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TheAttachedMama

Mother's Day Disapointment

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Anyone else suffering from Mother's Day disappointment?   I feel silly and selfish even expecting anything special for some made-up holiday    Every year I try NOT to expect anything.  But our culture puts so much pressure on the day.   Today I keep breaking out in tears which makes me feel even more silly.   Anyone else feel this way?   If so, know that you are not alone.   

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Hugs!

No one did anything for me, but they knew that was okay. I’ve certainly had that deeply disappointed feeling other important days.

Have you spoken up about what you need for Mother’s Day?

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Disappointed here too. Not sure how my dh nor my kids can't get it. Just want something organized - like a meal. Next year I will plan the day myself for my mom and I, maybe invite my kids. But dh can't do it. He doesn't get it at all. 

 

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I grew up watching & hearing my mother complain about Mother's Day. Nothing we did was ever good enough. So, I decided I wouldn't make a big deal out of Mother's Day. No expectations. We always have a quiet day. Sometimes I get a surprise, sometimes I don't. I really don't care, though.

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Oh, yea.   I spoke up.  

I spent all morning leading the younger kids in our church in making gifts for their own mamas.   (My youngest son was in the group.  So I essentially helped him make my one and only gift for mother's day.)   I had to go out and buy all of the supplies and come up with a homemade present.  Which is fine.   I was honestly glad that I could help make the day special for these other mamas.   

Then I came home and had to help all of my kids make a present for my mama.  Then I took her out.   (And that is always an emotionally draining task for me because my mom has a pretty severe traumatic brain injury.)   So now I am exhausted from that experience.....

Then, DH told me to help the kids make cards for his mama.  Which I started to do....but then realized that he was outside playing fetch with the dog while I was in leading our kids in yet another craft project.  (Which I had been doing all morning....you know?)   So I spoke up and told him that it would be nice if HE helped make the card for his own mama.  Especially since this was now the third time I helped the kids make someone else a homemade present on mother's day.   He eventually came in but acted all shocked like he didn't realize that I might want his help with making HIS mama a present.    After that,  we went and visited his mom all day.   Which is nice and something that we should have done.    Again, I still was not feeling angry/sad.

Then, I came home and DH made a box of Kraft mac and cheese which I ate on a paper plate.   I know I should be thankful for him doing this.   It was something... I am trying really hard to look at the thought behind the box of Kraft mac and cheese.   The kids fought all evening while he napped on the couch and I had to deal with getting them to stop fighting.  Again, I still wasn't upset or feeling neglected.    I am a mom and don't expect that I get out of "mothering" for the entire day.  

After dinner, I had to get all of the kids into bed while he disappeared and took a shower.   (And my kids do NOT go to bed easily.  So the whole process takes forever.)  I think this was the straw that finally broke the camel's back.  When he got out of the shower, I told him that it might have been nice if he would have helped out with bedtime instead of just taking a really long shower--- It was mother's day after all.       And he goes, "Well, I already thought I gave you a really nice day."   And I was kind of like, "What?"  I am not sure where this disconnect was.   It was at that point that I got sort of sad. 

What exactly had been done for me this day?    There was no card.   No last minute grocery store flowers like the other husbands who have forgotten the day might buy.  No breakfast or lunch.  No act of service or doing anything for me.   (Except for making a box of mac and cheese.)   It really made me feel unappreciated...and angry at him.  Which is silly because it is mother's day...not wife appreciation day.   But the kids won't know to do anything for their mom unless someone sort of tells them.  Right?  

I am trying hard today to forgive him, and just move on.    I *know* it is some silly holiday.   And I know that I shouldn't be feeling upset.   But I really am angry.   

The house is currently TRASHED from the kids and him yesterday.   (I didn't do all of the laundry and tidying and dishes that I normally do....and no one else did anything either.)   Today I planned on deep cleaning and getting everything put right.  (I have an entire DAYS worth of laundry.)   But at this point, I feel so unappreciated that I am having trouble mustering the energy to do all of this catch-up cleaning.   

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Just now, TechWife said:

I grew up watching & hearing my mother complain about Mother's Day. Nothing we did was ever good enough. So, I decided I wouldn't make a big deal out of Mother's Day. No expectations. We always have a quiet day. Sometimes I get a surprise, sometimes I don't. I really don't care, though.

 

Yes, I think I am going to try very hard to move towards that mindset.   I don't want my kids to feel this way!   You know?   

So I am going to try VERY hard to go into the day without any expectations.   I think that would make everyone happier.    Why put so much pressure on my husband and kids?   Again, that is why I feel so silly for being upset.   

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Well, early on in my marriage I grew weary of the expectation/disappointment cycle that holidays and such brought. I plan my own gifts/celebrations now. I don't enjoy them any less, and I'm not bitter at the end of the day. 😉

This year, I informed DH that he & the girls were taking me to the Cheesecake Factory and Barnes & Noble for Mother's Day. Plus, I ordered myself some things I wanted from Amazon, no guilt. And it was great.

ETA: I will say, my kids are older (tweens) and don't require the constant care and attention that younger kids require. Were I "in the trenches," I'd be p!ssed if DH didn't step up and help with the normal, daily tasks like bathing and such. 

Edited by alisoncooks
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15 minutes ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Oh, yea.   I spoke up.  

I spent all morning leading the younger kids in our church in making gifts for their own mamas.   (My youngest son was in the group.  So I essentially helped him make my one and only gift for mother's day.)   I had to go out and buy all of the supplies and come up with a homemade present.  Which is fine.   I was honestly glad that I could help make the day special for these other mamas.   

