Family Frameworks

Mother’s Day Gifts – The Good and Not so Good

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May 2013

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This week was a little challenging for me since I ended up acquiring a virus from one of the kiddos that I treated.  Not a fun virus by any means.  It put me flat on my back (at least some of the time) in my bed.  Totally exhausted and weak as a kitten I rested quietly.   Thinking it might be a good idea to have our pooch join me so that she could rest with me and enjoy some company for a change, I let her join me on top of the bed.  As I rested she would come and go.  During her time when she was gone for a while she came bounding in, jumped on the bed with something quite large in her mouth.  I assumed it was one of her toys or bones, oh, but NO! She had brought me a present that she was very proud of,  a DEAD RABBIT!! Once I realized what was lying on my bed I of course screamed and tried to convince her to take it back or whatever she wanted, but get it out of my sight.  (not a delightful sight when you have a stomach flu).   Of course she did not understand and looked at me pitifully as I screamed and showed much displeasure at her gift!  Eventually I got brave enough to go get the dustpan from downstairs and scooped the rabbit up in it very carefully as to not to touch it and quickly took it out the front door hoping some animal would delight in carrying it away.  (Apparently they did, because by that evening when John came home the animal was gone.)  

Of course to me that was a terrible trauma, but even more so to our poor Bailey,  she looked at me as though I had hurt her feelings, and could not understand what she had done that was so horrific.  We both made it through.  I of course asked her to forgive me and we are best friends again.  
This reminded me of how many times we can be misunderstood by our gifts.  I noticed a post on facebook, that a VERY inappropriate gift for Mother’s Day was a vacuum cleaner. (I do hope the husband got the hint)  I think I would agree.  But to many men they see this as a machine and machines are really cool cause they can do so many things, and women LOVE to have clean homes, so this must be a really wonderful gift for my wife so I can say I love you.  Sorry guys,  many times this is a NOT.

 Notice I say many,  I have a lot of girlfriends that really love this sort of thing.  But to many women this says “Honey, can you work a little harder to keep the house clean?”  I know, I know, that’s not what is meant at all, but that is the way a woman will interpret.  Especially if she has some insecurities about her housekeeping abilities.  Just as Bailey wanted to please me with a wonderful gift of a rabbit, guys try to please us.  It’s a problem on both ends.  I guess the way we as women should look at it is, “Let’s find the good in it!”  When you find the good in a vacuum, it might be ” he wanted me to have an easier time with the housework, or he wanted to get me something really practical, or maybe this means he will do the vacuuming since he likes cool machines”.  Is it really worth it to get angry about it?

In a class I do for couples I usually have couples stand back to back and ask them what each sees.  Of course they have two different views.  I have a little fun and ask them why don’t they see the same thing, and they look at me as if I’m crazy.   But isn’t that what we do when we assume a reason for giving us something or when we say they should know what I want or know how I feel.  What’s that “saying” about assume?  Maybe to let your spouse know how much you appreciate them thinking of you with a wonderful gift, “but maybe next time I would really like something a little different.  Would you mind if I gave you some ideas on what I would like?”
The other thing I think of is one of my favorite theories of the “5 Love

Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman.  Maybe it would be a good idea to read that and study your spouse to see what their love language might be.  I am very blessed because for twenty-three years John says “I’ve studied you” and actually he does quite well.  

With this Mother’s Day think about this guys  “The Best gift you can give your children is to love their mother.”  You know in many ways that will be shown in the gifts you choose for her.  Are you studying your wife?  Let her know and let the children see you express your love in gifts.  Give them the gift of learning how to give good gifts that show your love
Happy Mother’s Day!!! 

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