Five Ways to Avoid Mother’s Day Disappointment
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY WEEK!So…it’s safe to assume that we’re all focused on taking care of our own Moms this week, right? We’re reminiscing about special times with our moms, and sending them sweet notes or gifts, and maybe planning to do something nice for them on Mother’s day. Because that’s what grown-up, thoughtful women like us do, right? I mean, it would be totally selfish of me to be thinking about myself right now…dropping heavy hints to my husband and children, and hoping that maybe my family will remember to spoil the living daylights out of ME on Mother’s Day. (Wouldn’t it?) But here’s how it typically goes: And this is just me, because I know that you’re waaaaaay more mature than I am. Each year, I start the pre-Mother’s Day week well: I send cards, order flowers, or whatever Dave and I are going to do for our moms…And it never fails, that sometime during the week one of the kids in my family asks: “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” To which I say something like, “Oh nothing. I just want to spend some time with you guys.” Which is really a dumb thing to say because that’s pretty much what I do every day of the week, and well…you know. What I really meant to say was “I want to sleep in, go to church as a family, and be taken out for breakfast lunch and dinner. I also want a clean house, a few gifts, and a massage. Oh, and some chocolate.” But of course I don’t say any of that. In fact, I try not to consciously think any of that, because that is soooo selfish and greedy. And that just isn’t me at all. (no comments please.) So Sunday-Mother’s Day comes around and I’m mentally prepared to not think about myself. I give myself some pep-talks about being unselfish and content, and I almost believe it. But somewhere deep down in me there is that thing. What do they call it? Hidden expectations? And as hard as I try to stuff them, they begin to bubble up. By Sunday afternoon, I might just find them seeping out into full exposure and suddenly I’m in a sad state of self-pity. And in a really weak moment, I might have once or twice voiced my dark heart with, “Well, of course I said I didn’t want anything–Don’t you know that means I want everything?” And suddenly the truth is out there: I really did want to be spoiled on Mother’s Day. I wanted me-time. I wanted food that I didn’t cook, and dishes that I didn’t have to do. I might have even wanted…presents. 😬 But now I have no one to blame but my self for saying those words: “I just want time with you guys.” (Big liar.) What I’ve learned: Well, I’ve got four kids now, and this is my 19th Mother’s Day, so fortunately I have learned a few things along the way. The good news is, my Mother’s Days are no longer a cause for anxiety, or disappointment. No matter what. And not that you need these, but just in case could use some tips, I thought this might be the perfect time to share a few things I’ve learned with you.
1. Plan ahead.Don’t wait for Mother’s Day to decide that you really DO want breakfast in bed. Or to be taken out for brunch. Or maybe you want a day all to yourself on Mother’s Day (I’ve done it. It was super great.) PLAN AHEAD. Let your family know what you want and make your own arrangements if you need to. 2. Take the pressure off your family. If there is something that you’d really love to have for Mother’s Day, why not do the shopping for your family? A restaurant you’d like to go to? Make a reservation! Know your family well, and be a realist. Last weekend, while Dave and I were on a little date and we happened to go into the mall, I walked him straight to the perfume counter and grabbed the gift box of my favorite perfume and said, “Let’s get this for my Mother’s Day gift.” He hesitated for about a millisecond, and then with a very contented expression, pulled out his debit card and handed it to the sales clerk. I won’t open it until Sunday, but guaranteed I’ll love what I get!
3. Adjust expectations.Seriously, expectations might be our worst enemy when it comes to holidays. Do we really imagine that we’ll have a carefree day on Mother’s Day when we still have a houseful of kids, laundry that completely disregards holidays, and (at least for me,) a husband that still has to go to work. We only hurt ourselves when we imagine that our day will be anything other than another Sunday, with a few little perks if we’re so lucky.
4. Make a rain check?Some holidays are just inconvenient. This Sunday, my son has a surf contest, and my husband works. He still plans to take me out to dinner (he’s really good like that,) but the reality is, I’m not going to be walking around on flower petals all day. SO… I have already made arrangements to spoil myself a little after Mother’s Day: I made an appointment to get a massage next week (the first in two years–so YES! I’ll appreciate it,) and I’ll extend that time to include a few hours to myself. The reality is that sometimes the restaurants are booked, or your kid is sick, or your husband
5. Keep perspective.On a more heart-felt note: This past year I have spent time with moms who have lost children to cancer, or are themselves fighting a disease. I am praying for moms who are battling for their lives. Hello perspective: These things make me slow WAY down and realize that when it all comes down…I really do want to just HOLD and LOVE those kids that have made me a mom. I want to remember the man who teams with me to raise them. And I want to ENJOY them all. If I can keep a healthy perspective at the front of my mind, then my Mother’s Day ought to be quite complete just hugging my boys every ten minutes until they can’t take it any more. No breakfast in bed, gift wrapped perfume, or day at the spa can compare to the incredible gift that my family is to me. Flaws and all. So what do you say, Moms? Let’s face Mother’s Day with a plan, and some healthy perspective. Now: Go have yourself a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend! With Aloha, Monica PS –The Today Show Site also published this post on their Parenting page, in case you want to click over and LIKE or SHARE it from there as well. 😉 ——————————————————————————————————-
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You didn’t address how to fix the pressure of having to spoil MIL, my OWN mom, grandma’s etc. That’s where most of my dislike for the holiday comes from. I’m a tired mom of young kids and I feel guilty for feeling like it’s my turn
So true . Liked your perspective of it. Expecting our family to do anything is stupid as they won’t , they being themselves .
Loved your perspective of spending with moms who’ve lost kids or are fighting life alone .
Thank you! Our adult son is a newly wed & just sent me a text for Mother’s Day..they’re on their way to Ireland-for friends wedding. I was hoping for a card….
Suck it up mama’s, it’s our day have some wine get pedicure on listen to your favorite jams while doing your hair and getting dolled up. But your best outfit on and go bowling go to a nice bar and grill , don’t wait around to be appreciated, treat yourself. We deserve it!
I have a spoiled rotten 15 year old daughter who just ran away to overbearing grandma’s house and let’s her get away with stealing and missing school. Thanks goodness for my 9 yr old son and 4 year old son they’re the best!
And my husband.
He never forgets though he always manages to buy me flowers card gifts
I wouldn’t mind though if he didn’t buy me those things . I’m not a picky gal.
Stay safe yall
Yikes that’s harsh to say about your oldest. Maybe you should look at changing your perspective possibly. To get love is to be loved in return. Seems you are being awfully critical of your oldest.
Well it makes me feel a lot better to read all this. I’ve decided things;
– I’m not going to organise Father’s Day anymore
– Every year I’m going to use out joint bank account to buy myself something ridiculously extravagant, like Aesop body wash or something.
WOW and I thought I was the only mom out there hating Mother’s Day. I have 2 grown children and every year its the same I get a phone call or a text wishing me Happy Mother’s Day. This is the first year I didn’t say a word how hurt I am. My son takes his mother in law and wife out to eat. I have never been asked to join them because its my daughter in law who makes the plans. My daughter who has 4 sons, Every year for Mothers Day her Birthday and Christmas I take the boys shopping. She was a single mother for years and before that the WORTHLESS father of the boys never did anything for the boys so they would have a gift for her. I saw the pain in her eyes SO I took over making sure she had a nice day. The boys now are 17-21. As she opens her gifts and enjoys what they picked out for her. I did’t get anything from her. But a text that say Thank You. Last year she yelled at me when I voiced how hurt I was sitting alone crying on Mothers day. I’m not asking for gifts BUT GEZZZZ I live 15 min away from both my kids and no one comes to see me. Pick a weed and give it to me.I don’t ask for much. I hate Mother’s Day. So this is the last year I sit and wait to see anyone. They all can go S**T in their hat.
I SO know where you’re coming from. I should have been the mother who got drunk, was a drug addict, was never home when they got home from school because you’d think that was the mother I was.
I’ve tried my best. Always been there for them but Mother’s Day – I’m just so hurt.
At least I have beautiful grandchildren.
I love your perspective… But does anyone else have trouble with connecting your treatment on mother’s day with how you are measuring up as a mother? I somehow can’t shake the feeling that mother’s day is like my mommy-grade for the year… and nothing makes me feel more like a failure than getting, not just an D or an F, but a zero. It is so anxiety-ridden and discouraging for me, that usually I end up feeling like I should just go away and spend the day somewhere where there is no mother’s day. Can anyone tell me a place where Mother’s day doesn’t exist??
I feel that way too and about Christmas.
You have made me realise I’m subconsciously thinking that I’m being given a F for Fail on Mother’s Day because it’s pretty well ignored.
You make a great point about not saying “I just want to spend time with you”. We should strive to be honest, because that’s the kindest thing to do – but it’s hard. But it doesn’t hurt to say “I’d like some chocolate” or “please do this chore” or “I would like you to make me a card”. It teaches our kids to think of others, and prevents passive-aggressive reactions that we may have been taught ourselves.