Then I came home and had to help all of my kids make a present for my mama.  Then I took her out.   (And that is always an emotionally draining task for me because my mom has a pretty severe traumatic brain injury.)   So now I am exhausted from that experience.....

Then, DH told me to help the kids make cards for his mama.  Which I started to do....but then realized that he was outside playing fetch with the dog while I was in leading our kids in yet another craft project.  (Which I had been doing all morning....you know?)   So I spoke up and told him that it would be nice if HE helped make the card for his own mama.  Especially since this was now the third time I helped the kids make someone else a homemade present on mother's day.   He eventually came in but acted all shocked like he didn't realize that I might want his help with making HIS mama a present.    After that,  we went and visited his mom all day.   Which is nice and something that we should have done.    Again, I still was not feeling angry/sad.

Then, I came home and DH made a box of Kraft mac and cheese which I ate on a paper plate.   I know I should be thankful for him doing this.   It was something... I am trying really hard to look at the thought behind the box of Kraft mac and cheese.   The kids fought all evening while he napped on the couch and I had to deal with getting them to stop fighting.  Again, I still wasn't upset or feeling neglected.    I am a mom and don't expect that I get out of "mothering" for the entire day.  

After dinner, I had to get all of the kids into bed while he disappeared and took a shower.   (And my kids do NOT go to bed easily.  So the whole process takes forever.)  I think this was the straw that finally broke the camel's back.  When he got out of the shower, I told him that it might have been nice if he would have helped out with bedtime instead of just taking a really long shower--- It was mother's day after all.       And he goes, "Well, I already thought I gave you a really nice day."   And I was kind of like, "What?"  I am not sure where this disconnect was.   It was at that point that I got sort of sad. 

What exactly had been done for me this day?    There was no card.   No last minute grocery store flowers like the other husbands who have forgotten the day might buy.  No breakfast or lunch.  No act of service or doing anything for me.   (Except for making a box of mac and cheese.)   It really made me feel unappreciated...and angry at him.  Which is silly because it is mother's day...not wife appreciation day.   But the kids won't know to do anything for their mom unless someone sort of tells them.  Right?  

I am trying hard today to forgive him, and just move on.    I *know* it is some silly holiday.   And I know that I shouldn't be feeling upset.   But I really am angry.   

The house is currently TRASHED from the kids and him yesterday.   (I didn't do all of the laundry and tidying and dishes that I normally do....and no one else did anything either.)   Today I planned on deep cleaning and getting everything put right.  (I have an entire DAYS worth of laundry.)   But at this point, I feel so unappreciated that I am having trouble mustering the energy to do all of this catch-up cleaning.   

To be honest I think often the trouble with Mother’s Day is it makes us mums realise just how much we do and put up with all the other days.  I’m sorry yours was bad this year and hope you have some little joys today or tomorrow to make things a bit brighter.

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18 minutes ago, TheAttachedMama said:

And he goes, "Well, I already thought I gave you a really nice day.

I think I'd be tempted to walk him through the day, from your perspective, like you did in this post-- not right now, but once you can do it without being upset. I'd try to make the conversation about communicating, not complaining.

It sounds crystal clear to me why you were upset, but evidently he didn't get how the whole day felt to you. Just as a basis for communication and understanding, I think he needs to know how much effort and stress went into the things you had to do all day, and how you'd envision an ideal day.

You could also ask about Father's Day, since it's on the horizon now. How would be like that to go? What has been his hope vs. expectation vs. reality?

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Agree with the above. Some husbands will never get it right, no matter how they try (or don't, in our view). They need to be told our expectations, explicitly, beforehand. So: I would like a nice meal that I don't cook or clean up after...or:  I would like you to buy me chocolates that I eat (alone) while you bathe the kids and put them to bed. 

In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to do this. 

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32 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

Well, early on in my marriage I grew weary of the expectation/disappointment cycle that holidays and such brought. I plan my own gifts/celebrations now. I don't enjoy them any less, and I'm not bitter at the end of the day. 😉

This year, I informed DH that he & the girls were taking me to the Cheesecake Factory and Barnes & Noble for Mother's Day. Plus, I ordered myself some things I wanted from Amazon, no guilt. And it was great.

ETA: I will say, my kids are older (tweens) and don't require the constant care and attention that younger kids require. Were I "in the trenches," I'd be p!ssed if DH didn't step up and help with the normal, daily tasks like bathing and such. 

This is my approach. My birthday is also in May, and what I love to do in May is plant stuff in my garden. Every year I treat myself to a trip to my favorite garden center and come home with growing things that make me happy.

All I expect from my husband is that he not complain about money spent and that he smile and say something along the lines of "oh, that's nice!" if I show him my plants.

I got homemade cards and brownies from my kids yesterday--and a whole pile of "presents" from my four year old--random items she found around the house and painted with a kids' watercolor palette 😄

I know it hurts when you are always but always the one giving and giving and giving. It shouldn't be that way, you totally deserve to be treated like a queen by your family on at least one day out of the year! I think you are wise though to try to reset your expectations to be in line with reality since your Dh just isn't getting the picture.

Then figure out what you can do to treat yourself to a special day. Maybe pick the Saturday before mother's day and do your celebration early so you don't feel so left out if Mother's day ends up being more about your Mother in Law etc.

