Mom's the Word

Mother's Day IdeasAh, Mother's Day. The one day of the year when kids magically get along, laundry is done by someone other than Mom, and she gets to control the remote. What? Not in your house? Read on to find out what every family ought to know when planning Mother's Day.

1. All right, kids, admit it. When it comes to Mother's Day, you want to wow the special lady who's done so much for you, right? Make a little homemade something and slap on a smile. You'll be good to go. But, the fact is, you've been operating under the faulty assumption that moms actually love anything you make for them. The fact? Moms are often pretty good pretenders. So go ahead and crochet that soda can holder, but don't stop there.

2. Moms stay busy doing things for the rest of the family all year, but they secretly long for one day a year, just one day, do you hear me, to spend it exactly the way they want. So even though you're sure her dream day involves eating burnt toast in bed followed by cleaning up the kitchen, go ahead and ask her what she'd like to do. And then, well, do it!

3. How much time Mom gets to spend with her sweet peas on an average day is inversely related to the percentage of time she typically wants to spend with them on Mother's Day. If the kids are wee little ones, Mom will bless the name of anyone who takes them to the park while she gets a nap. However, if her kids are able to grow body hair in places that really should be shaved regularly, it's likely that Mom's dream day will involve some form of doting on them.

4. Moms want to be extricated from their everyday lives for a bit on Mother's Day while being reminded that their everyday lives are pretty durn special. So dads would be wise to clean up the kids and take her out to brunch while bringing along the family photo album from a couple of years past. Watch her get teary-eyed over her plate of hash browns and scrambled eggs as she flips through it.

5. Moms generally don't like surprises on Mother's Day. The reason? They're faced with enough of them every run of the mill day. Surprise! Jenny's sick and Mom has to stay home from work. Surprise! Mom thought Thomas was going to be an engineer, but he just failed third grade math. Moms exist on high alert, waiting to clean up the collateral damage from the unexpected. So building up a surprise on Mother's Day? Yeah, probably going to crash and burn. Unless, of course, you're planning a family trip to Jamaica and paying for it. In that case, surprise away.

6. If you absolutely must make the day's events a secret, get into her head first. Every mom is unique. Just because the most popular Mother's Day gift is flowers doesn't mean the mom in your life will be impressed by a handpicked bouquet. She may prefer, oh-no-say-it-isn't-so, that you scrub every toilet in the house. Or, let's-hope-for-this-one, she may long for an afternoon snuggled on the couch with all of her rug rats chomping away on popcorn.

7. You've heard the saying, "It's the thought that counts." Except, it's not really the thought that counts. It's the effort involved. The fact that you thought about a great gift, but then didn't save the money to buy it or considered making dinner for Mom, but then forgot to purchase the ingredients isn't going to win you favorite-child-of-the-day status. However, if you spend several afternoons organizing a talent show with the sibs and the family dog, she'll shower you with kisses even if you're all off key.

Hey, Mom isn't expecting you to work as hard as she does every other day of the year. Like that's even possible, right? But with some planning and a little elbow grease, you should be able to make her feel pretty special come Mother's Day.