As a single mom I’ve did so much for my now 16 years old son that it hurts how under appreciated I feel today. Mother’s Day just reminds me how bad of a mother I have been and makes me feel like giving up, but I won’t because even though roses and a letter are not the reason why I am your mom and how much I love you, down deep in my heart I was still carrying those hidden expectations. Thank you for the article, I am just trying to stuff it all, but can’t help and bubble up. Happy Mother’s Day to all those mom’s out there!
Thank you! Have a lovely day!
Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much for this. Sometimes it really does need to be put into perspective for us. I personally am going to pull myself together and stop making myself sad over something so minor. Thank you again for your words and wisdom.
My 3 adult children phoned me..no cards, no presents. I live alone in another state now and this seems to have become the norm. I thanked each of them for the call but had a chat also about how next year they really need to do better and at least send a gift and a card. I think it’s important to speak up and important all kids need to hear that it’s selfish not to do more than the bare minimum. I remember years ago my Mum telling me and my sisters how hurt she felt when we didn’t do anything for her one Christmas. I’ll never forget that look on her face..I felt terrible and I never did that again. I didn’t enjoy telling my kids how disappointed and hurt I felt. But at least now they know and next year will be better. We are good Mums and a little thanks and appreciation is not too much to expect.
So, I’m reading this lovey article outside with my coffee alone on Mother’s Day having decided not to ditch the family for a trip to the cinema. They are all very good points. Especially the last one. Hard to feel rejected etc when other women have it so much harder.
As for the first few points, on the same train of thought, does that mean the father in this equation can sort his own Father’s Day? Heard of flying monkeys?
I’m not usually this cynical or selfish, really, but I’m a bit sick of it. My birthday is a month before Mathews day every year and it’s pretty much the same thing every year. Next year I’ll try to remember this article and come up with a game plan ahead of time. This year, I’m waiting for my mum to come home from church and I’ll take her out to lunch.
This is terrible. “Do the planning yourself” “lower your expectations” “tell them exactly what to do and how to do it and prepare all of it for them”. No. No no no. NO. Shouting from the rooftops NO.
Moms do so much all year … the sacrifices are endless … Dads it’s time to step up and plan a great day because anything less is pathetic.
So healthy for women to feel ok about being thought of and treated special—not self-depreciating behavior
Like oh that’s ok I don’t need or want anything anyway.I know you’re all busy,why would I expect anything anyway.
It’s one thing to be selfish and
Another to be a doormat!
It’s ok to value yourself and teach your kids to think of others and to treat the parent in their life as if they appreciate them!
After all we appreciate our kids every day!
I agree with this. Seriously. Moms bring everyone into this world. Who plans the birthdays? Me. The mom. Who handles the doctor appts the prepping for school tests, the school enrollments, the every darn special or important thing all year long. If you can’t do something nice for mom for one day out of the year I think it shows how selfish everyone is. My 10 year old should have been able to make me a card. She knows how to bake and sew and does great art. Why not use one of those talents? It’s been 10 years and my wedding ring still doesn’t fit. You think my husband could adjust it? He has the money. He just simply doesn’t care. I think when we lower the expectations to “I’ll just get myself something”, we allow our loved ones to never think of others or try to do kind things for people.
I agree 100%
Why we have to tell our husband and kids what to do for Mother’s day? We deserve to be surpised and be treated with so much appreciation. Is it too difficult to remember and to do something special for mom at least 1 of 365 days? Moms never stop working and doing things for the family. Mom dedication is unlimited. It is so sad that our sacrifices are under estimated and taken for granted.
Amen! Yes, yes, yes! Terrible advice. We should not have to lower our expectations because someone else (even family) does not see our worth. Women have done that for decades. We don’t need to move backwards.
I understand the points that you’ve made. I am guilty of saying “nothing” when asked what I want as well. But this year I didn’t. This year hubby set the expectation that they will cook all 3 meals that day and I wouldn’t have to do anything. All I asked was that we grill corn on the cob and some veggies outside cause I love grilled food. I did say I would help a bit with that. My 11 yr old daughter tried to make an elaborate breakfast, with hubby being her helper. I appreciated it even though it was not filling or satisfying, fruit and yogurt. It’s the thought that counts right? Well breakfast was around 11 AM. So fine, it’s brunch. Older teen boys didn’t even get up until 10:30 or so. Then I did all the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen. Hubby was then floored because breakfast took a lot out of him. He sat on the couch all day watching his show on TV. We have one TV. Since the boys barely touched breakfast everyone was hungry around 2. Hubby asked me to warm up some leftover pizza for him. Kids ate some potato chips. Then I’m said I’m hungry too, and warmed up some pita bread and took out some hummus for everyone. Well that was lunch/snack I guess. I had done all the grocery shopping for grilling since with COVID-19 I didn’t want anyone else leaving the house. Some of the corn turned out to be bad so my 16 yr old did offer to drive to the store to get some more. Yeah, score. I prepped all the veggies, kabobs and peeled all the ears of corn. My oldest was setting up the grill. My younger son, in his room because he procrastinated on homework. Hubby is still on the couch. Then my oldest tells me how mother’s day sucks. That felt like a kick to the stomach. The entire time, I’m taking veggies, condiments, paper plates whatever outside. Setting up. I said I would help but it turned out that I had to do more than expected. Hubby, still on couch. He does manage to direct my son on how he should grill. We usually put all the potatoes in the oven but hubby would not budge on cooking them on the grill. He had to have it his way. So he did. Potatoes were ultimately burnt. The reason for that was 1) I cut them in pieces and used olive oil 2) Son did not flip them. But we ate some corn. Yay! There were complaints about charcoal smoke and allergies affecting my husband. At the end, the very very end. Hubby took over the grill to show us how to grill the kabobs properly. He asked my daughter to pass the top of the charcoal grill, which she grabbed without gloves. 2nd degree burn. Lot’s of crying. 8 PM. hubby and I disagreed with what needed to be applied to the burn. The disagreement was resolved by him raising his voice and yelling. Boys did bring all the food in from outside and put it on the kitchen table though. Another win. 14 year old son was able to eat his burger. My husband and daughter had some Italian ice from the freezer. Then I went to bed and it was finally over.
That’s hilarious! It made me laugh out loud! Thank you for a wonderful reply!
Ok, for 8 years now (the length of time that I’ve been married and a mother) I have cried somewhere in private on Mother’s Day. I have 3 stepchildren and my husband and I have one son together. I have read this article and so many of the comments along with your advice to them. I have decided that I actually hate Mother’s Day, something that I couldn’t wait to experience before I became one. I think, beginning next year, I will celebrate my motherhood by myself. My husband is a lost cause, we have been to therapy over his complete lack of celebrating holidays and gift giving. But my question is really about our children. How am I supposed to be the lone example for my kids/step kids? It’s such an important skill to teach, celebrating others and the art of gift giving. It’s so important to me that they learn it. What do I do when I am the only parent that cares about this? If I keep trying to just “do me” and take care of myself, I fear resentment and bitterness for life, which is already happening. And then I’ll be stuck with 4 kids that have me crying on Mother’s Day for the rest of my life.
I feel the same way. My husband never buys gifts for the kids. It’s all me. He never plans bdays. I do. He never even buys his own family gifts. We used to be broke. We are NOT anymore. W have plenty of money to do nice things for those we love. He doesn’t do anything on holidays or other special days. I just feel like we accept selfish behavior when we don’t at least say “hey, I do a lot for you and would like to be shown appreciation.” If we teach our kids that it’s ok to ignore others’ birthdays and celebrations I just feel like we’re missing a huge part of what makes life great. It doesn’t equate to large gifts or extravagant galas, but a little goes a long way. I feel many women are strong and have learned coping mechanisms, but when can we stop coping with being unappreciated, and instead receive some respect and honor? I think the built up resentment isn’t good for us and we really should speak up for ourselves in a non demanding and reasonable way. It’s not selfish to ask for a little bit of recognition. Imagine if we just stopped doing birthdays. Because that’s what happened to me. But if the shoe is on the other foot I bet my family would be upset. When I almost died from COVID19 in 2020, I truly felt like only my kids would care and that’s totally a result of how much everyone ignores me on special days. Why would we want anyone to feel unloved?
Thank you for this!! The last few years have been bad for me. Christmas, Birthdays and Mother’s Day not really acknowledged. Both my sons are 19 and 23 live at home. I do all laundry, cooking, cleaning never helping. I literally drove my son back and forth to local college everyday for four years because he won’t get a drivers license and says it’s my job…that’s what parents do for their kids. Well it think if I had a daughter it would not be this bad. Anyway, of course, my husband is no better! You opened my eyes!!!! Today for Mother’s Day I made homemade brownies, two layer cake, lasagna and penne alla vodka. They decided on what to eat and said they were going to cook but not one person came out of their rooms to cook. So since I purchased all ingredients I had no choice but to make it myself. Now everyone wants to know why I’m upset! Now I sit in my room crying. Next year I
am going out to honor myself possibly shopping, lunch and movie!
