05/09/2012 02:08 pm ET Updated Jul 09, 2012

What Your Wife Really Wants (for Mother's Day, That Is)

"There are times when I just thought about... checking into a hotel and just being in a quiet room by myself, just sitting in a quiet air-conditioned room, sitting down, eating my lunch, with no one touching me, drinking a Diet Sprite, by myself."
- Claire Foster (Tina Fey), in Date Night

This weekend is Mother's Day. A day when, in theory, moms get pampered, taken care of and get someone else to yell at the kids for them for once. When I was a kid, I got my mom a Hallmark card and picked up flowers for her with my dad, but it didn't resonate. Not like it does now that I'm a mother of two.

Valentine's Day is for neophytes -- not only that, you have to share it with your significant other. Any quality husband knows that the minute you have kids, Mother's Day is the holiday that counts... because Mother's Day is all ours, baby. All ours!

I understand that the pressure's on. You have to take the kids shopping for a gift -- by yourself. Or at least talk them into telling mom that you bought her gift weeks ago, not hours ago when you ran out of the house in your pajamas, wallet in hand. Many spouses feel the need to pull out all the stops on Mother's Day... but that's where they make their mistakes.

Don't get me wrong -- I appreciate every gift my family is kind enough to give me. Misshapen ceramic ashtray made at school? I'll take up smoking. If my son presents me with a handmade card with a drawing of him smacking his younger brother, I'll smile and say, "Thanks, Picasso!" And I really will overlook the sticky handprints on my nice armchair when you present me with the special meal you made me. But as you'll learn, the best gift of all is the gift of solitude.

What Your Wife Really Wants (and Doesn't) for Mother's Day