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Just now, alisoncooks said:

Agree with the above. Some husbands will never get it right, no matter how they try (or don't, in our view). They need to be told our expectations, explicitly, beforehand. So: I would like a nice meal that I don't cook or clean up after...or:  I would like you to buy me chocolates that I eat (alone) while you bathe the kids and put them to bed. 

In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to do this. 

 

Yes, I don't mind doing that.   What I think made me most mad is when he said, "I already thought I'd given you a pretty nice day."    It was after he uttered that phrase that I had to hold in tears all night.

I *thought* I had gone into the day with pretty low expectations.   I was NOT expecting breakfast in bed or a gift or going out to eat or anything.     But the fact that he wasn't even aware of how little was done for me is what makes me so angry/sad.    I've spent all morning trying to see things from his perspective.   Did he do something that I didn't noice?   From my perspective, he was the one who got a nap and a long shower and time outside.    

Also, dont' even get me started with Father's Day.   Father's day will mean a thoughtful gift and then him disappearing all day to golf or do something for himself.   Things are not equal and never will be equal (not just for me...I think for most mothers!).   It is totally not fair, but perhaps that is life.   

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Agree with the above.  And I have felt that over the years that my kids have grown from toddlers to tweens that my husband's amount of effort towards them hasn't changed, while mine has gotten significantly easier.  So Mother's Day WAS a lot more important when the kids were younger.  The job was much harder! So having a day like that would have definitely sent me over the edge.

This Mother's Day I didn't get a thing, but we were coming off of two kids sick (one almost recovered, one on his first day of fever), dog limping around, big weekend with my son's play that he was in, and I got bitten by a copperhead and was recovering! (Thankfully).  Oh and my husband had put off all his writing for his class til that day because he had to do all the running around of kids that weekend since my foot was swollen!  We were just happy to all be alive!

But my kids are 13 and one called from college, so very different. We sat on the couch and watched the 2nd season of Dragon Prince and called it a day. 

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I don’t celebrate MD, so there is that,  it I just wanted to say I am sorry it made you sad.

i think if I were you I would sift through and past the commercialized holidays and see if I am really happy or unhappy with my day to day life and with my husband and children’s contributions to the family and their level of care and concern for me. Whew.  Sorry for that run on sentence.  

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3 minutes ago, SanDiegoMom in VA said:

Agree with the above.  And I have felt that over the years that my kids have grown from toddlers to tweens that my husband's amount of effort towards them hasn't changed, while mine has gotten significantly easier.  So Mother's Day WAS a lot more important when the kids were younger.  The job was much harder! So having a day like that would have definitely sent me over the edge.

YES!  I think you are right.   Even now I feel the same.  I remember when my kids were all babies and I wasn't getting any sleep.   Just being able to sleep in one day was SUCH a gift.   Even now, my youngest is 5 and the workload has gotten easier.   

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4 minutes ago, TheAttachedMama said:

 

Yes, I don't mind doing that.   What I think made me most mad is when he said, "I already thought I'd given you a pretty nice day."    It was after he uttered that phrase that I had to hold in tears all night.

I *thought* I had gone into the day with pretty low expectations.   I was NOT expecting breakfast in bed or a gift or going out to eat or anything.     But the fact that he wasn't even aware of how little was done for me is what makes me so angry/sad.    I've spent all morning trying to see things from his perspective.   Did he do something that I didn't noice?   From my perspective, he was the one who got a nap and a long shower and time outside.    

Also, dont' even get me started with Father's Day.   Father's day will mean a thoughtful gift and then him disappearing all day to golf or do something for himself.   Things are not equal and never will be equal (not just for me...I think for most mothers!).   It is totally not fair, but perhaps that is life.   

 

But why did you hold in your tears all night? Why didn’t you let your dh know how you felt? 

I’m very sorry that you had such a lousy day. I just feel like nothing will ever change for you if you hold your feelings inside instead of being honest with your dh so he can understand your disappointment and expectations.

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I'm sorry you had a disappointing day.  My dh came from a family that didn't put much weight into holidays like these.  Even at Christmas, which they DID celebrate, they didn't give presents.  Different perspectives, different upbringings, etc., can create disappointments.  So, yeah -- I used to be really disappointed too, even though my dh is a really great guy and shows his love and appreciation for me in so many ways.  

I finally realized that if I wanted Mother's Day celebrated a certain way, I had to guide it myself.  "Okay kids!  We're going on a Mother's Day picnic today!  Who wants to make the sandwiches?  Who wants to find the blanket?"  etc.   The funny thing is that my dh eventually caught on over the years, but now I don't even care that much anymore -- haha.  There's too many other things to think about that feel way more important these days.  

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7 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I don’t celebrate MD, so there is that,  it I just wanted to say I am sorry it made you sad.

i think if I were you I would sift through and past the commercialized holidays and see if I am really happy or unhappy with my day to day life and with my husband and children’s contributions to the family and their level of care and concern for me. Whew.  Sorry for that run on sentence.  

Wise advice.

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Hugs. My side of the family doesn’t celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day nor Valentine’s Day. My husband’s brother does so DH and his sister would pay 1/3 of the cost for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. My teens are sick and wanted to be cared for so I would be happy if they feel better today. (ETA: I don’t mind caring for them, it’s the sick part)

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4 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Hugs. My side of the family doesn’t celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day nor Valentine’s Day. My husband’s brother does so DH and his sister would pay 1/3 of the cost for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. My teens are sick and wanted to be cared for so I would be happy if they feel better today. 

I hope they feel better soon too!   