Thank you Monica and thank you to all the awesome mums out there who have commented. I have just spent the past 30 mins with my glass of champagne and crying silent tears reading all your comments. It’s reassuring to know I am not a weirdo for feeling unappreciated and unloved this Mothers Day. Thank you for your support. I feel better already knowing I am not alone. Next year I will be proactive. Thanks again ladies, you are all amazing and special.
Thanks for all the positive things u wrote to make us all feel much better about the reality of what Mothers Day truly is. All I wanted was a hug from my 15 year old son but I guess it was to much to expect even today! Happy Mother’s Day To all around the world 💖.
Thank you Michelle…I’m so sorry. 🙁 If he is with you, I hope you can ask for a hug…Praying for your heart now!! XO
Thank you so much for this perspective, I was already starting to get the feels.
Monica, this post is so so encouraging! Thank you for your honesty and heart to encourage others!
This was really good! Thanks I needed it !
Monica, thank you for this. I needed it. I struggle with feelings of sadness and disappointment each Mother’s Day and then guilt for having those feelings. Everything you said is so true, but keeping perspective really hit home for me. That is the mindset in choosing this Mother’s Day!
I get depressed every mothers day because mystep kids dont acknowledge me a some sort of mother figure even thoughb I’ve been doing all the heavy lifting as a mother for 10 years. I tried to go out of town this mothers day to celebrate but my feelings were still hurt, and now they arent even acknowledging me on my birthday.
That’s my kids as well. No one acknowledges Mother’s day, my birthday, or Christmas. I don’t know what I did incorrectly. I should mention they are 21 years old and I am their birth mother.
I’ve been battling with this issue for the past few days. I have four small children and am a stay at home mom. I told my husband that I wanted for him to take the kids out so they could pick me out a potted plant that I could put on the patio. That was the gift I wanted. Mother’s Day arrived and he asked me what I wanted to do. I told him that since we had already celebrated his mom the week before (I sent her a card from me and a separate one from the kids anyways so she would have another little celebration), that I wanted to go visit his grandma for a couple of hours. He wanted to get her flowers, so we stopped and I picked out a nice bouquet plus some chocolate. After 4 hours, we left and he wanted to head to his mom’s anyway. Fine. I get it. We stopped to get something to drink and the girl at the drive thru handed me a pink carnation, saying “Happy Mother’s Day.” That was sweet. We get to his mom’s house and my husband hands the carnation to my daughter to give to his mom. Okay. We spent the next 4 hours with my in-laws. We bought them dinner where my MIL wanted to go (even though I feel sick to my stomach whenever I eat there). I ate the scraps of my 4 year old’s food that she didn’t want. We get home late that night and tuck the kids in. I did a load of dishes and a load of laundry. I went to bed feeling pretty sorry for myself. I’ve told my husband two different times now that I felt forgotten and unappreciated. I told him that we spent the day celebrating every mother in his life except me and that my feelings are hurt. I get shrugged off. I can only manage my expectations so well. They were low and they were clearly voiced. What does one do in this situation?
So Sorry to hear all of that Lindsay. You sound super reasonable and I’m sorry for your disappointment. I think for this year all you can do is have a very objective (but firm) talk with your husband letting him know that how he handled that day was just plain wrong. Forgive him (if possible, in prayer before you talk to him!) but tell him you’d like him to up his game in the future. For the sake of setting an example to the kids and to bless you after all you do all year…You’re not asking a lot but you are asking for something!! Then, next year (or for the next occasion) talk to him face to face a full week ahead and lay out what you want/need. Ask him if he is capable of doing it, and what kind of reminders he might need. Tell him that you’d like things to look different for the future in this way, and you’re willing to help him get started. I find the more objective (non-emotional) but confident I speak to my husband the better he reacts. If this spills into other areas of life then by all means, consider a counselor…Bottom line is, you don’t want to grow old bitter and frustrated. Way better to work on things now so you have a healthy marriage for the long-run. It’s good for both of you. 🙂 Be encouraged, this is a tough one for a lot of couples and IT CAN CHANGE!! Much aloha-
For the 1st time in 14 years I was awakened at the crack of dawn for breakfast, given a couple of cards and $11 worth of candy.
Our Anniversary was a month ago. No card. No gift.
Later, dinner was served and it was back to the usual laundry and cleaning for me. I guess I had hoped for something…not sure what…but maybe something that conveyed some greater appreciation. I will take it for what it is and not have much expectation moving forward. I don’t feel sorry just so very unappreciated.
I’m sorry Kim. I know it hurts. But I really encourage you to realize that men (and kids who have not been taught) do not mean to be hurtful, they just have such a different perspective. I encourage you to really plan in advance next year– to CHOOSE to take the day (or whole weekend if you want!) off. Communicate clearly with the family well before it happens. Let them know you need a break. And ask them to help you…(Similar advice for the anniversary!) Anyways, I hope you can move forward and not feel bitter. Blessings.
I make it through Mother’s Day with a smile as if nothing’s wrong and then days later it hits me hard. As the week unfolds making the usual breakfasts, lunches, dinner, endless driving to school, swim team practice, dance, laundry….the list goes on, I don’t have to list them all…..and I feel just that, unappreciated and taken for granted. Did I create it or somehow teach it? I make sure to teach the kids and take them out to help buy gifts for my husband for birthday, Father’s Day, Christmas, etc. I think it’s important to teach kids how to give and think beyond their own wants and needs, and yet, if Mother’s Day wasn’t announced a million times on the TV and radio, they’d just pass it by. So I sit here and lick my wounds for what? I’ve somehow failed as a Mom in teaching my kids how to make me feel whole, if even for one day. They are 16 and 14, old enough to know better, too old to make the school forced crafts and too young to go out and do it without my husbands help. And yet on another note, the day after Mother’s Day, I walked into my favorite bagel shop and ordered my bagel from a family who had just lost their Mom in her 40’s to cancer and I have to wonder how much they appreciated her and what they would give to celebrate with her on that day. Happy Mother’s Day to all the unappreciated Moms out there!!! You’re doing a great job!!! Dust yourself off after you’re done crying and be that great Mom despite it all. 💜
Your advice is good, especially for mothers with live at home kids, but this problem can apply to adult children too. I am a grandmother of 7 and a mom of 3 and a wife. I knew my 3 kids would call and wish me a happy Mothers Day and my husband would do the same, but that was it. I did chores all day by myself. I told myself I was a mom 365 days a year and many of those were unexpectedly special and that the real gift for a mother was having the kids in the first place. But in all honesty, I wanted to feel special and I didn’t. I don’t want gifts, or time to myself or chocolates (flowers for the garden would be nice) or to eat at a busy restaurant. I realize that it is hard for them to travel to see me that one day. I just wanted something to make me feel special and yes, my husband did drop the ball. So, I kindly told him. I don’t think there will be a repeat. Really it is the dads who teach their kids how to honor their moms. My kids love me and are excellent parents which is also a gift. I wonder how they learned that?!
Thanks for this Christine.
I have three wonderful godly adult children and six marvellous grandchildren. I’m grateful for our close relationship but really struggle with feelings of disappointment and sadness at Mothers Day. My husband passed away two years ago so I don’t have anyone really to voice my feelings to. And of course I feel so guilty for wallowing in self pity when I have such a lovely family.
All the kids call on Mothers Day which is lovely but no cards or gifts. A couple of years ago my daughter said to me “We don’t do Mother’s Day presents do we?” Naturally I said “I don’t need you to spend money on me”, when I should have said “Well actually I think I’d appreciate a little treat”. So it’s my own fault.
The anniversary of my husbands death is quite close to Mothers Day, so I’m struggling hard not to slide into feeling quite depressed . The situation was aggravated this year by the fact that I visited my sister on the Mother’s Day weekend and she was knee deep in gorgeous gifts. She has two adult children.
I’m sure my wrestling with all these feelings is known only to me, but I’m wondering if it would be better for my mental health to openly speak to my daughter and let her know that next year I’d really love even a token gift. On the other hand I don’t want to hurt her feelings – I think she’d feel horrified if she knew how much I’d cried this last week.
It’s been very helpful to know that there are other mums out there who wrestle with guilt, disappointment etc. Love to you all.
These are MY feelings about Mother’s Day: I don’t feel as if I should have to ask for any sort of Mother’s Day gifts/dinners/flowers, etc. In fact, if I have to ASK for it, then I don’t want it. It’s the same old scenario every year. My husband and kids have a way of turning it around to make ME look like the bad guy, if I convey any sort of disappointment at all. I am a great mother, if I do say so myself. My life revolves around my two daughters (13 and 16) and all of my free time (and I work full time as well) goes into them. We do everything together, and I bend over backwards to do what I can for them (unlike my husband). So this year, I had to remind my family that it was Mother’s Day. Not one gift, flower, lunch/dinner plans….not even a dandelion. Mother’s Day is one day a year. ONE day. I spend (as most Moms do) 365 days appreciating my family. Is it too much to ask for a little recognition for one day???
