
Lori
10 years ago

I despise “Hallmark” holidays – Valentines, Mothers Day… It irks me to give/ receive gifts out of obligation.

Here’s my contribution to the conversation: http://www.lolbrary.com/post/19257/what-moms-really-want-for-mothers-day/

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

But that IS what I want, and what I’ve always demanded, every year. Just leave me alone all day. My husband is supposed to take the kids out for a day with daddy and I get to do whatever I want, even if it’s nothing.
Mother’s Day is a day for mothers to be WITHOUT their kids. Father’s Day is a day for dads to be WITH the kids.

bari
10 years ago

Yea my 1 rule about Mothers day is that I don’t have to get out of my pajamas. It is the ONLY day the entire year that is not really about my kid. I am sure as hell not heading to the zoo/park/playground because that sounds like the opposite of what a mom wants to do on “her day” That’s called Tuesday. I also don’t need to be fawned over just because I’m his mom. He’s 3 so I get some kind of token from him and a little something from my husband. No breakfast in bed thanks, in fact – no one come in here at all because I’m watching a movie all by myself.

Beth, Lambic Pentameter

My favorite part of Mother’s Day is your photo post and the hilarious expressions.

Kim S.
Kim S.
10 years ago

My husband and I have a tradition that we get away on our respective days: we each go to a movie ALONE on Mother’s/Father’s Day. Bari said it right–EVERY day is spent mothering and loving on your kids. Mother’s Day should be ours for whatever we choose. Don’t feel guilty about wanting that!

MRW
MRW
10 years ago

Like so many others, I would love nothing more than to be completely and totally alone in my own home for an entire day on Mother’s Day. Has not happened. However, the last couple of years I’ve basically just refused to do any mom type stuff all day. No dishes, No laundry, No bathing the kids, No making food, No cleaning up. This year we had to take the kids to a swim lesson but other than that, I read in the hammock, vacuumed the 1,000 lbs of crumbs out of my car, and ate what I wanted. It’s as close to what I want as I can make happen.

Peggy
Peggy
10 years ago

My request for Mother’s Day this year was to go to the movies by myself on Sunday. I did it and it was wonderful!! I didn’t even really love the movie that I saw, but I didn’t care. I got to drive to the theater by myself and spend 2 hours in a dark theater with a bucket of popcorn that was all mine!

I spent time with the kids in the morning, went to a matinee, and was home for dinner/bedtime that evening. A perfect blend of alone-time and mommy-time – a nice way to recharge a bit. I highly recommend it!

bad penguin
10 years ago

The high point of my mother’s day was when my husband took the baby so I could take a nap. Everyone at worked seemed to want me to have had a perfect “first mother’s day” and I totally would have preferred that hotel room, pile of magazines and 11 pm room service.

dorrie
dorrie
10 years ago

Uh thank you for sharing. When my kids were little, I was all, uh, for Mother’s day I just don’t want to be a mother all day. AND THEN this year, with my daughter away at college and my son sick in bed all day and unable to join us for the special brunch out that I planned, I was a mess. I had to go boo hoo half way through the meal in the ladies room and get my shit together so my husband wouldn’t have to deal with sobbing at the table because my kids, where are my kids???? So, basically, we want what we can’t have. Or I do, at least. I got the irony immediately but still felt like a shithead. Great photo, btw. Your boys are getting SO BIG.

Jessica V.
Jessica V.
10 years ago

I don’t think it is at all selfish to want a break on Mother’s Day…while the holiday has become overly commercial, if it takes a Hallmark law for it to happen, so be it! And OH! the idea of a hotel room all to myself (or even a clean and empty house for a few hours) sounds heavenly. My son’s birthday fell on Mother’s Day this year, so the day was mostly about him…but I did get a couple of hours to go shopping at a local outlet mall BY MY SELF, which was the best gift of all. I got a coffee and was able to wander leisurely and try on as many silly pairs of shoes as I wanted.

Also – I LOVE your yearly mother’s day pics with your boys. Wish I had thought to do that…hmmmm, next year!

Karen
Karen
10 years ago

This was my first Mother’s day, I spent the first half of it reading Game of Thrones in bed, with my partner bringing me the baby whenever she needed to be nursed. It was pretty wonderful, and I don’t feel guilty at all about it! You should totally get a hotel room to yourself next year.

