My family's Mother's Day traditions have always been pretty low-key. Some years, maybe too low-key.

The first year, my husband didn't realize that he needed to do anything for the woman who had gone through 14 hours of induced labor to birth his son. He soon learned the error of his ways.

So now, in our family, we have a general agreement: Mom gets to sleep in. Mom gets breakfast in bed. Mom gets to be left alone and do whatever she wants and maybe there's some kind of dinner she doesn't have to think about.

Also, on this day, Mom does not cook or clean or do laundry or listen to whining or help with homework projects that you should have gotten done earlier.

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No big gifts are needed (also because I'm looking at our budget, and a big gift will just stress me out).

What I (and my fellow moms really want) is not material.

I want peace in our universe. Could you please stop fighting over things like TV time, computer time, who breathed on whom, who touched whom, who is annoying by merely existing? No one is right and certainly not all the time.

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Give me the gift of open conversation. Know that my door is always open no matter how busy I am. Know that there is nothing that you cannot tell me. A grunt or a shrug doesn't really count as talking. As you've gotten older, the slammed doors and retreating to your rooms can be soul crushing at times.

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Be the best you can be. You don't have to win a Nobel Prize or an Olympic gold medal, but you do need to find something you love and do it. And you don't have to know at age 18 or 15 what that is, but try something (please let it be legal) that makes you interesting and happy.

Lighten up. You put a lot of pressure on yourselves to be the best, but that's not really what I'm asking. Don't forget to enjoy life. Yes, we'd all love it if you did your homework, but know if you tried hard, it's always good enough. And good enough is pretty great!

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Be good people. I hope I have done my job and raised you to be moral people with common sense. Please don't do anything stupid that ends in a phone call from jail. Please remember to help others around you when you see the need, and please see the need.

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Grow up to not need me. Honor me best by becoming self-sufficient, honorable members of society with jobs you love and eventually families you love.

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Want to be with me. I want our time together to be meaningful and enjoyable now, and, in the future, I don't want you to only visit me because you feel obligated. And, when the time is right, please, put me in a nice facility and don't feel guilty because you can no longer care for me at home.

Most importantly, love me. Know that I will always love you, and that's not just a song. Please appreciate the choices I have made with your father to give you the best start in life we could give you. Know that we are human and surely disappointed you, but we really, really tried. When you become parents, you'll understand that we did our best.

Happy Mother's Day, kids!

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