Debby. I am so sorry for your frustration and disappointment. I hope something in this post helps (you know you’re not alone! :)) and prepares you for future occasions. I’d certainly take it on yourself to communicate before you come to a special day and lay out for them clearly what would most bless you. No, it’s not ideal, but with a little training I have a feeling they’ll find the joy in giving and it will come more naturally> Also it will hopefully translate to them being more thoughtful to other people in their lives! All the best…Aloha
Thank you! I’m sure I’ll get over it, but I’ve always tried to show my daughters that making others feel special is important….whether it be friends, family, strangers, or even their own mother. I want them to appreciate things, and not take people for granted. I feel like I’ve failed. But with your advice, next year I plan to at least hint at my expectations and hopefully won’t be disappointed.. Thank you!
Thank you for this post. I feel I am not alone. Even though my family does make an effort, to me it just seems kinda like a ritual not because they have joy beaming from their hearts. Maybe because I try to make their big days eventful and we’ll prepared I almost just figure maybe they would do the same. I always say we can’t spend alot of money so I guess that gives the husband and family the ok to not do much. Today being mother’s day, had breakfast in bed but had to make a bowl of soup for myself for dinner. I like the idea of planning the day myself. Maybe if I plan everything next year they will get the hint.
I read your article bc I am feeling sad this mothers day
My grown children are not to great about this day
My daughter is ok. I had my grands and she brought a gift
I know she loves me but no call today
My husband is sick but gets mad about this too..
My son called..no gift or card…he lives 25 min away
They are having my daughter in laws family and mother for dinner. Again
Always them…I am so good to them all
Guess not good enough
I need to get a grip
I almost feel mad at myself for being this hurt. But i am. I have 5 children and go out of my way for celebrations and for my husbands as well. And i began to feel really overwhelmed this week knowing mothers day was around the corner. I heard him on the phone telling people he would take me out and etc. He even made plans to send money to mex for flowers for family female members.
And today arrives and i get nothing. No invite to eat no hug nada.
Im tired overwhelmed and constantly working at home. I fighting a bad depression as well.
All i wanted was effort. And show of love . I dont want to be asked tomorrow by friends and moms what did i do ? What did i get?
Its embarrassing that a mom of 5 wouldnt even get happy mothers day from her partner.
And to top it off, he seems to be ignoring me and had a bad headache earlier.
Yina–I’m SO sorry for your disappointing day. I truly hope something in this post gives you ideas for how to approach future occasions, but it also sounds like you might have a more general issue worth dealing with in your marriage. I encourage you to talk to your husband directly, kindly, but firmly about how you feel. If you need to seek counseling, do it! What you do not want is for feelings of bitterness to build up! Take care of yourself, and be encouraged, this is a tough one for a lot of families…There is hope! 🙂
I hate Mothers Day.
Every year I have always tried to make it special for my mother. I usually do something the day before so she can go visit her mothers grave.
I am married, since I was 21 and now 29. I get something together for my mother, my grandmother and my mother in law since my husband does not do it.
I feel a little sad when it comes around since my kid (almost 5) is too little to do anything. I think I really want maybe, although I feel silly and selfish saying it aloud that I want him (my husband) to just say Thank you, maybe a card.
Even better if he could let me have the day free to myself without stress. Especially considering he is an oil guy now an was military before so I spend 90% of my time alone with our child since he works out of town 3 weeks of the month. Sometimes more.
This creates very strong resentment for me. Our son is very strong willed, never sleeps and needs constant attention and I stay home with him so there is never peace.
I tell myself every year I wont have expectations so I won’t be disappointed but every year after the failure to even tell me happy mothers day I begin to get bitter.
Women want acknowledgement. Mothers Day is just that.
We want our sacrifices of mental and physical health acknowledged. When it isn’t we are disappointed.
I as a Mother wish this day did not exist.
Natasha, What a bummer…I’m SO sorry for your disappointing day. I hope something in this post gives you ideas for how to approach future occasions, but it also sounds like you might have a more general issue worth dealing with in your marriage. I encourage you to talk to your husband about how you feel. Counseling might be helpful. What you do not want is for feelings of bitterness to build up! Take care of yourself, and be encouraged, this is a tough one for a lot of families…There is hope! 🙂
Is it too much to ask for rhe men in me life to put effort in planning for Mother’s Day. Every four years, Mother’s Day falls on my birthday and yet I hqve to plan dinner as I do everyday. Run a bath, get my toes done are hints that are given often. But, I understand.
Thank you, needed this today. My 8 year old just told me he’d rather watch YouTube by himself than grab breakfast with me 😡
Oh so sorry Jolene. That is hard to hear, but kids say mean things and I don’t think he meant it. 🙂 (or if he did, you should laugh it off cuz he’s little!) Ban YouTube for a while and offer him some chores or time with mommy next time! Be confident and be bossy (and be fun!) and things will get better! 🙂
So glad I read this! I was feeling sorry for myself, despite spending the day trying not to. Thank you x
Oh, so glad the timing was good! 🙂 Blessings to you as you head into a new week. XO
After years of disappointing Mother’s Day and even my birthday, I learned long ago to plan for my day myself! Very good tips here! They still aren’t perfect, most years, but a good day nonetheless!
I just felt this way Sunday! I felt sorry for myself because I give to my family so selflessly and get nothing in return. I had to cook and clean for myself on mother’s day. I just felt so unappreciated, it hurt. I think I expected to much from my significant other. But you are right! I know that I am reading and replying to this a year later, but I needed it after the Mother’s Day I had.
But is it really too much to ask your loved one to show their appreciation, for all you do all year, on this one day? I’d rather not do anything then to plan this day myself.
I had a horrible Mother’s Day, yet again. And, I’m so thoughtful–really. I’m not just saying that. I’m always the one getting a room of balloons for my 9, 14, and 18 year old on their birthdays. Big dinners for their friends at a steakhouse, etc.
Just Friday, I decorated my daughter’s rooms in the colors of her upcoming college. I even went all the way to the university to get some swag.
I feel like my children are super ungrateful, but I feel like it’s my fault for being a bad mom or just not teaching them manners. My husband basically did everything. He made me breakfast and then we had to force them to come sit with us for all of five minutes. That’s it. No cards. Nothing. As you suggested (I hadn’t read this til now, after googling), I demanded gifts to save myself the heartache. I got 80 bucks (I asked for 40) to get a new purse and my husband bought some marc jacobs eyeliner from the youngest. The two oldest were despicable. Later at night, they “texted” me some really nice messages. But, now, I think my husband made them. I was happy at the time, but after scrolling through FB and seeing all of these smiling moms, beaming with children around them, I felt like utter crap. As if no one likes me, at all. I just feel like telling them that I’m not going to do anything for their birthdays anymore.
Seriously. My husband suggested going out to breakfast, etc., he did all the cooking, etc., but I didn’t want to go out in a zoo. But, I wished they would have at least gotten me a nice card. Nothing. It’s so disheartening. Sometimes, I don’t even feel like I have kids or I should just stop trying to please them.
Also , because of what I’ve learned in other years, I bought myself two large bouquets of roses from a wholesaler in the area so no one could mess that up. My husband is also not thoughtful at all, but I’ve trained him over the years and he’s afraid of incurring my wrath, so, he was ready to do anything to avoid “hearing it” from me. But the thought wasn’t there from anyone. I think they think I’m not the greatest mom. But, yeah, getting back to the FB, I know lots of FB stuff is exaggerated, but I tend to think a lot of what I saw yesterday was genuine. People did take the time to put aside time and thought for their mothers. They authored nice things about them.
I got nothing. No words, and a cash present that I demanded. In other years, I haven’t got anything from my daughters (they both have a lot of discretionary money). This year, to avoid the hurt, I simply demanded it. They were relieved because it took the headache out of it.
This. Mother’s Day is so incredibly hard for me as I don’t have a relationship with my own mother, my very new husband knows of this and knows about my botched first Mother’s day 10 years ago with my birthson, 2 of his kids like e with us all the time and we had the other 2 for Mother’s Day this year.
I will start by saying he is not romantically handicapped at all, he’s usually great with always showing love and affection. However, yesterday iade my own coffee, breakfast, bought my own yearly annuals to be planted, went grocery shopping for our mother’s day cookout, and all without a Happy Mother’s Day from the two kids that live with us filltime whom I cook for every night, shop for, have let oldest drive my car to get his hours in for his license, given my own money for gas, etc. I just feel that the acknowledgement was there. I am not their mother, nor do I want to be, but as a courtesy to say it, and husband didn’t guide them.
