With Mother’s Day passed, those flowers and chocolates may soon wilt and disappear, but the emotions that came with the receipt of those gifts will linger a bit longer in mother’s heart. Having an abundance of gratefulness comes with the nature of being a mom, no matter how simple a gift may be. Many of us may feel some guilt because the gifts we give to undoubtedly one of the most important persons in our life may fall short of what we actually feel for them.
Unfortunately, the aspect missing most from gift-giving nowadays is empathy. Empathy? You may ask. Yes, empathy. The act putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and “trying” to grasp what they’re experiencing. I say “trying” because aside from those who are already mothers, fully understanding the entirety of emotions, responsibilities, worries, and selflessness that goes into being a mother cannot be easily achieved. One thing is seeing it, being in its proximity, or acknowledging it, but experiencing it for oneself is a whole different ball game. So what I mean by missing empathy is that we’re often only sympathetic in gift-giving mom what we “think” she may like, ie. some beautiful flowers to brighten up her day, that mani/pedi she’s been putting off but desperately wants, or maybe even a massage for those aching mommy muscles.
Turns out, that those gifts are all nice, and of course, moms are appreciative of any kind gestures, but those gifts are band-aids to larger underlying struggle of dealing with day-to-day expectations and responsibilities. And they’re not even good band-aids, they’re the kind where the edges don’t stick well and fall off at the slightest sight of water. The greatest gifts that a mom could get are more time and more help. I repeat, time and help! These two gifts are in a way synonymous, because with more help they’d have more time.
As a mother myself, I know that asking for help or support is one of the hardest things to do, especially with modern life expectations of being able to manage a household, sustain a happy marriage or relationship, raise intelligent well-adjusted kids, while maybe working outside the home to help bring in income or managing it all at home - in other words, being “the perfect mom”. Frankly the expectations are completely unrealistic and while you may excel in some, you’ll fail or slack in others. Yet, as business owner and manager or numerous people and endeavors at the workplace, I’m constantly looking to perform better and more efficiently for my own sanity and financial growth. So when I finally resisted to the idea that if I wanted everything done right then I would have to do it myself, suddenly there was more of that elusive free time that mothers dream about. More time for playing with the kids, connecting with your partner, and even personal growth.
While I can’t (nor would) substitute the important roles I play like being a mom or wife, I can substitute the less important, and often times more burdensome, roles like housekeeper and cook. Yet, with food being a vital part to conscious parenting, how could I bring myself to entrust someone else to care as much as I do in what I feed my family? With a private chef no where near our budget, and meal kits frankly not cutting down almost any of the time it takes to cook, I needed to find an alternative to cooking that would take the same care in choosing ingredients that were organic, seasonal, and local to ensure that I was feeding them the healthiest and safest way possible.
Enter mademeals! Being super weary of the safety of prepared meals, I never really thought it an option or alternative to me just spending an entire day meal-prepping for an entire week as the best solution to making sure weekday dinners were quickly served up. But when I heard that their weekly-made organic and locally-sourced meals could be easily heated even in an oven (no microwave needed), the modern, conscious, and tired mom in me rejoiced! No longer did I have worry about whether what I was feeding my family was healthy, and most importantly, did I have to cook! Minutes after my husband or I got home from work and picking up our daughter, a delicious meal that I had to put no effort in creating (besides choosing) was on the table.
The newly extended time that came after dinner (which was never more than 15 mins in the past) before bedtime routine, was almost as exciting as the sense of calm was to not have to worry about food for the next day, and the day after that. Could it be true? I could now enjoy some free time with my family?! Why, yes it was possible! That same modern, conscious, but now not-so-tired mom in me still rejoices. And I have mademeals to thank for that!
So while Mother’s Day comes but once a year, you can actually give a gift to that incredible woman in your life that cares for other, whether she be mother, caretaker, neighbor, stressed coworker, or family member, that empathizes with their needs on an everyday basis. Go beyond the obvious mani/pedi, massage combo and gift her some help from the everyday cooking so that she can have more time to spend with those that she loves.
By: C.C. Amaya,
Business owner, wife, and MOM