I’m here to talk to you today about Alternative Mother’s Day.
Now, just so there is no confusion, this is not a post dedicated to a day of celebration for “Alternative Mothers”, although goodness knows they need one. There are plenty of different types of mothers, biological being just one of many. Adoptive mothers, foster mothers, stepmothers, second mothers, grandmothers, and a host of other mothers can fulfill the maternal role in someone’s life, and even when you have a traditional ol’ biological mother at home raising you, it doesn’t rule out the myriad possibilities for extra moms in your life, from teachers and family friends, to other mentors and nurturers. In fact, even we stay-at-home dads can often take on a lot of the “traditional” nurturing and/or mothering tasks, which raises the question of what, really, a “mother” is anyway. But that’s not what I’m talking about today.
What I want to tell you about is not “Alternative Mother’s” Day, but rather Alternative “Mother’s Day.”
The secret sauce, whose recipe I will now share with you, involves reaching the absolute pinnacle of a traditional “Mother’s Day” experience, simply by deciding to hold it on another day. Yes, that’s right. The second Sunday in May is a fine day to celebrate Mother’s Day for people who like waiting in long lines, sitting in bad traffic, and hair-pullingly frustrating brunch reservation hunts. But in my family, today is Mother’s Day. Or, as we call it, Mom Appreciation Day.
This all started a few years ago, when I started getting hired for a regular gig, singing at a Mother’s Day concert. As a singer, I rarely get to choose the times and dates of my jobs, and when someone wants to hire me, I generally jump up and down for joy and accept the money. Unless they want me to sing for free, or, as they like to call it, “the experience”. Then I laugh and delete them from my contact list. I have two small children to raise. I don’t have time for that. But my point is, as a singer, I am almost always singing around important holidays: Christmas Eve, Easter, holiday concerts, Thanksgiving weekend, people’s birthdays, and now Mother’s Day as well. Combine that Sunday afternoon concert with my church musician job in the mornings, and suddenly the best Mother’s Day present my wife was going to get was a day alone with the kids, abandoned by her husband. Let’s just say that she was interested in the return policy for this gift.
Father’s Day, incidentally, was also mired in controversy, since it always falls on or around my wife’s birthday, which meant that her other big celebration was also overshadowed by me in some way.
So there was really only one solution. We needed to move these holidays.
I had heard stories from the internet about families who always swapped Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in their households. It seems that on Mother’s Day, the golf courses were almost always empty, and on Father’s Day it was quite simple to get a fancy brunch reservation, so giving Dad a fun day in May, and Mom her day in June made a lot of sense. Avoid the crowds! Do the opposite of what everyone else was doing! This seemed like a decent plan for many people, but our specific issue wasn’t with the crowds or the lines. The dates themselves were no good for any kind of extra fun. Swapping them wasn’t the answer.
Instead, we have instituted “Mom Appreciation Day.” We thought about holding it the weekend after Mother’s Day, but my wife had way too much to do last weekend, so we moved it forward another week. Sundays are out for me because of my church job, so Saturday was the only possible day left. Today.
Today is Mom Appreciation Day. Today we wake up early and make my wife breakfast in bed. Today we shower her with gifts and love and handmade sentimental claptrap. Today she gets to do whatever she wants, which will probably include napping, not doing any housework, and having well-behaved kids, or else. Today she gets a break from the stressful parts of being a Mom, and gets to relax and enjoy the best parts: time with family, cuddles, smiles, and crayon-related art. And best of all, it is all done on her schedule.
I highly recommend it. No crowds. No lines. No stress. No brainer.
Written By: Adam Hall
I am a stay-at-home Dad who also happens to be a professional opera singer. When I am not on the road singing for various opera companies, I am at home taking care of my kids and driving my wife crazy. Raised in Vermont, we are now bringing up our children, Ruby and Edward, here. If you want to hear more about music, parenting, and everything in between, check out my blog at www.tenordad.com