Thankfully my ex husband planned ahead and had taken the kids to get me a card and chocolates from them it was literally the only thing that saved the day, but now dealing with the feelings from the step kids.
I will get over it, but right now I’m wallowing in pity.
I really love this post! Before I read this I was bawling my eyes out. I don’t know why I was surprised considering that every year I ask for the same thing and I never get it. My husband usually goes fishing every year on the mother’s day weekend and he never thinks it is a big deal because my birthday is always a few days after mother’s day. So this year I was excited when I found out that he wasn’t this year. I was finally going to get the quiet day where I wouldn’t have to clean, cook or break up fights. Instead I woke up to children fighting and a husband on the phone not doing anything to stop the fighting. I spent the day cleaning and was so upset that I skipped dinner. I am not sure how to get my family to see that just because my birthday is a couple days after mother’s day doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve to be treated well on mother’s day. Unfortunately, while I do get presents on my birthday I spend that day cleaning and focused on my children because one of my daughters has the same birthday as me and another has a birthday 6 days after my birthday. I am not sure how I can get my children and more importantly my husband to realize that I should have a day where I am not responsible for all the cleaning, cooking and taking care of the children all day.
Sorry you’ve had a rough one, Raquel. Sounds like you are trying hard and just so frustrated…(and hurt.)
The only advice I can really give is to be very clear and objective (unemotional) in the future as you lay out your expectations to your family and let them know what you do and do not plan to do on such holidays. You don’t have to clean, you can go for a walk, or to the movies. You can choose what you do and you can take the day off. You can ask ahead of time if the family would please do A,B, and C, and if they don’t, it’s ok, you can still take care of yourself and have a sweet day, alone, with a friend, or at home with zero expectations but also choosing not to do your normal work that day. The house won’t fall apart if you take a day off, and your family needs to see that you are making your own well being a priority and you can hope they will respect that and maybe even follow long. 🙂 (Depending on the age of your kids, you might even need to arrange a sitter or something, but do what you need to do and quit setting yourself up for disappointment.) All the best to you and here’s to a new week ahead! 🙂
I think Mother’s Day is one day out of so
Many days of the year where we shouldn’t have to plan for
Ourselves . I think every woman deserves a card or a text or a phone call and a hug . And if your husbands or children forget that . I’ll say this for all of
Them . You are resilient, you are beautiful , strong minded, and important. Keep your head up and know that there’s a person out there that thinks the same . Whether it be me , a stranger ; a neighbor , a girlfriend , a aunt , a co worker, etc
Connect with those individuals. And keep moving forward . I don’t think your setting yourself up for failure by having expectations on one day . Just remember to get out the house and smell the roses yourself even if you didn’t get any from the ones who you love . Happy Mother’s Day ladies . Xoxo 😘
Thank you!!!! I agree 100%. I’m not planning anything for myself on Mother’s Day or lowering my expectations. I deserve to be celebrated. I am amazing, thoughtful, accommodating and loving. My household runs immaculately because of ME. I also work full time & pay 1/2 the bills. I had my first miscarriage at 36 years old, only 3 weeks ago. I had to have a D&C surgery as a result. The next day I was at my Kindergarteners school for a volunteer event. Then I missed my post-op appointment a week later because I had promised her I’d be at her school for another event. I am selfless every other day of the year. For Mother’s Day, I will be celebrated. My husband is extremely romantically challenged and very weird about holidays. So I let him off the hook for every other holiday. Even Valentine’s Day, my birthday and Christmas. He knows this. But for Mother’s Day, 3 weeks after a miscarriage and 8 years of marriage? Nothing? Not a mention of Mother’s day, a single flower, a note, an E-card, a $5 “Best Mom” t-shirt from Walmart? Really? I’m disappointed. Very. And I will not push those feelings aside or apologize for it. I am literally Super Mom and Super Wife. My mom didn’t even call me, which is VERY weird. I guess Mother’s Day 2019 was cancelled for me. Sending love & joy to all the moms here! We rock!
I asked my 43 year old son for a card… it was all I wanted and I am working on asking for what I need. It is now Mother’s Day and I feel hurt, disappointed, sad. He will probably lie (not uncommon) and say it got lost in the mail. He lives about three hours away but never comes home. He also thinks my expectations are “not part of the current culture,” So I will spend another Mother’s Day in tears. I will not leave the house, fearful that one of my friends will ask what I got for Mother’s Day. Facebook makes it worse…pictures of loving children, grandchildren, roses. He is our only child, and he breaks my heart in so many ways.
I am so sorry Sharon! That is so hard, and you are not the only mom out there having a rough day. (I agree social media is not healthy for a time like this.) There is much more for you, and you can still find a joyful, fulfilling life, with the hope of your son one day recognizing how much HE HAS MISSED OUT ON, as well as how selfish he has been…Meanwhile I encourage you to put your chin up, connect with healthy people (maybe not today, it doesn’t sound like you’re up for it 🙂 ) and take care of yourself. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment anymore. I know it is easier said than done, but I hope you’ll own your Mother’s Day and every day and find joy in life even if your son is a disappointment! You are strong and you can do this. 😉
I so agree with you. Social media makes it way worse. I think it’s time to convey that Mother’s day is equivalent to birthdays, and we earned that right by giving birth. If we can’t be celebrated in the way in which we deserve, I suggest a Mother’s Day revolt. ; )
Yes I needed that. I was literally having a pitty party. My kids are very thoughtful but my husband is generally not. Not a bad guy….just doesn’t think about things like holidays bc he wasn’t raised like that. I, on the other hand was party to grade A spoiling of my own mother. Breakfast in bed, presents, and she didn’t have to do anything. This was bc our dad taught us how and did the pushing. Ironically he was a pretty difficult man in every other way, where as my husband is pretty easy going yet bad in the spoiling department. My only big regret is that my son isn’t being taught to treat his wife that way, and my daughter won’t experience seeing it. I try to teach them to put thought into things like that, but I don’t want to nag when it comes to me. But they try, and like you pointed out…I am so fortunate just being with my kids. Every day with them is a gift and I truly mean it. I still like silence and me time…lol. But you know what I mean. Blessed.
I get it Christie, I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself, my two kids ages 14 and 16, didn’t even say Happy Mother’s Day and I blame it on their dad for not making sure there is a card for me and to say something to them. Happens most years with exception of when they were young and cute and would make me cards. I feel like I failed or we both failed as parents. I did order out dinner and bought myself something but it hurts with the kids. My older daughter 26 still lives at home and it’s a hit or miss with her too. She will say Happy Mother’s Day but one year will give me a card and or gift and the next nothing. So I haven’t been going over my own moms house for the past few years but decided this year I will and I went with my older daughter and had a good time.
I think sometimes husbands and older kids just don’t think. Well I will wish you a very happy mother’s day. Hugs and happy dust.
I too was taught at an early age not to forgot these things, whether it was mother’s day, a parents birthday, or their anniversary. my dad or mother would always make sure I didn’t forgot. I have decided after this year There will be no more Mother’s Day for me I’m over it for real.
Lin I felt the same way, my kids are 14 and 17 and neither one said Happy Mothers Day. However, I don’t blame my husband because I know they are old enough to know better. If they can remember their birthday, then they can remember mine AND mothers day. I was so hurt last night, and today I realized how unappreciated I am.
I get what you are saying because mine are old enough too. I’m just mad because he could at least follow up with them. I know on Father’s Day I will pay for take out for him but I do mention to the kids oh Sunday is Father Day. I was brought up different where I was always reminded of bdays, anniversary, etc..
I understand how you feel, the same thing happened to me yesterday. I have 5 kids ages 18, 16, 14, 12 and 3. None of my kids wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. I blame my husband as well, every year I make sure my kids don’t forget Father’s Day and I try my best to make sure my husband feels loved and appreciated by me and his kids, sad that I didn’t get that in return.
So sorry for that. I told my husband I’m not celebrating it anymore. Of course he blames me for the way the kids are, but it takes two people to raise them. Sometimes the kids don’t listen to the mothers and are mean and he will step up occasionally but not enough. I did say to my kids yesterday thanks for the Mother’s Day card, just to make them think. My one daughter said “I did wish you Happy Mothers Day”, uh no you did not
I read this every year! It’s the reason why I not divorced and torturing my romantically handicapped husband. So again thank you for this. Now I can go enjoy my day
Thanks for your post, Monica. A friend of mine bought an inexpensive bouquet of flowers, added fillers from the yard, and created a beautiful bouquet. She showed it to her husband, smiled, and said, “Here’s your Mother’s Day gift to me.” What a wonderful example. Next year I’m going to do something like that.
What a wonderful perspective! Thank you for this article. I am sorry for those moms who lost their children to cancer and for those who have children battling it.
