Dear Fathers Everywhere,
If there should come a time in your life when you and your friends are planning a "guy's weekend," and you're looking at the calendar, and there are just a few options available, allow me to make a little suggestion. If one of those weekends happens to fall on Mother's Day, you should probably just pretend that weekend is booked and look to other dates. Now, I know your partner is probably not "into Hallmark Holidays," and perhaps she has even been so bold as to state this in the past. Let me be the first to suggest to you that this is still no reason to disregard the date.
Even if you were one of those people who, in your childhood, did not pay attention to Mother's Day as a formal holiday, eschewing it for the lesser celebrated days such as Arbor Day, or Lincoln's Birthday. Now that President's Day has swallowed up the significance of the individual presidents of days past, those mighty leaders' birthdates have become a blur, yet Mother's Day has risen in prominence. Maybe you argue that Mother's Day is a False Holiday, and Father's Day gets short shrift! Why is Father's Day not given to flowers and brunches, instead tossed off with an occasional barbecue, in which dad himself has to helm the fire, where Mother's Day is practically a day off for mom?
I am here to warn you that these things do not matter. Your personal history is of no consequence. Likewise, no matter what the mother of your children (or step-mother, natch) states is her preference for the date, there is no excuse for ignoring this person on Mother's Day. And, returning to the original point, if you are considering planning a Guy's Weekend, in say, for example, Moab, Utah, a place where, maybe the Moms in questions might have always wanted to go but never had the resources but might actually have had MORE EXPERIENCE WITH MOUNTAIN BIKING THAN ALL OF YOU AND YOUR GUY FRIENDS COMBINED, might I gently suggest you demur and make other plans.
Because I think you will find this plan ill conceived.
Even if you buy flowers and cleverly have your children sign the card at the flower shop so that the mom cannot throw them in the compost upon delivery, lest the children see the card and wonder what happened to the flowers they so carefully selected days before.
Even if you plan an elaborate scavenger hunt for the gift that you had the children craft for Mother's Day, and set up all the clues in advance, yet neglect to tell the children about the clues so they fret about the clues and end up setting up a parallel scavenger hunt just in case you forgot to lay the hunt as planned, so the Mom gets to enjoy the fun of TWO scavengers hunts on Mother's Day morning, dressed only in her nightgown and not even showered for going on two days and all she really wants to do is shower for the love of all that is holy.
Even if you try to set up a ride for your child to the nightmare birthday party that is notoriously awful because it has been awful to epic proportions for the past three years, yet even that generous carpooler cannot tolerate the party for more than two hours so the mom and second child still have to tolerate the chaotic marshmallow war followed by the anarchic pinata with no less than two tantrums by the notoriously ill-behaved child (why is he still being invited to these parties?) followed by the seven story cake that is supposed to look like the Eye of Sauron but reminds the mom of a psychedelic vulva and that is the only thing that gets-her-through-the-day.
Because in the end, you cannot control for the fact that the cat will still shit anywhere but in the litter box. And the little boy will be an absolute nightmare before swimming lessons on Saturday morning because he's decided that he doesn't want to get in the pool for ??? who knows why, and then decides that he likes being a little pain in the ass for the REST OF THE DAY. No amount of flowers will make up for the fact that everyone else has plans to sleep in on Sunday and Mom will have to wake up EARLY because her children are planning their parallel scavenger hunt loudly outside her door, and she couldn't sleep the night before because she never sleeps when you're away. Not to mention the fact that Mom has to take the kids to two big restaurant meals with her extended family because she has a relative visiting and she's Native American and so she can't explain to the person who is visiting that they can't come because that would be considered rude since they are tied through a ceremonial bond, and then it's Mother's Day and her Grandmother is almost 101 and of course she has to take the children to that big restaurant meal, even though it will be almost an hour between when they order and when they are served and her uncles, at ages 55, 73, and 75 are absolutely childish when it comes time to pay the check. And Mom has to keep the children polite, happy, and occupied through both restaurant meals, no mean feat when they are bored and tired, and not at all interested in sitting in a restaurant in the middle of a perfectly beautiful Sunday Afternoon, i shit you not. And don't get the mother started on Facebook and how even her own mother is making posts celebrating other mothers, and MEN who MOTHER, yet nobody in the world made a fucking post thanking her for being a mother to these two precious angels who had excellent restaurant behavior. No bouquet of flowers will make that better.
But best of all, you absolutely can't control for the fact that your oldest son will get a migraine on Sunday night, when everyone is completely tapped out, and end up barfing miserably through painful tears, and your spouse will refrain from adding the words "You lucky asshole" to the text she sends you informing you of this fact because she knows you don't like it when she cusses.
You could have controlled for the fact that they ran out of groceries and hair care products for the kids. That was an oversight. Leaving her with a huge pile of laundry so they were pulling dirty pants out of the hamper was also a error in judgment.
So.... even if your partner tells you, sweetly, that she's not really into Mother's Day and you should do what makes you happy, I am warning you, DO NOT LISTEN. And most of all, DO NOT GO OUT OF TOWN that weekend. You might go to the gym, but even that is pushing it. Whatever you do, give the mother of your children, that person who has sacrificed her body, her youth, and more hot meals than you can count, the gift of a little time to herself. She may not want jewelry, flowers, or other material things, but she would like a little recognition for just how hard it is to parent your children, with or without you.