Avoiding the Chainsaw-Toting Mama – A Mother’s Day Reflection

A recent email from my favorite tool equipment company has suggested that Moms want to get their yard-work done quickly and get back to what truly matters, family.  Moms, so says the email, deserve the very best.  The headline of the ad-mail reads “Dear MOM, Happy Mother’s Day.  Love, STIHL.” The implication being that lightweight, battery-powered Stihl yard tools are the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.

Yeah, right!   I love ya Stihl, but if I follow your advice, you gonna get me in a lot of “twubble!” 

I love the women in my life who are mothers.  I love Stihl chainsaws.  But that doesn’t mean I should give chainsaws for Mother’s day gifts.

There is a great debate in the masculine world as to whether a husband should give his wife/mother-of-his-children a Mother’s Day gift.  Guys, you may think that you only need to get a Mother’s Day card/gift for your mother, but disregarding the mother of your children on this special day is a missed opportunity to honor the love of your life.  You should ALWAYS LOOK for opportunities to convey love, honor, and respect.  And Mother’s day is precisely such an opportunity.

Once upon a brain fart, I considered getting my (late) wife a new pool table for Christmas.  But then, when I came to my senses, it occurred to me that I might find myself sleeping on it.  A new vacuum cleaner for her birthday? Not if I wanted to be the only one to ever use it.  A new Stihl chainsaw for Mother’s day?  Have you ever seen an angry mother/wife with a chainsaw in her hands?  Not exactly my desired outcome.

In years gone by, I have given the traditional offerings of love and honor    flowers, candy, coffee mugs, and occasionally breakfast in bed.  I soon learned that while such thoughtful homage always produced a smile, these typical acts of appreciation are a lot like skeet-shooting with my 12 gauge shotgun.  I usually miss the target — good intentions,  less than stellar results.

What has this old codger discovered to be the most appreciated Mother’s day gifts?  Well, for one, it ain’t a chainsaw or pool table or a vacuum cleaner.  You shouldn’t get a gift for something YOU want.  Frankly, you shouldn’t get a gift of something she NEEDS.  What works best is to give her a gift of something she WANTS!  For example, young mothers appreciate a day off.  I recall one second Sunday in May, when our five children ranged in age from four to twelve, I took them out for lunch, a movie, and browsing at the local mall.  Momma stayed home, enjoyed a bubble bath, peace and quiet and the rarest of experiences…five hours of solitude.  She appreciated it so much, she suggested that I could do it more often than once a year. “How about once a week? 

If you want to truly honor your spouse on Mother’s Day, purpose to honor her every day.  Express gratitude for all she does, work together as a team, and pursue true intimacy.  I mean the into-me-see kind of intimacy that reflects a knowledge of her likes and dislikes, needs and fears.  And then use that knowledge to support and encourage her every day as your wife AND as the mother of your children.

One more thought…

Every once in a while, give her a surprise card/gift on Father’s Day.  That’s right, Father’s Day.  I surprised my bride at times in the past with a gift and note that read, “I would not be a Father without you!”   

Then, I assure you, such thoughtful acts will avoid you ever having to face a resentful chainsaw-toting mama, shouting, “how do I start this thing!”

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