I came across this, via google…as I’m wallowing in my self-pity. My son is 19, still lives at home, and yet again, didn’t even say, “Happy Mother’s Day.” This started when he was little…my husband (a bit jokingly) always said, “well, you’re not MY mother…?” We’d have the conversation, and every few years, they’d both treat me a bit differently on Mother’s Day. (Sometimes flowers, sometimes a hug, etc.) I don’t really expect gifts, but FFS…a little word of encouragement on this ONE day would be great. Like, “Hey, Mom/wife…I know I’m an ass a lot, but you’re a great mom/wife. Thank you for everything.”
I even went so far as to get a super unique gift for my MIL. I was unable to go to the MIL breakfast, since I had to drive a way to see my grandmother. So, I gave the card, with the unique gift inside, to my hubby.
Gee, wife/mother of my son…thanks for also taking care of MY mother. Even though she’s not your mom.
Pity party in full force, y’all.
Oh ouch, Mere…I feel you there. Seriously, those are some legit grumbles. I think I’d have to sit that one down and give a big piece of my mind…Before buying myself something really special for mother’s day. I pray that you are truly strong enough to handle it and communicate needs and wants all year long. Every relationship is different, but I hope you are treated well int eh big picture. Much love from me to you–and I know you deserve it. (And God loves you very much, never forget. :))
I too came across this on google while trying to figure out if I am out of line for feeling this way. I am 6 months pregnant with my husband’s first child. I have a 6 year old from a previous marriage. I have what I would just summarize as “mommy issues”. We don’t get along 100%, shes rude and mean and pulls the whole “You’re not MY mother” thing as well, so she doesn’t ever really acknowledge my sister or I. So it’s basically left up to my husband to make me “feel special”. *I have to say, my husband is an amazing guy. I would pick him 1,000 times over. He said Happy Mothers day as soon as we woke up, but there was no gifts, no flowers, nothing waiting for me. No breakfast. No lunch plans. I toiled over a gift for my own mother and we visited her and I took her gifts over there. We went home, I took a nap because at 6mos pregnant, I am exhausted by midday, lol. He did let me sleep but he went and took a nap himself, too with my son in another room. I cooked dinner like normal, did dishes 4 or 5 times and then I broke down in tears. I told him I just wanted to be acknowledged. I made it more sound like I was upset about my mom. He left and came back with a card, a dozen roses and a bag of airheads (my most recent craving). He filled the card out right in front of me. SERIOUSLY? You didn’t think of any of this before I started crying? I’ve sent him links to stuff on Etsy that I want lately. I really want a Mala bead necklace, and I LOVE yankee candles. He could have done SOMETHING. But it’s like he waited for me to be in tears to kick it into gear. What the hell? And I’m pregnant with your first child here. I feel like I wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t worth the thought. You know mother’s day is coming up- why do you wait until the day of to go get a card? I go out of my way to make birthdays special and I had big plans for fathers day this year since I am pregnant. Now I feel like I don’t want to do any of it. Or should I still do it and make an example out of it? I don’t know, but I feel super resentful now. I feel sad. I feel disappointed. I feel like it’s my fault. Like I wasn’t good enough for him to acknowledge. I am not all about Valentines day, or sweetest day. I do- however- think Mother’s day is a holiday that needs celebrated. I have a Pandora bracelet and he always forgets I do, so I never get any charms for it. I feel like he would make fun of someone else for not going all out for their wife, but here he is doing it. I don’t know how to deal with this and not make it seem like I’m sitting here screaming “GET ME PRESENTS”. But jesus! I do want a present! I want you to hug me and tell me you love me and that I AM A GOOD MOM! Take me to eat so I don’t have to cook. Take me for a walk in the park and hold my damn hand! Give me a card that you took time to write something thoughtful in! Don’t just do stuff for me AFTER I cry, or don’t just do stuff because I told you that you should! Do it on your own! I want him to want to do it!
Katie–I hear you I hear you…You are not alone. Those feelings are super normal (I’ve had many of them myself.) I think as women we so easily attach OUR thoughts to our husband’s actions. For example, if he loves me, he would THINK of this and that and the other…Over time I learned that those are things I might attach with love but my husband doesn’t at all. His lack of thoughtfulness or consideration in those particular moments is not a reflection of a lack of love at all like it seems to me Instead, they are just highlighting his lazy/selfish side (also bad, but very different from a lack of love.) So yes he (husbands in general) are wrong for blowing it on Mother’s day, but we cannot assume it reflects their love or lack of love for us. Their love is expressed in very different ways, and often times quietly.
SO: Yes, your feelings are valid, but next year (next holiday, etc) you need to follow these suggestions ahead of time. YOU need to sit your husband down and communicate clearly what Mother’s Day means to YOU and how you plan to celebrate it. Let him know what would speak to your heart and give him time to fulfill that. If he doesn’t, you still need a plan for how to have a wonderful day. Tell him you will NOT be making dinner, so he can plan to cook or get takeout or take you out. Then don’t cook! 🙂 You might spend the day out doing something you enjoy, or with a friend. but don’t allow yourself to get stuck doing the normal things and bitter about it.
Hold loosely to your emotional expectations but still make sure you take care of yourself.
ALSO: It’s took my husband about fifteen mother’s days before things got easier. Men take time. It’s ok. Hang in there. Keep communicating. And be healthy/unemotional about it. That usually works best. 🙂 Hope something in there helps…
Keep me posted!
Yes, THIS!!!!! To infinity and beyond!!!!!!
Thanks, Monica…I think a sit down is in order, for sure! <3
I wish I had read this before Mother’s Day and not AFTER. It would have saved me so much grief today. Thank you for sharing, for being so candid, and offering perspective. Your post has liberated me from setting up false expectations about this day. Mother’s Day do not shield us from the tantrums, forgetfulness, etc., but I am blessed that I have a wonderful husband and 2 amazing kids that I can still call my own.
So glad Esther–And I wish you a happy Mother’s Day all week long…(Find ways to treat yourself!) Blessings and thank you for commenting! aloha-
I lost my son nearly 4 years ago to suicide after retiring from a 20 year hitch in the Army. He was my sensitive child who always was so thoughtful throughout the year. My eldest son, caters to his wife, as they make the rounds to her parents …I may get a phone call the evening of…but I no longer wait for a phone call. I rarely expect him to call as we have not been close since he married 21 years ago. i feel we are like strangers and the phone calls are just too generic. so sad, as I sit alone without family in my life or friends to distract me on this day. I pray you all have a blessed mother’s day, any way you can make it happen. . .i didn’t have a good mom yet i always respected her and acknowledged her.
Oh I am so sorry Kathlene. I pray that you know that your mothering of your kids had great value, and even if you do not feel a reward now that you would hear God’s whisper telling you your value. I’m sure it is hard, but I hope you can find joy in your day too. Much love–
Enjoy these precious kids we get to call ours. No expectations guarantee no disappointment.
Loved reading this post. We are so on the same wavelength with this. It happens to be my 16th Mother’s Day as well and I decide to be pro-active this year. I’m getting all my errands and chores done today so that tomorrow I can be totally lazy. My husband and middle daughter are away for the weekend and won’t be home til later in the day but I’ll make sure there are things in the house that he can cook for me and for a change I’ll make the kids clean up the kitchen afterwards. 🙂
Good for you! Have a great day Susi!! Much aloha-
Thanks for the post, this was awesome to read. I have three very small children and our evenings and weekends go by all too quickly. My kids are too small to plan anything (3 years old and 2 one year olds) so I expect my husband to but he (doesn’t) forgets or gets too tired (he does work a labourous job but cmon…). Good to know I’m not the only one who feels I have to plan for myself. It just sucks because I have to plan for myself EVERY DAY! Ce la vie.
Happy Mother’s Day ❤️
Monica, I have been following you for some time and turned a soul sista, Amy, onto you who also has four boys. Despite that Amy and I are in different cities, we have chatted several times regarding your posts. I don’t think that there are a lot out there like you, Amy or me. We get you and appreciate you.
The Mother’s Day post moved me to reach out to you for the first time. I just kept reading it and nodding my head “yes”.
Thank you for sharing. It was right on in regards to my feelings. I have a daughter about to graduate high school and a son entering high school. Oh, they were both homeschooled prior to entering the system;)
I just want the family to all to hang out together. Grill, laugh, be goofy and swat a birdie around with a badminton racket, kick a soccer ball or play corn hole (hate that name).
We are not “common mothers” and have taken the higher and more difficult road. I can type that proudly. When mother’s compare their parenting style to mine regarding cloth diapering, family bed, extended breastfeeding, slinging, they defend themselves by saying “my children turned out okay”. I look them in the eye and say, “I wanted better than okay.”
Well Gena–So glad you meet you! 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment, and I just love to think you and Amy have chatted over my posts. One day I hope to meet both of you! 🙂
I hope that Mother’s Day is everything you want it to be, and I commend you on your “uncommon” parenting…Love your heart! Keep in touch, k? 🙂 Aloha-
Exciting planning for college. We just decided on the college for my oldest son. – Point Loma was one he got accepted, but priced a little too steep for us 🙁 what does your son want to study?
