According to Life Coach Cheryl Richardson (check out her web site), the top things women want as a gift include: anything handmade; help around the house; to feel appreciated and quality alone time. The last was the number one request. She posed this question to woman and then reported the responses this week because it is right before Mother's Day.
I am not surprised to find that the four items listed are pretty much what I would also like to receive as a gift. The most treasured objects in my life are things my sons have made me through the years and I display them all over the house. Even the green bug and frog they fashioned out of socks in a summer camp are on display in my living room. Regarding more help around the house - considering my house is perpetually messy, that would always be accepted. Hearing some appreciative comments (from anyone) would be great too. Since I just live with two teen boys it is not often that I hear that my hair looks nice or that I have on an attractive outfit. But more importantly, it would just be good to hear someone (anyone) tell me that I've done a decent job raising my boys on my own the past years. Too often I hear criticisms about what I'm not doing well enough because as a widow, I'm still compared to the standard of a two-couple family.
I could go on and on about the desire for more private or "me" time. I am lucky to read a few pages before bed or carve out 15 minutes to knit. There just aren't enough hours in the day and they get filled up with all that I have to do to keep the house running on my own and care for the boys. Today, before I went into work at noon, I did two loads of laundry because my oldest needed his volleyball uniform washed for today's meet. I worked from noon to five, rushed to a track meet, came home to make dinner and now here it is just after nine and I am tired and longing for bed. It would be heaven to have a free afternoon to go window shopping and have an hour relaxing at Starbuck's with a book.
What really struck me about this informal survey of "what women want" is that the women who responded are most likely married and have way more help and free time than I do. Yet, these women are in need of more personal time, more appreciation and more help too. It just made me realize that those of us juggling lives on our own are that much more depleted and that much more in need of these "gifts." Yet without husbands willing to take the kids so we can escape to Starbuck's for an hour, we also have to come up with creative ways of meeting these needs. Way too often we can't work it out and we are the ones who put off caring for ourselves because we have to - there aren't any other options.
So what is the moral to this post? What is the solution? I don't know and don't have any quick answers. Maybe that I hope this Mother's Day some of us will be fortunate enough to receive the gifts of appreciation, time and cleaner houses! If even just for the day!
Today I am grateful:
1. That my new job is becoming easier.
2. That I was able to see my son's track meet.
3. That it won't be Winter for another seven months.
4. That I've tried my best to be a good mother despite some tough situations.
5. For the Spring tree blossoms and flowers.