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I'm sorry. I get it.

Here are a few ideas that have helped me.

* When the kids were little, I found that I didn't like spending Mother's Day with extended family at MIL's house. I love MIL, but I needed the day to be a break for me, at that stage of life. So I would send DH and the kids off to MIL's house, and I would go off to a movie by myself. Consider whether you would enjoy doing something alone next Mother's Day and find a way to pamper yourself.

* Now that my kids are teens and are enrolled in school, time to myself is not what I most need. So now DH pre-orders food from a restaurant that I like, and we eat at home. We have gone out to eat in past years, and have found it too crowded, so now we enjoy our restaurant meal at home. If you like this idea, you can order the food yourself in advance and inform your husband that this is what you are eating today, and that you would like him to pick it up and get it ready to serve for lunch or supper. And ask him to clean up afterwards, too. I have had to spell out exactly what I would like DH to do, and then he is willing. I would like him to take more ownership and surprise me more, but this is what works for us.

* DH does all of the child care for the day. So he makes sure the kids are ready for church, oversees any of their responsibilities, and manages bedtime (which is a hard time of day at our house, even with teenagers). I had to help him understand that this is what I wanted years ago. He didn't figure it out on his own. But now he gets it. We've had some unhappy moments in the past leading up to this.

* I have told DH that he is in charge of his own mother's gift. I do remind him (wish I didn't have to). The past few years, he has sent her flowers, because we now live a couple of hours away and have not seen her on MD.

* If you plan to have your kids make cards for their grandmothers, think about doing it the day before, or even the week before, so that you don't have to spend time on MD doing this. You can offer them the chance to make a card for you while you aren't looking and tell them to hide it from you until MD. They might think that is fun.

* Rethink what you do for your own mother. Perhaps stop in to see her the night before, instead of on MD, and leave a bouquet of flowers or balloons for her to have to look at for the rest of the weekend. If it is hard to take her out, consider taking food or a treat to her and staying in. I don't know what would work best, but I think you can find a way to switch things up. My mom is in a nursing home, so I don't get to see her on many special days. For her 80th birthday, I drove to see her and painted her fingernails. It was a small gesture, but she doesn't need to have any possessions, and the painted nails would be something she might like that she could enjoy for days (Mom is nonverbal and does not recognize people any more). This year for MD, I could not see her, but I wore one of her favorite necklaces and thought of her. Sometimes when our moms are not exactly themselves any more, it can help to adjust our ideas of things that we can do to please them or care for them.

I hope some of these ideas might be helpful. I still find MD difficult emotionally, but I learned that if I spoke up clearly in advance to tell my husband what I wanted, things went better. I'd like for him to figure it out without me having to tell him, but expecting that doesn't make it happen. It's better for me to just be upfront about the kind of day that I want and what I need DH to do.

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My mother makes a huge deal out of everything. (Apparently, it is very important for your grown children to call their mother on Easter because Easter is all about HER & not God.) So, my family knows I am the opposite. My birthday, Mothers Day, Valentine's Day, etc - No big deal here.

I don't expect anything (except perhaps that someone will remind me to call my mom). I'm sorry you were disappointed.

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42 minutes ago, TheAttachedMama said:

 

Yes, I don't mind doing that.   What I think made me most mad is when he said, "I already thought I'd given you a pretty nice day."    It was after he uttered that phrase that I had to hold in tears all night.

I *thought* I had gone into the day with pretty low expectations.   I was NOT expecting breakfast in bed or a gift or going out to eat or anything.     But the fact that he wasn't even aware of how little was done for me is what makes me so angry/sad.    I've spent all morning trying to see things from his perspective.   Did he do something that I didn't noice?   From my perspective, he was the one who got a nap and a long shower and time outside.    

Also, dont' even get me started with Father's Day.   Father's day will mean a thoughtful gift and then him disappearing all day to golf or do something for himself.   Things are not equal and never will be equal (not just for me...I think for most mothers!).   It is totally not fair, but perhaps that is life.   

He doesn't see what he doesn't see.

If this is not just a one day thing but (as I suspect) a general matter of you carrying far more than your share of the family load you might consider writing it all out for him--how many hours every week you put into meal preparation, shopping, cleaning, caregiving (all the bits of caregiving--the reminding kids to do chores, the refereeing fights, the responding to constant needs and requests...), extended family and community service and relationship building, all the household management stuff you do...

Many husbands just have no conception of how many crazy long relentless hours your work week is. They imagine in their heads that it is at most equivalent to a forty hour a week job plus maybe a few extra hours like they put in at home. With a bunch of little kids mothering can easily be upwards of 120 hours per week of work if your spouse isn't fully engaged and carrying a fair share.

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It is a tough day.  My day-to-day life is good, but I am the puppet-master of the people in my house (only partially for my husband).  Yesterday was disappointing because I was running errands prepping for a extended family get together and came home to people doing the minimal of what I indicated needed to get done.

For one day, I would have liked the people to have thought "what would mama think should be done next?"   They know the answers. 

<I do work with them to develop these skills and just seems that their enjoyment of life always trumps doing the right thing>

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2 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Oh, yea.   I spoke up.  

I spent all morning leading the younger kids in our church in making gifts for their own mamas.   (My youngest son was in the group.  So I essentially helped him make my one and only gift for mother's day.)   I had to go out and buy all of the supplies and come up with a homemade present.  Which is fine.   I was honestly glad that I could help make the day special for these other mamas.   

