Friday, May 12, 2017

Make Mother's Day really count this year!

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Another year, another Mother's Day... but do we really value it sufficiently? It tends to get a bit routine and run-of-the-mill, without the excitement or pomp and ceremony of Xmas.

You know, buy the card and flowers, chocolates, huge teddy-bear, jewelry or household appliance and splurge for a nice lunch or dinner that day. It's almost like we're so accustomed to Mother's Day turning up every year, we tend to apply a simple formula that does just enough to appease Mom into feeling somewhat appreciated.

Don't get me wrong, I (like all mothers, I think) really like the effort that my family makes on that day to make me feel special - kinda like a second birthday! But like birthday celebrants, I think it's safe to say that most moms prefer to be pleasantly surprised on Mother's Day.

So here are some pointers (it's not too late to do most of these):


Clean Your Room

I mean, really clean it! Every nook and cranny, every cobweb, every speck, book, toy and item of clothing. Clean it like you wanna go to Disneyland... that means making the bed by folding the linens properly and smoothing out all the wrinkles, no tucking stuff under the mattress, folding (not tossing) your clothes and arranging books and toys neatly.

Provided your mom doesn't die of shock, she'll get off your back for a while.


Clean the Living Room, Kitchen and Bathroom

Know what "treat" moms wish for most of all? One day without having to vacuum, clear the kitchen table/sink or having to remove toothpaste residue, soap scum or certain toilet unmentionables... yeah, believe it!

Just find the cleaning gear and get going. Don't ask your mom how she cleans this stuff, otherwise she'll just end up doing it herself - again. Instead, use some initiative and put your best foot (or rather, hand) forward... the rest is common sense.

However, do remember to read instructions for cleaning agents and appliances carefully before using them, wear protective gear and enlist the help of a non-maternal adult (that means Dad :) ) when necessary.

Why not her bedroom? Mom probably doesn't want you poking around in there (and Dad definitely doesn't ;) )


Cook Lunch or Dinner

A good friend of mine always says that the best meal is one you didn't have to prepare - and I agree!

Free too, you say... am I dreaming? Even if it doesn't taste that great - as long as it's edible, your mom will love it - trust me!

N.B. Remember your kitchen safety rules and ask Dad or an older sibling for help if necessary.


Now for those of you with a little extra $$$...

FREE Trip

Nuff said! Just make sure the mode of travel agrees with her, find her a suitable companion and make it affordable enough (for you) that she doesn't feel guilty about accepting it.


FREE Spa Day

What girl doesn't enjoy a good day of pampering? With mani/pedi's, facial masks, jacuzzi soaks, massages, tanning, bubbling warm water (with soothing jets in all the right spots) and great food, your mom will return home renewed and refreshed.

This is also a great opportunity for an attentive daughter to tag along for some "gal time".


FREE Makeover

Help Mom to recapture that "spark" and turn some heads as she transforms her exterior to match her heart of gold... remember, she was a woman looong before she became your mom!

Plus, Dad will thank you for it ;)


Spend 3 Hours Totally Focused On Her

This can be as simple as catching up with her over lunch/coffee/drinks, taking her to the cinema or renting/downloading/streaming one of her favorite movies and watching it with her as you brush/braid her hair.

Another good idea is the spa/makeover day mentioned in the previous section.

But whatever you do, don't take her shopping - that'll only drag her back into her usual "work" routine... remember, it's her day off!


Do just one of these things well and conscientiously and I promise... you'll be her favorite kid/person for the next few months :) She'll be boasting to all her friends about what a great kid/spouse she has!


Personal Thought


What motivated this post, might you ask? Am I angling for a little extra effort from my family this year? Actually no. Like I told you before, they really do take a genuine interest in doing something significant for Mother's Day.

What made me write this post was the introspective mood which came over me today. I was thinking about my own 2 mothers and how I've valued them over the past 35-or-so Mother's Days... and how few I have left with them.

In fact, this Sunday will be the 2nd Mother's Day since the death of my dear aunt and the 2nd since my mom's leg amputation. These two monumental mishaps have taught me two things: family is the most important thing in life, and life is short - it really, really is.

I've spent the last 2 years consumed with regret... regret for not taking the time to visit, to catch up, to share a few chuckles, to learn how to slow-dance properly or to let them share stories/words of wisdom with the kids.

Sure, there were family reunions and Xmas mornings after church but there were so many occasions, especially over the past 10 years, when I got so preoccupied with being the "perfect" mom and wife that I forgot about the importance of being a good daughter and niece as well. Even when I did sit with my mom and aunt, the time was often short or split between them and 5 other long-missed relatives.

When I think of all those delicious meals and treats made with pure love, the tear-wiping and comforting words, the picnics and cinema outings, the beautifully-crafted costumes for school plays, the cooking tutorials, the stories of the "good old days", those words of womanly advice and the self-sustaining fountain of unconditional love - I feel like they deserved more from me - I know they did.

"Auntie Noni" may be gone and Mom's dancing days may be over, but at least I've learned how precious family truly is. I let my aunt live through me as I attempt to relay her stories to my kids with some semblance of the flair which she possessed. Plus, I talk to my mom every day now - even if it's just for 5 minutes - I take the time. That's the message I want to leave you with this Mother's Day.

So please learn from my mistakes and remember, family is the most important thing in life - and life is short - so very, very short.


Happy Mother's Day

Donna (Please see page-bottom to share this post)

P.S. And don't forget Father's Day on June 18th ;)



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