Why I Asked For A Hamper For Mother’s Day

“I like these ones best,” I said to my husband, turning my laptop screen so he could see the hampers I’d carefully saved to my Etsy favorites list.

“Hmm,” he said in response.

“You can fill it with LUSH bath bombs or flowers or something,” I added ever-so-helpfully, more of a joke, but also, you know, if he wanted to, he could take the hint.  I like to be helpful.  Especially when it comes to Mother’s Day.

I’ll be honest right here: my “love language” is gift-giving, and whenever I tell people this, I get the sense that this is the worst love language to have.  It smacks of greediness, of consumerism, of the superficial.  It conjures up images of demanding women, women who whine, women who beg and plead for things as though they are children instead of full-grown adults.  It reminds me of children on Christmas, children on birthdays, children, children, children.  It is, seemingly, the least mature love language.

So let me tell you what this love language means to me as a parent and wife.

It means that I love making yearly quilts to give to my daughter.

It means I am thoughtful about picking out just the right card.

It means I am browsing bookstores months in advance, I am creating secret Amazon wishlists of things I want to get someone someday, I am pouring out my energy into making things for the people I love, laboring over choices, wrapping things perfectly with just the right paper, just the right card, just the right note.  If you are going through a hardship, I’m thinking of what little thing I can send you to perk up your day.  I don’t always succeed.  Everyone drops the ball here and there.  But that’s where my heart is, that’s where I think I shine as a friend, a mother, and a partner.

The flipside though is that when my own birthday comes, or there’s a holiday like Mother’s Day, I have expectations.  I want to be thought of the same way I’m thinking of others.  I want to be thought of in advance, specifically, and thoughtfully.  Do I want my mind read?  Well, ideally, sure.  Who doesn’t?  But because I know that won’t happen, and because I know my husband can’t possibly know that I liked that stained glass piece or that set of earrings or–yes–that hamper on Etsy, I go out of my way to be specific.

Learn from my failures, other moms with this love language.  Do not expect your mind will be read and known.  I mean, it could be.  But don’t assume.  Never, ever assume.  If there’s something that would make you feel loved and appreciated, tell your partner.  I look at it now as part of my greater love language; I am telling my partner how best to love and appreciate me this way.  I am telling my husband that as a mother, this is how I wish to be acknowledged on this holiday meant for acknowledgment, that is important to me, Hallmark-designed or not.

And I’d be best honored by receiving something I’ve been eyeing for a long time.  In this case, well…a hamper.  But it’s a nice hamper, I swear.  I mean, flowers are nice, but the heart wants what it wants.  And sometimes, the heart wants a nice artisan hamper.

Never assume.  Advocate for how you want to be treated.  Communicate how you are best loved and appreciated.

(As far as flowers go though, tulips please, if you insist on them too.)

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