May 3, 2010

Thoughtful Gifts for Mother’s Day. ~ Jodi Pirlot

Photo: Jessica Wilson

Mother’s Day is just around the corner.

As our children get older, we no longer receive the art masterpieces or the flowerpots with little sprouts in them from their school projects. But even though our kids outgrow these crafts, they can still present us with their own versions of masterpieces.

My thirteen and eighteen year old recently asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. When asked about gifts, I try to be creative with my answer and my request usually requires little or no money. One year, I asked my son to put together my new patio furniture. Another year, my daughter gave me a spa day and she was the spa technician. I received a pedicure, manicure and a facial. It was so much fun!

But the best presents I ever received were the gifts they gave me on my last birthday. When my teens asked me what I wanted I told them to write me a letter. I’ll admit they looked at me as if I were a little strange. But since I’m used to that look it didn’t phase me in the least.  I explained that I wanted each of them to write me a letter where they told me what they liked best about me being their mom. I also asked them to include something that they’d like to be different. That’s the only direction that I gave them.

I’d love to share their letters with you here, but they would kill me if I did that! Suffice it to say, the letters went way above and beyond my expectations. I think the coolest thing was to see what was really important to each of them, from their own perspectives. It wasn’t about what I bought for them but more about how I showed my love for them.

For instance, the fact that I made breakfast for them before school and had the house stocked with their favorite foods was a hit.  It was also important to them that I was here when they got home from school and that I was ready and interested to listen to them when they had something to say. They even mentioned that they admired who I am as a person and what I taught them by how I lived my life. Wow! Really simple stuff, the stuff you think goes unnoticed. But what I saw from those letters is that it was the little stuff that REALLY mattered to them most.

Ok, so technically I didn’t share their letters with you, but kind of. I really wanted to give you an idea of how I think most kids see their parents. Keep doing the “little things.” Cooking the dinners, doing the laundry, taking them to their activities, listening when they’re talking about silly stuff or serious stuff. They notice. They appreciate it and that’s what they’ll remember as they go off into the world

So if you don’t have any ideas for a Mother’s Day gift (or Father’s Day or a birthday for that matter), you may want to ask your teens or tweens to write you a letter. I keep the letters close by and when I have a day where I feel like I’m not doing anything right, I pull them out and read them. They make me smile and they make me cry. Those letters remind me why I do what I do.

This year for Mother’s Day I asked for their time, which gets more and more scarce as my kids are going on 14 and 18. We will be spending the afternoon together at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science having fun and bonding over the Body Worlds exhibit!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there! Have fun!

Jodi’s vision is to guide parents and teens in co-creating an incredible life together. Although Jodi earned a degree in Psychology and an M.B.A. and has trained thousands of business owners worldwide, nothing prepared her for her role of mom. Thrown into the parenting classroom of life almost eighteen years ago, Jodi is learning daily how to combine the art of mindful parenting with common sense and luck!  Jodi has a teenage son and daughter. You can find out more about Jodi at www.ConnectingWithTeens.com.

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