Then I came home and had to help all of my kids make a present for my mama.  Then I took her out.   (And that is always an emotionally draining task for me because my mom has a pretty severe traumatic brain injury.)   So now I am exhausted from that experience.....

Then, DH told me to help the kids make cards for his mama.  Which I started to do....but then realized that he was outside playing fetch with the dog while I was in leading our kids in yet another craft project.  (Which I had been doing all morning....you know?)   So I spoke up and told him that it would be nice if HE helped make the card for his own mama.  Especially since this was now the third time I helped the kids make someone else a homemade present on mother's day.   He eventually came in but acted all shocked like he didn't realize that I might want his help with making HIS mama a present.    After that,  we went and visited his mom all day.   Which is nice and something that we should have done.    Again, I still was not feeling angry/sad.

Then, I came home and DH made a box of Kraft mac and cheese which I ate on a paper plate.   I know I should be thankful for him doing this.   It was something... I am trying really hard to look at the thought behind the box of Kraft mac and cheese.   The kids fought all evening while he napped on the couch and I had to deal with getting them to stop fighting.  Again, I still wasn't upset or feeling neglected.    I am a mom and don't expect that I get out of "mothering" for the entire day.  

After dinner, I had to get all of the kids into bed while he disappeared and took a shower.   (And my kids do NOT go to bed easily.  So the whole process takes forever.)  I think this was the straw that finally broke the camel's back.  When he got out of the shower, I told him that it might have been nice if he would have helped out with bedtime instead of just taking a really long shower--- It was mother's day after all.       And he goes, "Well, I already thought I gave you a really nice day."   And I was kind of like, "What?"  I am not sure where this disconnect was.   It was at that point that I got sort of sad. 

What exactly had been done for me this day?    There was no card.   No last minute grocery store flowers like the other husbands who have forgotten the day might buy.  No breakfast or lunch.  No act of service or doing anything for me.   (Except for making a box of mac and cheese.)   It really made me feel unappreciated...and angry at him.  Which is silly because it is mother's day...not wife appreciation day.   But the kids won't know to do anything for their mom unless someone sort of tells them.  Right?  

I am trying hard today to forgive him, and just move on.    I *know* it is some silly holiday.   And I know that I shouldn't be feeling upset.   But I really am angry.   

The house is currently TRASHED from the kids and him yesterday.   (I didn't do all of the laundry and tidying and dishes that I normally do....and no one else did anything either.)   Today I planned on deep cleaning and getting everything put right.  (I have an entire DAYS worth of laundry.)   But at this point, I feel so unappreciated that I am having trouble mustering the energy to do all of this catch-up cleaning.   

Truth, I’d read him everything you wrote here.  Word for word.  So he can hear the whole process from your perspective and maybe gain some empathetic understanding.  It’s not bitching to your kids about how unhappy you are - this is a legitimate lack of planning and care 😞

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I’m sorry and I understand! For DH and I the issue was a difference in our families of origin. DH’s family doesn’t really celebrate anything. My family celebrates everything. For about the first eight or so years we were married we were too tired and too broke to do much but once we got out of the fog of the little kid years things changed. I got upset because I was making an effort on DH’s birthday and Father’s Day to make sure he had a good day and he wasn’t reciprocating. I struggled with feeling like it was shallow of me to want some recognition on those days but eventually I decided that it was what I wanted/needed and that I wasn’t going to feel like a bad person for asking for it. So then I sat him down and told him exactly what I wanted. Which was for someone else to cook dinner and dessert that night, a few hours of alone time and for he and the kids to give me whatever the appropriate greetings were for the day. DH has stepped up.

 

Maybe when the sadness and anger has passed you will be able to figure out what you want/need for that day and communicate that to your husband. 

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Yeah, I sympathize. Mine was pretty awful too. Oh, the kids all called and I have new walking shoes coming today from some of the kids, and the younger girls got me a nice present, but dh? Let's just say I was up at 1:30 am cooking for a branding crew since we HAD to brand on MD as dh didn't look at the calendar. I had to cover Scouts that he was supposed to be at. And then he didn't bother to come in for an hour and a half as he was leaning on a fence drinking a beer. And let two people bring dogs so 8 months of training with the new Livestock Guardian Dog is down the toilet. And I did 9 loads of laundry. He "fixed" it by asking if I wanted to go out to dinner! 1) dinner was already done, 2)reservations needed to be made a month ago and 3) I HATE going out to dinner! There's nothing I can eat, and then I'm sick for days. 42 years and you've never noticed I hate going out to dinner? Yeah, you like to. Not me. I go into the day with few expectations but I think this year hit an all time low.

Sending hugs to all the disappointed moms. 

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4 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

Yeah, I sympathize. Mine was pretty awful too. Oh, the kids all called and I have new walking shoes coming today from some of the kids, and the younger girls got me a nice present, but dh? Let's just say I was up at 1:30 am cooking for a branding crew since we HAD to brand on MD as dh didn't look at the calendar. I had to cover Scouts that he was supposed to be at. And then he didn't bother to come in for an hour and a half as he was leaning on a fence drinking a beer. And let two people bring dogs so 8 months of training with the new Livestock Guardian Dog is down the toilet. And I did 9 loads of laundry. He "fixed" it by asking if I wanted to go out to dinner! 1) dinner was already done, 2)reservations needed to be made a month ago and 3) I HATE going out to dinner! There's nothing I can eat, and then I'm sick for days. 42 years and you've never noticed I hate going out to dinner? Yeah, you like to. Not me. I go into the day with few expectations but I think this year hit an all time low.

