I think I've just learned the trick to this whole Mother's Day business.
All guilt and feelings of inadequacy aside (that's a whole other post), you just need to ask for what you want and, hopefully, you'll get it.
This year I've told my family that I don't want gifts (we don't have the money or space right now), I told them I want TIME and EFFORT. Specifically, time to do whatever I want, with no interruptions, and effort, on their parts, to get stuff done.
It sort of worked this year.
I told them Saturday was my day to do whatever I wanted.
The first thing I wanted to do was color my hair. It's really difficult to find a block of uninterrupted time to do something like that. I also think there are some things my husband and kids don't need to see me doing, so I firmly locked the door behind me and told them not to bother me unless the house was on fire. I don't know how other people get their own hair done. (Oh yes, they go to an actual salon and/or they have kids in school all day and/or husbands who have regular office hours so they know in advance when they will get to be alone for an hour. I like to plan things out! I would be happy if I knew everything I was going to do two weeks in advance. I still don't do well with this fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants lifestyle that we've been living for so many years now.) Anyway I think it's time to camouflage the gray hairs for another six weeks or so, even though I have earned each and every one of them, and then some!
Well, since I had to give up on using permanent color for a while, I've had to go with demi-permanent. One big problem with this for me is that it always goes on so dark. All the brown shades actually look black on me. Every time I color my hair I go with a lighter shade than the one before. I am now down to using a color called Medium Natural Blonde and my hair is still a very dark brown, kind of the color of chocolate, which isn't a bad color at all if you're a candy bar. My favorite question to ask everyone this weekend is what color they think my haircolor is called. I tell them I'll give them ten bucks if they can guess the color. So far nobody has been close yet.
The other thing I wanted (and needed) to do was go through everything in my closet. I needed to rotate the clothes and put the fall and winter things away (yes, I do that semi-annually, don't you?) and then I tried on EACH and EVERY questionable thing in my closet to see if it really still fit, if it looked stupid, etc. One thing I did learn is that my girls, especially Morgan, are pretty good critics when it comes to deciding what to keep. For example, if I walked into Morgan's room to show her something that I had tried on and she burst into laughter, I would know it was time to give it up for good. (I only kept one thing she laughed at because it is a good basic skirt and it just "might" come back in style. The fact that it's almost to my ankles didn't deter me. At least I can always make it shorter, I can't make other things longer.)
This process took about five times longer than necessary because Austin had two friends over to play all day. I had to keep pausing in between wardrobe changes to get them drinks of water, snacks, more snacks, check on the strange thumping sounds coming from his room, etc. It's funny they didn't seem to notice that every time I helped them with something I was wearing something totally different from what I'd had on the last time I helped them. They also had a water fight in the back yard, which was a dumb idea because it was still kind of cold. Young boys don't seem to take cold well.
Next year I'll have to stress the "uninterrupted" time part a little better.
The other technique that worked for me this year was to say "All I want you guys to do for Mother's Day this year is ....." and then tell the kids a specific chore, which they would work at half-heartedly for a while. The beauty of this idea was that they would never really finish a task, so a day or so later I would give them another job and say "This is really all I want for Mother's Day." and again, they would start the job and work at it for a while. I started doing this a good week or so before Mother's Day. They never really finished anything, but they did do (and at least start) a lot of things they wouldn't have done otherwise. The girls did a really good job of cleaning up the kitchen and setting the table nicely one of the days.
The actual Mother's Day turned out to be a nice day. We went to church and had no real mishaps, except for the few minutes when I was in the room with all the Mia Maids and some of their parents, because Morgan was being put into the presidency and they were all getting set apart. During one of the prayers, something someone did reminded me of something funny that had happened at the Fronk adult Christmas party this year and I started giggling somewhat uncontrollably for no apparent reason to everyone else in the room. Luckily I was able to pull myself together a little better than I usually do, so it wasn't too bad. Morgan asked me later what was the matter with me, so I guess it was somewhat noticeable.
For Mother's Day each of the women got a little package of chocolates. They matched my new haircolor quite nicely. And they were tasty too.
After church I took quite a while putting music on the MP3 player that one of my brothers and I had bought for my mom for Mother's Day. Hal came home from church after a while and he cooked steaks on the grill for dinner. They actually turned out really well, even though when he went to shake the grill seasoning on them the lid came off and poured the whole bottle of stuff on the first steak.
After dinner we went to see my mom (my dad is in Korea) and then went to see Hal's mom and dad.
Hal's dad isn't doing well. He's been in advanced stage Prostate Cancer for over a year and a half now. He's really in a lot of pain and not in good shape. We've almost lost him a couple of times recently. He's also really hard for Hal's mom to take care of. She can't leave him alone for very long at all. Things are hard on both of them right now and also very sad to see. Hal's dad and I have very similar temperaments so he has been kind of a kindred spirit all these years we've been married (20 years, this coming October). Hal's mom is very social and outgoing, so staying home this much has really been challenging for her. I think she really needs to interact with people and she has really been missing that lately.
During the visit with Grandma Fronk, she told me something that Austin had said last time he was there, a few days earlier. Austin told her and Hal that one of my brothers had said that "Grandpa was a loser." I wonder where he got that? My brothers barely even know Grandpa Fronk. What goes through that kid's head? Someone please tell me!
We had a nice visit, even though by then Hal and I both had headaches and didn't feel too well. As we headed home my stomach started churning too, kind of like I was getting a migraine.
In the car, Austin was complaining because we wouldn't let him play with any friends today, even though he got to see his cousin, Justin, at Grandma Fronk's. He asked if he could see Madelyn and Chandler Lund and I told him since it was Mother's Day (and Sunday) they would be busy doing things with their mom.
He said, "What? You mean on Mother's Day you have to do whatever your mom wants? I really hate Mother's Day!" and then he started to cry.
So there you go. We came home at about 7:30, Hal fell promptly asleep on the bed and I just crashed too and watched the finale of Celebrity Apprentice, which wasn't that great. When it was over I came down and ate something and got the kids in bed. Hal is still sleeping. I guess this is my uninterrupted time. I'll take advantage of it while I can.
And that's about it for this year.