On Day 29 of The Flourishing Project, I want to say a special thank you to mothers everywhere.
You do so much that we take for granted. We forget to say thank you. We forget to call. We forget you are human, too. We get irritated at your “hovering” over us.
Okay, I am writing as a guy whose mom, when she was 84 years old, was still concerned that I drive too fast, that I don’t dress warm enough in the winter, that I don’t eat right, and … And then she was even more concerned about her grandson, that he drives too fast, that he doesn’t dress warm enough, that he doesn’t eat right …
Worry. It’s what moms do.
Then they give advice because they worry. It’s what moms do.
Then they get unhappy when you don’t take their advice. It’s what moms do.
Dads are oblivious to what you are doing (but that is another story for another day).
Moms are your biggest cheerleaders. It’s what moms do.
Moms are those who make some of the greatest sacrifices for you. It goes with the job. It’s just what moms do.
I know that not every mom did an equally great job for every child, but without them the human race would be a lot smaller in number and a lot shorter on happiness.
On Day 29 of The Flourishing Project, here are six suggestions to return a little happiness back to your mother.
ONE: Don’t take mom for granted.
Oh man, is this ever easy to do. Remember the old saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til its gone?” It’s true. My mom is now gone and all the little things (and big things) she would do, I realize even more now how precious they were. So, give some extra and regular love back to mom for all she does.
TWO: Be nice to your mother.
If you don’t know how to be nice to your mother, ask her. She will have good advice on being nice. A few of the ideas that follow are ways to be nice. But in general, have a positive, kind, generous, patient, caring attitude toward mom. Yes, she does deserve it. Hey, you are alive and in the world. And mom had a LOT to do with that!
THREE: Listen to mom.
Maybe some of you remember that old TV show “Father Knows Best.” Ha, ha, ha. It should actually be a show called “Mom Knows Best” or “Mom Knows Cautious” or “Mom Knows Careful” or “Mom Knows Watch Out for Yourself Out There in the World Because People Drive Too Fast” or “Mom Knows You Should Drive Slow, Wear a Coat in the Winter, and Eat Right.” A general rule of thumb is: Listen to mom. That will make her very happy. Say, “Mom, you are right. Thank you.” After you pick her up off the floor and revive her (because she fainted at hearing those words), she will probably give you a hug and remind you to drive slow when you go home. Which leads to the next suggestion.
FOUR: Give your mom a hug.
Repeat often. And not just a short hug. Not just a courtesy hug. But a grab-on, hold-tight, squeeze-a-little, kiss-on-the-cheek kind of hug.
FIVE: Call your mother.
Moms like to talk. Moms like to know how you are doing. Moms like to know what is going on. Moms like to know you are driving slow, staying warm, and eating right. And they like a lot more stuff, too. Most of all, they like to know you are alive and that you remember them. And not just on Mother’s Day. On Every Day. One of the things I did, usually 5 days a week, was to call mom on my way home from work. We would have 15-20 minutes of time to talk. They were precious times. It still feels strange not to call mom on my way home from work. If you haven’t called mom lately, call her. And not just today on Mother’s Day, but on Every Day After.
SIX: Flowers are nice. In general, all surprises are nice.
Moms like flowers. And even if they don’t, they will pretend they do and be delighted at your thoughtfulness. But flowers on Mother’s Day don’t really count. That is just expected. You really are nice to mom when you get her flowers on other days. Surprise her. Cards are nice. Most moms don’t expect or need big stuff. They like the little touches. Lots of little touches. They also like when you remember their birthday and anniversary as well. Becky was amazing at this and I got a lot of extra credit from mom for what Becky remembered to do.
To moms everywhere and to my mom in heaven, thank you for everything. We love you.
P.S. And all the advice on making mom happy also applies to grandmas. They are not going to be around nearly long enough, so be sure to remember them. When you remember grandmas, that also makes mom happy!