Sending hugs to all the disappointed moms. 

 

((Hugs))

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My days like this aren’t always fantastic but I really don’t go for the going out to dinner thing. It seems like such a cop out. It’s Mother’s Day so she can’t cook and clean so we all get to go out to a nice dinner. ???

I really would rather they cook and clean up. That feels like a real service and not an excuse for everyone to splurge on going out. Especially because I handle the finances in our family- so I’m the one looking at the debit out of our account and thinking about making ends meet until payday. No thank you! That is not a treat for ME at all. 

I did get a card this year signed by all my kids (this is my 22nd mother’s day). My two college kids were in midweek so someone thought ahead enough to have a card signed while they were here. That is probably the first time that much thought went into it. It’s been two decades getting to that point. I did get our mailbox replaced. It has been duct taped since a hail storm 26 months ago. It took five minutes to fix and I had to wait over two years? But I am grateful. That is the extent of it and it is probably my best Mother’s Day yet.

I’m sorry OP. I think alot more people struggle with this than care to admit it. Hugs to you.

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My DH always implies that I "could be" doing a better job at this or that when it comes to parenting (as in criticizing parenting decisions that I make and he is busy working long hours, not around much). And my tween has a lot of attitude issues stemming from transitioning to teenhood and I bear the brunt of it. I am the sole caregiver for all practical purposes. I feel unappreciated and as if I am doing a thankless job when even the snack that carefully I pack for sports practice does not go without criticism. I have had enough of all the negativity and attitudes all year long. I told them outright on Friday that I am sick and tired at how I am treated for the 364 days of the year and that no flowery gesture or cards are necessary if they do not want to improve their attitude towards me. So, I got nothing other than friends texting me to wish me a happy mother's day. Instead, I cooked for my family as usual and then went to an afternoon Mother's Day Student concert put out by our local Music Teacher's Association and there were so many talented kids performing beautiful pieces and I enjoyed a couple of hours of free music and they gave all the moms who attended a rose when we left. That was my mother's day and I like it that way!

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3 hours ago, Scarlett said:

I don’t celebrate MD, so there is that,  it I just wanted to say I am sorry it made you sad.

i think if I were you I would sift through and past the commercialized holidays and see if I am really happy or unhappy with my day to day life and with my husband and children’s contributions to the family and their level of care and concern for me. Whew.  Sorry for that run on sentence.  

 

Ditto this.

 

 

I don't exactly care much about Mother's Day (nothing happened at all last year as I think they forgot) BUT from the sound of your post  my husband shows more appreciation for me and contributes more every single day so it is easy for me to say that. I know I'm appreciated. I think I'd be run down in your shoes so don't discount your feelings. 

 

I really know little of your situation or either you or your spouses personality type and what would actually help. Always remembering the goal is to better (not destroy) your marriage I'd say your spouse needs a wake up call.  A letter and discussion? Counseling? You spending a week away with mother, sister, or friend where he is forced to handle everything himself? I really don't know but I do think that it sounds like he is selfish and taking advantage of you. I'm not convinced that just getting over "the silly holiday" is the healthiest. He needs to know. He needs it explained calmly  and explicitly (hopefully he won't ignore everything with a "she's just grouchy" attitude which may happen. 

 

I do hope something changes for you. 😞

 

 

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As someone who doesn't really intentionally celebrate Mother's Day, I would be having a conversation with dh and telling him everything you have told us.  If he can't see the pain he caused you yesterday than something needs to change.  And if he expects to go out and have a day to himself on Father's Day but expect you to be happy with a box of mac and cheese he needs a reality check.  If he can't see the inequality in the household and is unwilling to trying to see it than I personally would be the person to wake up Father's Day morning, leaving a note explaining that you have decided to enjoy a day entirely to yourself, and you will see him after the kids should be in bed. I'd only do something so drastic if talking about the issue doesn't solve the issue because sometimes people need to feel the drastic differences by experience before they fully realize.

Early in our marriage because of certain expectations that dh set for these type of holidays and then him dropping the ball, I simply put my foot down and refused to participate the next holiday.  That holiday was Christmas and I made it clear that I was not exchanging gifts with him or doing any gift shopping for anyone.  He didn't take me seriously and realized 2 days before Christmas that we had no gifts for his mom, dad, grandmother, and sisters.  He scrambled to get gifts and I just sat back hoping this would be a huge learning experience.  Come Christmas he asks if it is time to exchange gifts and I inform him that I have nothing for him.  So, I get to open up 4 very thoughtful gifts because he finally realized how shitty he treated me on previous holidays so went out of his way to make up for it only to not get any from me that year.  He really felt terrible, not for not getting gifts but because he fully realized how I had felt on previous occasions.  All holidays have been wonderful ever since, except this year.  Which resulted in me only getting him a silly key chain because he chose to blow through our entire christmas budget on coworkers after we had discussed not spending over a certain amount on each other.  When he spent the amount allocated for me to spend on him on coworkers(who he had never shopped for before)  I told him I wasn't going in debt over Christmas so he wasn't getting anything from me that year. Now he listens to me when I say money is seriously tight and we don't have the money for XYZ, because he knows I will not spend money on other things if he has blown the budget already.

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2 hours ago, mathnerd said:

I feel unappreciated and as if I am doing a thankless job when even the snack that carefully I pack for sports practice does not go without criticism.

