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When I asked moms what they really want for Mother's Day, the answers were strikingly similar.

Most of us don't want flowers or candy — though those things are nice. We could pass up a Mother's Day meal out with our kids, since wrangling them into acceptable public behavior and cleaning up a drink they spilled across the table isn't exactly relaxing.

What moms told me they really want for Mother's Day doesn't involve buying anything or going anywhere. "What I really want is to be alone, totally alone for an entire waking day," one mom said. "And I don't want to feel guilty about it. Just for one day."


Another replied, "A day off. No cooking, cleaning, or breaking up fights. I want to be waited on, someone to bring me snacks and drinks, and take a nap. Then I want to read in the sun."

A third mom admitted, "I don't want to do anything. I want my kids and husband to literally do everything. I don't want to wake up with anyone, I don't want to wipe any butts, I don't want to make any meals. I just want to hug and kiss my babies but be a spectator that day and watch from the stands."

Answer after answer followed the same theme: We want time that is our own without anyone needing anything from us.

[rebelmouse-image 19398112 dam="1" original_size="800x800" caption="Image via Guilty Chocoholic Mama." expand=1]Image via Guilty Chocoholic Mama.

It's not that moms don't want to be moms on Mother's Day — we just want a break from the relentless, never-ending work of motherhood.

We all deeply love our children. We'd step in front of a train or wrestle a grizzly bear to protect them. We revel in the sound of their laughter and relish the sweet smell of their heads. We miss them when we're separated from them for too long.

But that doesn't mean we don't need a serious break in the worst way.

Motherhood is all-consuming. And it's not just the physical, logistical stuff (though that alone would be enough). It's the mental and emotional exhaustion that goes along with molding little humans into decent, not-too-screwed-up people for years on end. It's just so, so much, all the time.

Parenting involves a lot of emotional labor and that can be exhausting.

In Harper's Bazaar, Gemma Hartley wrote in depth about how women often bear the brunt of "emotional labor" in families. She opens with this story:

"For Mother's Day I asked for one thing: a house cleaning service. Bathrooms and floors specifically, windows if the extra expense was reasonable. The gift, for me, was not so much in the cleaning itself but the fact that for once I would not be in charge of the household office work. I would not have to make the calls, get multiple quotes, research and vet each service, arrange payment and schedule the appointment. The real gift I wanted was to be relieved of the emotional labor of a single task that had been nagging at the back of my mind. The clean house would simply be a bonus."

But Hartley's husband didn't understand all of that. He thought she just wanted a clean bathroom, so he deep cleaned the bathroom while she spent the day caring for their kids and the rest of the house remained un-deep-cleaned. While it's nice that he tried to do what he thought she wanted, he totally missed the mark.

It wasn't about just about having a clean bathroom or house. It was about wanting a break from the physical and emotional labor that so often falls on a mom's shoulders without anyone recognizing it.

Bottom line: The best gift you can give a mother with young kids is a slice of time that is hers alone — without any responsibilities, worry, or guilt.

We'd love for someone to clean our house and take our kids away to something fun for a few hours so we can actually enjoy our clean house before it gets destroyed again. We'd like some time to nap. Some silent time to read a book without interruption. Some time to shower without interruption.

It would be great to have some time to think, meditate, brush up on a hobby, slowly sip some coffee — without interruption. Just some free time to ourselves to spend as we please. (And if someone could come put our kids to bed for us, that would be even better.)

A fabulous Mother's Day doesn't have to cost a thing. Sometimes freedom away from worry and responsibility is the best gift a mom could possibly receive.

Image via Motherhood and More.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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