Kristiina
Kristiina
10 years ago

I celebrate mother’s day away from my kids and I highly recommend it! Shopping, lunch ith my mom and dinner with a girlfriend….the same goes for father’s day: he golfs or whatever he wants! I’ m sure that’ll change when they’re older (they’re 4 and 6), but for now mommy needs a sanity break!

Sande
Sande
10 years ago

Lovely family as always! I agree in a sense. I love it, but don’t like the pressure of the “perfect” day. I agree. I would have loved to not have one single motherly responsibility. Thankfully my hubby did insist on getting up with the child and removed her from the house so that I could sleep in. That in itself was the perfect gift.

H
H
10 years ago

I think we want and need different things at different stages of motherhood. My kids are 20 and 24. The 20 year old had just moved a ton of crap home from the dorm and wanted to spend time with her senior friends who had just graduated and will move away. The 24 year old was golfing with his buddies. I would love to spend time with them, at least a little bit on that day, but it only makes me feel worse to ask and get a brief obligatory visit – or worse, an argument. So, yes, I feel mostly “eh” about the day. In my heart, I know they love and appreciate me but they’re at a stage in their lives in which fun rules so I’ll give them that.

I completely agree with you and other commenters about Mother’s Day when they’re young. Then – you need and appreciate a break from the constant caregiving.

Courtney
Courtney
10 years ago

I’m not even a mother yet (due in November) but here is my fantasy Mother’s Day: Someone comes and cleans our house on Saturday, so that I can spend Sunday reading, drinking and eating in SILENCE without feeling like I should be cleaning.

dani
dani
10 years ago

my husband’s father used to take the kids camping every year for mother’s day. it gave mom the day off. you should take the opportunity to take a day off from mommy guilt too!

Wanda
Wanda
10 years ago

You want what I want. An empty hotel room, only I would add a clean house to come home to!

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

My mom ALWAYS ditched us on Mother’s Day in order to do her thing. Be it golf, shopping, spa day. Whatever. It was her day to do with as she damn well pleased!!

Christen
Christen
10 years ago

Is it bad to ask for what you want? I’m not a mom, so I don’t know if that’s bad form to ask for some time away from your kids, but your wishes sound legit to me! I always straight-up ask my mom what would make her happy since her interests evolve. Some years it’s been high tea or a massage at a spa, this year it was roller derby (watching, not participating). Maybe it seems like a cop-out that I ask instead of trying to surprise her, but it works for us and she’s always happy (I do try to sneak in some kind of surprise gift). If she told me that she’d like to be left the fuck alone I’d be cool with it. Of course, I’m 34 now so it’s not like that would mean I’d spend the day chained to a radiator – I’d be off doing my own shit, too.

And I bet you’ll look back at these less-than-enthused photos with the boys and laugh because OHMYGOD DYLAN’S FACE IS THE BEST.

Jen in Germany
Jen in Germany
10 years ago

You are awesome! I’ll be in the hotel room next door to you and am happy to know Christen won’t be chained to a radiator.

Jessica
10 years ago

We didn’t really celebrate it since Chris works weekends and I really didn’t want him to waste money on flowers. We had dinner with his parents at a disgusting, over-priced restaurant but we did spend an hour before bed, lounging in PJ’s with our 3 year old and watching Donald Duck on Youtube. That was the nicest part of the day, actually!

Although, I think that the best present for Mother’s day is a day to do whatever you want!!

Angella
10 years ago

You. Me. And maybe another Bruce-esque encounter. Because, well, why not?

Audrey
Audrey
10 years ago

Pretty sure that, on the night of Mother’s Day (which was pretty good for me this year!) that next year, I’d like to spend it, alone, in a hotel room. So you’re not alone.

I also totally pulled the “sorry, the (rude and annoying) neighbor can’t come over to play today because it’s Mother’s Day and we’re spending time as a family.” That was a good gift. ;)

Carly
Carly
10 years ago

This was my first Mother’s Day and it prompted my partner to take our 11-month-old to the store All BY HIMSELF. For the first time. Ever. His conclusion, “it’s not as easy shopping with the baby!” Luckily I was busy sleeping in, which was the only gift that I asked for – 5 a.m. can suck it.