 

My boys are slightly older. At the end of the day, they still want me to spend time with them before bedtime. My husband feels unappreciated because he works long hours and kids look for me even when he is next to them.. 

We troop to Panda Express for food before tennis practice, I am too lazy to pack.

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5 hours ago, Catwoman said:

 

But why did you hold in your tears all night? Why didn’t you let your dh know how you felt? 

I’m very sorry that you had such a lousy day. I just feel like nothing will ever change for you if you hold your feelings inside instead of being honest with your dh so he can understand your disappointment and expectations.

 

4 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Truth, I’d read him everything you wrote here.  Word for word.  So he can hear the whole process from your perspective and maybe gain some empathetic understanding.  It’s not bitching to your kids about how unhappy you are - this is a legitimate lack of planning and care 😞

This. The biggest thing I learned when dealing with marriage issues is that not speaking up leads to resentment. And resentment kills marriages. It is not mean, petty, or bitchy to very clearly say, in a polite tone of voice, "Honey, I know you love me, but I felt pretty disappointed on Mother's Day. I am sure that wasn't your intention, but I work really hard every day to be the best mother I can be, and I was hoping for more recognition of that and some pampering on Mother's Day. Instead, you got a nap, and a long shower, and I dealt with the kids. I feel like maybe you don't understand how important Mother's Day is to me."

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I’m sorry that Mother’s Day was a disappointment.  😞 

I generally manage to have no MD expectation for anyone else.  And limit my own doings for other mothers to a phone call or email.  And refuse to feel guilt if I’m not meeting someone else’s expectations.

 I decide what I want to do for myself and then, absent an emergency, I do it.   Like go sit outside with a good audiobook, or plant something in garden. 

Or decide what I don’t want to do.  Like no cooking (I like cooking basically —my favorite of homemaker duties, but also like a break from it as a daily grind), 

definitely no MD laundry and usually no MD chauffeuring.

 I get things like frozen pizza ahead of time so people can eat without me cooking, for example.

If I can enjoy the day without emergencies, injuries requiring trip to emergency room etc, I’m good. 

That may sound like a sad cop out, but I mean I am really good if I can do something like yesterday where I got to experience nature, listen to a good audiobook, nap without feeling guilty.  I felt contentment  and happiness.

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Also, on a practical note, if you spend every mother's day with your mom and MIL, maybe next year you can request to celebrate Mother's day on Saturday. As in, Saturday the focus is on you, and Sunday on your mom and MIL. This year we knew Sunday might be a bit busy so I went and got a pedicure (that DH scheduled) on Saturday, instead of Sunday. 

Also, I'd say that if nothing else, on Saturday morning look at him and say, "So, what time today are you taking the kids shopping for my mother's day present(s)?" Better yet, the week or two before say, "Mother's day is coming up, and I'd like XYZ this year." Then that saturday before remind him and ask him when he's taking the kids shopping. After a year or two of doing this he will probably do it on his own, and most likely forget you had to remind him before 🙂

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5 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

 

Yes, I don't mind doing that.   What I think made me most mad is when he said, "I already thought I'd given you a pretty nice day."    It was after he uttered that phrase that I had to hold in tears all night.

I *thought* I had gone into the day with pretty low expectations.   I was NOT expecting breakfast in bed or a gift or going out to eat or anything.     But the fact that he wasn't even aware of how little was done for me is what makes me so angry/sad.    I've spent all morning trying to see things from his perspective.   Did he do something that I didn't noice?   From my perspective, he was the one who got a nap and a long shower and time outside.    

 

Ask him what he meant. 

5 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Also, dont' even get me started with Father's Day.   Father's day will mean a thoughtful gift and then him disappearing all day to golf or do something for himself.   Things are not equal and never will be equal (not just for me...I think for most mothers!).   It is totally not fair, but perhaps that is life.   

 

Imo:

Don't.  

No thoughtful gift.  Take the thought time to decide on something for yourself to make up for MD.  

Hire a sitter, and go do something for yourself that you truly want to do while he plays golf or whatever he does.

 

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6 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

dont' even get me started with Father's Day.   Father's day will mean a thoughtful gift and then him disappearing all day to golf or do something for himself

This is a small point in the overall scenario, but I suggested discussing Father's Day as a basis of comparison that he might understand, not to say that you needed to indulge him then. Just-- look, hon, how differently we experience these days. 

Adding, I do think talking about how expectations and workloads are for each of you might be helpful. The biggest goal I'd have for the discussion would be to clear the air of resentment and establish a shared understanding of what you'd each like on MD and FD.

Edited by Innisfree
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7 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Oh, yea.   I spoke up.  

I spent all morning leading the younger kids in our church in making gifts for their own mamas.   (My youngest son was in the group.  So I essentially helped him make my one and only gift for mother's day.)   I had to go out and buy all of the supplies and come up with a homemade present.  Which is fine.   I was honestly glad that I could help make the day special for these other mamas.   

 

Have you read “Love Languages” ?  Is yours gifts?

It sounds like you didn’t really enjoy doing this with the church kids. And mamas whose “Love Language” isn’t gifts may not be as happy to get the created presents as you would be.

maybe drop this next year

and instead of buying supplies for the church project find something to lovingly gift to yourself 

7 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Then I came home and had to help all of my kids make a present for my mama. 

 

Did you have to?  Did it make you happy to do this?  If not is there another option? 

7 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Then I took her out.   (And that is always an emotionally draining task for me because my mom has a pretty severe traumatic brain injury.)   So now I am exhausted from that experience.....