Is he the musical one? I have a good suggestion if it is 🙂
Hey Julie, it’s a crazy time, right? My son has so many interests, he really isn’t sure yet. He does play piano, but unlikely that would be his major. I’d love to hear where your son is planning to go, and what your suggestion is for my boy! 🙂 Aloha-
Congratulations to you and LUKE! That’s so awesome. Also, have fun on the college search trip, I actually miss those, now that we are empty nesters. We did do the 8 colleges/universities in 7 day trip on the East Coast not too long ago, and while hectic, it was a great way to have one on one time with each child before they headed off on their own. It happens so quickly. Now, I’m just happy when they remember MOther’s day either by a call or card! 🙂
Good luck in Hollywood! You’ll do great! Kate Hudson has nothing on you!
Wise words, indeed! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for this post and for keeping things in perspective for me. I enjoy your reading your blog so much. Thank you for sharing you life with us. Happy Mother’s Day!
Thank you Sarah! That means so much to me! Thank you for taking the time to comment. And big Happy Mother’s Day to you, too! 🙂 Aloha-
Haha, so much truth! Great post.
Congrats on going to Hollywood! My friend, Tricia Goyer, knows the Lias. She has met with them several times about some of her books becoming movies (exciting!) and she says they are great. I know you’ll have a fantastic time and you’ll just love them!!😊
Thank you Rebecca! Yes, I know Tricia (like, know her online only, and from reading her books:)) and she is great! The Lias are amazing–It’s going to be fun to connect! Aloha-
Holy Bananas, HOLLYWOOD!!!!!!!!!!! Look out, this is the big time. I suggest you wear whatever makes you feel beautiful and most like “you”. Think either date night or girls night out. Don’t forget to choose something that has a North Shore vibe. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Haha…Thank you Shannon. Funny, right? 🙂 I found an outfit that feels very “me” yesterday so I’m breathing a bit easier now. All good. North Shore vibe will come in the form of my favorite sea glass jewelry, and bright colors! 😉 Much Aloha to you sweet friend! xo
Great advice for birthdays too!
I totally agree!! 🙂 Thanks for mentioning!
Thank you so much for this! I have a nearly 4 year old and an 8 month old, and I have yet to celebrate my own Mother’s Day. Every year, the kids and I travel to spend time with my mother and younger sister (whose birthday is close to — and sometimes falls on — Mother’s Day), leaving my husband to enjoy the solitude I might have requested for Mother’s Day. Never had the thought of a “rain check” crossed my mind! Thank you for the inspiration 🙂
Thank you for bringing up SUCH an important topic. There is such a balance needed of taking time out of our busy schedules to recognize and honor special people in our lives, and Mother’s Day is a great opportunity for that. But the expectations have become so high that I think it overwhelms men, in general. Now, on a personal note, the first 10 or so Mother’s Days of me being a mom are bad memories. Here was the worst of them all: I had just given birth to our third son 2 weeks before Mother’s Day. My husband had never really had an interest in celebrating the holiday, saying I was acting like a “spoiled little girl” for wanting him to do something. Anyway, I thought by now, after celebrating the birth of our third beautiful son, my husband would have become more appreciative of my efforts as a mom. But on that Sunday morning, he just sat in front of the t.v. screen with our other two boys, and even with Mothers Day commercials on, he never even said “Happy Mother’s Day”. I was hormonal AND hurt. I went into my room and cried. I was also having some pain from an episiotomy so I put a message into my dr. and he called me back, saying he’d prescribe some better stuff for me right away. Then, as we said goodbyes, the dr. gently and tenderly said, “Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day!” I hung up and REALLY lost it cuz it just made me feel less alone and forgotten. Well, later that day, I shared my feelings with my husband, with tears attached. I told him I would be so happy if we could just go buy a new plant. He took me, after making me feel guilty for wanting to spend money! Ugh! That was the worst Mother’s Day of my life. Since then, things have improved slightly. Funny how God will often use children to teach adults life lessons. As my boys have gotten older, they’ve been asking dad what he is going to do for Mother’s Day and with a little push from them, my husband has been getting better. He is not the most sensitive husband but is a wonderful dad. I told him I’d be happy every year if I got nothing but time away from the house as a family. I honestly meant that and he has been willing to do that a few times now and I just love it. Moms – if you feel unloved at home, especially at holidays like these – know that God sees and you can pour out your heart to Him and He will tenderly care for you in these times – for me, it was through my doctor and children that God spoke His love to me.
Oh Sheri, that was rather painful to read…:/ but thank you so much for sharing! (God can use your story for sure!) So much of our life is a matter of perspective. You have been wise and patient and I’m sure the best days are yet to come!! Much aloha to you, and I hope you’ll stick around and make yourself at home here!
This is exactly what I needed as we head into Mother’s Day. My amazing husband of 20 years works extremely hard for our family, & unfortunately, that includes all weekends, making these types of holidays difficult. My kids who are 15 & 19 have been going through a very long all-about-me phase and I always end up feeling that much more unappreciated when Mother’s Day rolls around, considering how much I do for them on a DAILY basis. All I really want is to feel loved & appreciated, if not on random days here & there, then definitely on Mother’s Day. An ideal day would be a breakfast plus coffee made by the kids, a nice heartfelt note from each, chores done without being told, maybe even doing a little extra, a hug, playing a board game together, & ZERO ATTITUDE. No flowers, candy or jewelry needed.
This post got me thinking. Maybe I will explain to my husband that this is what I want so he can spell it out for the kids. And perhaps we can celebrate a few days early when we’re all together.
Thank you for this very timely post. ☺️
So glad, Lynn! Thank you for commenting. I’m with you…weekends aren’t the same when your husband works! We’re doing a Saturday night out this year. Hope you have a great week/day/year and take good care of yourself!! 🙂
Wow, I could have typed this myself. All the things you listed sound wonderful!
Fantastic article! My friend, every year asks me what I told my family what I want for Mother’s Day. And every year I tell her I’ve asked for nothing! It’s a made up holiday….my kids and husband treat me well most days and help me when I need it or ask for it…whether it’s housework or time for my scrapbooking or some extra hugs and kisses. However on this Mother’s Day, it’s Sunday and that is always laundry day. I get to NOT do laundry or cook or clean…and I feel fine scrapbooking or watching tv while everyone else is doing something!
This is great advice! I remember venting to you several years ago about a crappy day and you gave me some of the best advice: To voice my expectations of the day to my husband. Its worked out great! Things don’t always go as planned but then you can celebrate another day. Thank you for that wisdom. 🙂
Thank you for this! I really thought I’m the only one to feel this way! And have spent some Mothersdays resentful and jealous of friends’ FB posts! Thanks for your openness. It means so much to hear your message. It’s reminding me to be content, enjoy the family God has blessed me with and to take time spent with them (and duties I still have to do) as a blessing. …rather than resenting the husband for not reading my mind on what I really want!
Great article!! Totally agreed with your ideas. I’m disappointed because my boys 12 and 15 didn’t do anything except wish me a happy Mother’s Day. Their dad told them several times to make me a card. My favorite thing. Still they didn’t do it. it just feels like I’m taken for granted. The boys mean THE WORLD to me and I couldn’t love them anymore than I already do. Is it wrong that I just want to feel cared for and appreciated? ? I don’t know. Maybe next year… LOVE being a Mom though!!!!
Thanks for commenting…Maybe next year suggest that Dad sits down with them to help…Until they’re a bit older, it may be a bit much to put on them? (I mean, it’s totally do-able, but I still think dad could help make it happen.) Just a thought 🙂 So sweet that you love them so much and you can keep perspective, but I would love to see them rise up and bless you in return!! xo aloha-
you nailed it !! thanks for sharing your perspective. I totally was on the same wave with you 🙂
Yes, God is so good in giving us healthy boys to raise (we must meet sometime – i think we have so much in common)
Bless you for your wise words of encouragement!
Yep, this is me! It wasn’t the worst day but having chatted with my kids (6, 4 & 2) I realized they didn’t really know what the day was about. And that was really more about how we as a family treat some of these celebrations (I’m very anti-consumerism so can sometimes miss the point). I decided if I wanted to have more of a fanfare about Mothers Day (and when I say fanfare I just mean a little bit of appreciation for what I do), I probably should be doing it for Fathers Day and show them what I do for my mother and for other celebrations as well. And the main message was that we as a family probably need to spend more time showing our gratitude to others and perhaps we weren’t. Good lesson in the end. xx
Thanks, I needed this. My MD did NOT go as I would have liked. But your last point really nailed it.
Thank you. I cannot believe I actually found the supportive words I was needing today. Mother’s Day is hard. I have to run a constant dialog in my head that this is just another day and that my expectations must be too high. I think I’ll read the blog again, and then maybe a third time!
