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More calm, less worry on moms' wish lists
The things moms really want for Mother's Day

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Date published: 5/10/2009

BY JANET MARSHALL

In 1870, with the Civil War fresh in her mind, social activist Julia Ward Howe advocated for a Mother's Day for Peace. She wanted moms to rise up and demand peaceful ends to conflict, according to historical accounts.

If you ask modern moms what they really want, peace is still high on the list. Because a modern mom's peace is often disturbed, even in the best of times.

And these are not the best of times.

For Mother's Day, Theresa Knowles of Spotsylvania County said she really wants the peace of mind that would come from her husband finding a new job. She said he's been laid off, and his last day is May 22.

"I'd be willing to give up any gift or token of appreciation if he could give me that news," Knowles wrote in an e-mail.

Another mom e-mailed that what she wants most is for her sons to stay safe. One has served multiple tours in Iraq; another went over in December. Her youngest was recently injured by a rocket-propelled grenade.

"I would love to fall asleep, even for just one night, not wondering, hoping, praying that my sons will be alive when the sun rises," she wrote.

Keri Tolliver of Spotsylvania County said she'd appreciate some peace of mind about her "responsibilities as a mom."

"For example, not feeling sick to my stomach about how I am going to stretch the budget one more week for groceries, or how much gas I can put in the car and still have a few dollars for candy bars when my little girls have earned something special," Tolliver said.

'YOU'RE DISTURBING MY PEACE'

Even when nothing dramatic is happening--no one's in danger, no one's sick, money's OK--it can be hard for a parent to unwind.

Because for all the joys of raising kids, there are endless meals to cook and fights to referee and jobs to get done.

Moms are often told to take care of themselves first--to put on their own oxygen masks before helping others. But their Mother's Day wishes reveal that they tend to do the opposite.


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We asked moms what they really wanted for Mother's Day, and many wrote in to say that they wanted a day off--a day free from cooking, cleaning and worrying. A day to fully relax.

But many also said they want more time with their families. Stacey Broughton of Ladysmith arranged to go camping with her husband, their three small children and several other families this weekend.

Broughton said her big wish was for a break from the daily grind and all its distractions--the Internet, the phone, the TV.

"I want my kids to be happy with simple treasures like an undiscovered creek or fallen log," Broughton said. "I want them to be happy with just a walking stick and the walking trail ahead of them."

Here's what some other local moms said:

"The best gift that I could get on this Mother's Day would be to have every member of the family pick up after themselves. If they make a mess, they should clean it up! Crumbs on the table, toothpaste in the sink, dirty laundry, etc., is best taken care of by everyone, not just Mom!"

-Sandra Sweeney, Stafford County

"What I have always wanted for Mother's Day is simple I would like for my 3 children, Amanda, 24, Katie, 22, and my son Craig Jr., 21, to write me a letter about their favorite childhood memories and what they love about me. It wouldn't cost a thing and would last forever!"

-Carol Wheeler, King George County

"My greatest joy is making sure my kids are safe, healthy and happy. If someone offered me a way to buy groceries for a week, I would definitely be less stressed [as after a spa day], and dinner for four would be a done deal with no worries! Having said all that, if all I get this year are handmade cards from my kids, with their precious drawings inside, I will still be the luckiest, happiest mom on Earth."

-Keri Tolliver, Spotsylvania County