I defintely needed to hear exactly this today. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Lovely post, thanks for the reminder at the end too…so many people struggling with heart-ache and it reminds me that I need to keep perspective. However, I can relate to EVERYTHING you said above 🙂
I think this is the first time I have ever heard something that makes since regarding Mother’s Day. Yes I want to spend time with my family, but I don’t expect to spend a lot of money( I,m unemployed) however a massage, pedicure, manicure, facial can all be done at home by your kids, husband, ect. All for free. No excuses!!!!!
When I am asked “What do you want to do on Mother’s Day (or birthday)? I don’t want to have to plan anything! That’s what I want! Plan something! Be creative! If I have to do the work to plan it, then it’s not a holiday for me!
I know what you mean…So then, you just tell your guy (or kids) in advance: Please begin making a plan so that I don’t have to! IT might take checking in a few times, but if they know that their job is to make a plan (and any plan will do!) then you’ll be much more likely to get your wish! Hope things go great this year! 🙂 Aloha-
This was SO ME! My husband only considered Mother’s Day as a day to thank HIS mom, not the mother of his children. Now, as a single mama, the expectations really do have to be nil, nyet, nada, because my kids have no money, no transportation, and their father has no desire to help them show their appreciation. But they feel really guilty about it. I’ve had to really learn to temper my disappointment and know that I don’t need flowers and me-time to know that I’m doing the best I can to raise these boys. (I have plenty of gray hair– it’s proof enough!) And I know that one day down the road they’ll appreciate what I’ve sacrificed to give them the best of everything. And at that point, there had better be pedicures and chocolate. 😉
I seriously needed to read this right at this moment. I was just starting to slip into the self-pity mode. Thanks for pulling me back into reality and reminding me of what’s truly important on Mother’s Day.
What about the in-laws who inform you that they are showing up for my first official Mother’s Day weekend and week after? They’re live a 2-1/2 hour flight away.
You tell them, I’m so sorry but we have plans this weekend. We would love to see you on Monday though! I was a mom and wife at 18 and never stood up to my in laws. I’ve learned that it’s ok to have boundaries with them, and its ok to tell them no. Please don’t wait 15 years like i did to learn this.
My husband was raised with 2 much older sisters, so I’m sure these types of holidays when he was growing up was always handled by them and he probably just had to sign the card (if that). So…I had to retrain him. But it took a few years to figure this out…
After spending my first few Mothers Day’s in tears, by myself with my kids, and angry at my husband for not knowing how important this day was to me, I finally just told him (at a different time of year) – Although I take pride in not being a ‘Princess’, It does hurt my feelings when I don’t feel an effort was put into this day. I told him I didn’t expect fancy gifts or overpriced flowers, but I did expect that he coach and help our boys to do something,…ANYTHING that involved a bit of effort, and not the morning of! A homemade card, brunch, or a potted plant for the garden,….anything so that they understand the importance of appreciating all that I do (and dad on fathers day) and so that one day they will do the same for their own wife/mother.
This year I did exactly one of your suggestions – I wanted a special brunch at a special location, so I told my husband and made the reservation myself. I then left it up to him to tell the boys, but that it was a ‘secret’ so at least they feel it’s a surprise for me and planned by them. There is no way my husband would have been able to guess that is what I wanted unless I asked/(told) him. My Mothers Days are now perfect.
You just validated all the feelings I feel so guilty about!…. Thx
Loved every sentence. Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!!!
I started to write something so similar last night but it didn’t come out as eloquently as yours. I feel the same & have to talk myself out of high expectations every year. Thankyou for writing this!!!
Mother’s Day is a difficult holiday. I lost my mom 21 years ago. I have a stepson that doesn’t live with me and my husband doesn’t want more kids. My husband hasn’t figured out that a part time stepmom should be honored. I’m going to have to just be honest with him, like you are with your husband regarding expectations.
Your article was very thoughtful. Thanks for sharing.
yes, Nicole, these men [majority] do not have ‘mom’ related on their radars.. Explain to him one time only what your expectations and thoughts are… After that, devise ways to make yourself happy on mothers day…and treat yourself accordingly, especially after your step-son visits…
LOVE your perspective, Monica, and love your perfume story.
I did something similar this year for my birthday, which was 2 days before Mother’s Day. I bought these cheap earrings and ring that I’d been eyeing for a while, and the night before my birthday, I gave them to my husband saying, “I bet this is something I might really love for my birthday.”
He then wrapped it with my baby and produced it the next morning. And guess what? I love my present. Just what I’d always wanted.
Love your other tips, too.
So true! After years of our hubby’s not doing anything for us (well except my little brother he is a sweet heart of a husband thanks to the coaching of his awesome older sisters hee hee hee) A few years ago my Mom, sister and 2 sister in laws decided we would go out for brunch and putzing around cute shops and leave the boys with the kids. We have had a great day ever since! This year my daring husband volunteers to be a counselor at a church teens retreat… I was like that is so great that you are doing that… good thing I already have plans or I would a bit upset but feel guilty because he is at a church retreat for teens!!! So I so identify with this!!!
Ok, now that’s just brilliant! What a win-win. Keep it up and thanks for commenting. Aloha!
Happy Mothers Day to YOU Monica! Thank you for being such an amazing role model to us all.
You have no idea how happy I was to learn that I’m not the only one in a house full of boys that may be disappointed on Mothers Day year after year… I’m definitely going to take a few of these ideas and make it a happy day for myself no matter what. Grateful!
Thank you Jana! So nice. I do wish you the best every Mom’s day! Much Aloha–
This article is SPOT on! Thank you so much! I caught myself getting teary-eyed yesterday because it’s also my birthday weekend and my amazing husband wanted to plan something for me but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do this weekend. So he didn’t really plan anything. By the time I realized that what I really wanted was for him to take the iniative and plan something… anything (I truly don’t care what) … So that I didn’t have to do the planning for once – it was kind of too late. Plus my friend just lost her only daughter last week so I was feeling super guilty for wanting anything at all! I have all I need with my healthy children and awesome hubby. This article definitely validated my feelings but reminded me that he treats me well pretty much every day of the year. So, what if I have to call the restaurant to make the reservation.? No big deal. It’s all about attitude. I’m going to enjoy whatever we do on Sunday even if it is a little laundry! (And next year… I know what to tell him when he asks!:)
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!
Monica, you totally hit the nail on the head. This happens to me every year! Great advice, as always!
thank you so much. i hope you end up with an awesome day and a contented heart! 🙂 Aloha-
This is fabulous. I think as women we feel a lot of guilt when it comes to being assertive about what we want/need, but we’re getting better at asking for what we truly want – this post helps!
I love your last bit on perspective! Isn’t that the truth. Blessings are all around us…This year, l will certainly try my best to give and send extra love to moms who seem to have a heavier load to carry.
You are such a mom after my own heart, Monica! I absolutely used to make myself miserable with expectations. I grew up with a Mom who celebrated everything and a Dad who was a romantic and made sure she got gifts and we did nice things. I now have a husband who did not grow up that way at all and two sweet boys. I finally decided to adjust my expectations… a lot! And it has helped so much. I flat out told my husband that I didn’t need expensive stuff, but I needed him to take the lead in teaching the boys that this is important and will be to future wives, so listen up! They always make me awesome creative cards. I just want them to think ahead. I love the idea of taking a rain check too. We have both moms in town with us, so we usually focus on them. Hope you have a wonderful one hugging those boys and remembering God’s greatest gifts!
First off…Happy Mother’s Day!
I’m slightly bummed because I’m on a liquid diet, so I can’t have amazing food & hubby ‘s working on Sunday. He DID say he was taking my son to work with him, which is a huge load of stress off of me.(he’s a very large handful) 😉
So atleast I’ll have a less stressful day. 🙂
So thankful for that.
Enjoy your day!!!!
Eat something yummy for me! <3
So true…loved this post and totally identified with it! I am a single Mom and some Mother’s days it is my own expectations that trip me up…. It is also often my birthday on or just after Mother’s day, so my two boys (10 and 13)figure that they only need to do something about one of the two! Their Dad (who is wealthy beyond measure) refuses to assist them with Mother’s Day or my birthday, and they feel frustrated because they don’t have much money… But I usually give them some money and encourage them to make a card and they always come up with amazing gems… This year I am turning 50 two days after Mother’s day – and like you – I got proactive and saw a lovely watch and bought it and said that they can contribute to it, which they were delighted with. 🙂 Win-win! Also trying to shift my perspective and be grateful for the many blessings of health, family and friends in life here in South Africa!! Because my boys are my biggest blessing and gift from God, and although us Mom’s do like to be appreciated and spoiled – the mere fact that we have happy, healthy children is a precious gift!
I don’t expect a lot but at least like to go to church with my husband and son. A few years now my husband goes to church with his mother not attending church with us or visiting with my mother. He works from home and sees his mother almost every day. With my schedule I can barely squeeze in time to see my mom once a week. I just want my whole family together for a couple of hours. One would think his mother would push for him to be at church with his immediate family.