 

Would there be a less draining option?  Purchase a take out brunch and bring it to her along with your family? Or ?

 

7 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Then, DH told me to help the kids make cards for his mama.  Which I started to do....but then realized that he was outside playing fetch with the dog while I was in leading our kids in yet another craft project.  (Which I had been doing all morning....you know?)   So I spoke up and told him that it would be nice if HE helped make the card for his own mama.  Especially since this was now the third time I helped the kids make someone else a homemade present on mother's day.   He eventually came in but acted all shocked like he didn't realize that I might want his help with making HIS mama a present.   

 

Suggest that you turn his mama’s present over to him for next year.  Tell him several time in advance including by text so you will know he should know.  Or tell the kids who to think of in re gifts (including you, your mother, your mil) and step away from that.  

A 3 yo might be able to manage a flower or twig all by him / herself.

 

7 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

After that,  we went and visited his mom all day.   Which is nice and something that we should have done. 

“Should”?  Something you want to do or not?  

7 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

  Again, I still was not feeling angry/sad.

Then, I came home and DH made a box of Kraft mac and cheese which I ate on a paper plate.   I know I should be thankful for him doing this.   It was something... I am trying really hard to look at the thought behind the box of Kraft mac and cheese.   The kids fought all evening while he napped on the couch and I had to deal with getting them to stop fighting.  Again, I still wasn't upset or feeling neglected. 

 

Are you sure yo weren’t feeling at least a bit upset?

7 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

 

  I am a mom and don't expect that I get out of "mothering" for the entire day.  

After dinner, I had to get all of the kids into bed while he disappeared and took a shower.   (And my kids do NOT go to bed easily.  So the whole process takes forever.)  I think this was the straw that finally broke the camel's back.  When he got out of the shower, I told him that it might have been nice if he would have helped out with bedtime instead of just taking a really long shower--- It was mother's day after all.       And he goes, "Well, I already thought I gave you a really nice day."   And I was kind of like, "What?"  I am not sure where this disconnect was.   It was at that point that I got sort of sad. 

What exactly had been done for me this day?    There was no card.   No last minute grocery store flowers like the other husbands who have forgotten the day might buy.  No breakfast or lunch.  No act of service or doing anything for me.   (Except for making a box of mac and cheese.)   It really made me feel unappreciated...and angry at him.  Which is silly because it is mother's day...not wife appreciation day.   But the kids won't know to do anything for their mom unless someone sort of tells them.  Right?  

 

It sounds like you were disappointed all day long. 

Kids to show appreciation: yes — and you can be the one to tell them.   And to tell them exactly what you want.  Some little gift and card as they are able, breakfast in bed that you figure out in advance (expect to make big deal out of heated up possibly burnt frozen waffles ) . No fighting, go to bed easier than usual...

7 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

I am trying hard today to forgive him, and just move on.    I *know* it is some silly holiday.   And I know that I shouldn't be feeling upset.   But I really am angry.   

The house is currently TRASHED from the kids and him yesterday.   (I didn't do all of the laundry and tidying and dishes that I normally do....and no one else did anything either.)   Today I planned on deep cleaning and getting everything put right.  (I have an entire DAYS worth of laundry.)   But at this point, I feel so unappreciated that I am having trouble mustering the energy to do all of this catch-up cleaning.   

 

 

Take the day off!  Think things through!

 

Are your children old enough to learn to do the laundry?  

Start teaching them and every day will get a bit easier down the road instead of it being a special MD thing.

start teaching them how to be in charge of one meal each week , very very simple at start

start teaching them to do the dishes and to turn that over to kids as a daily job

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I have had this happen in the past.  This year was actually a pleasant surprise.   It isn't always that way, and neither is my birthday.....I will just leave it at that.

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I'm sorry you had a bad day.   

I think this was one of the best Mother's Days I've had.  Dh and younger ds made lunch, we went for a walk in the afternoon, and oldest ds made dinner.  The boys cleaned up the kitchen reasonably well and they started the dishwasher.   I did remind them about Mother's Day about a week in advance and stated that I would not be cooking.  

My worst Mother's Day was my first.  I really wanted a mother's necklace but didn't hint sufficiently (ie, emphatically state that I expected dh to buy me one).  Dh didn't get me anything because I wasn't his mother.  Instead, we drove 2+ hours with an infant to take dh's mother out to lunch.  Dh didn't understand why I was upset. 

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Maybe it's because grew up with 3 older brothers, but I expect to tell a male exactly what I want up front when it comes to holiday celebrations and most other things. My mother referred to males as having the "defective Y chromosome." To my husband I say things like, "When the kids ask you what they should do for Mother's Day and my birthday (the same week of May) have them get me/do ____________________ and _______________________" or if it's a joint gift, "For my birthday and Mother's Day I want ____________________ and you can give it to me on my birthday."  I have the same conversation with my daughters but change it to, "When you father asks for ideas about Mother's Day, tell him I want _______...." This year it was canvas pictures of my two older daughter's weddings.  I told him a month in advance so he could ask daughters for a link to the pics and then two weeks before I said, "Do you want me to pick out the two pictures now or tonight after dinner?" Notice the lead time, the deadlines, and the limited choices.  If it's vague it's not going to get done in a timely way. I also keep an updated Amazon wish list just in case, and I always accept chocolate.  That's what youngest did- picked out chocolates for Mom because it always makes me happy.

 

If I were you, when I was able to say so in a cheerful tone of voice, I would say, "I expect you handle your Mother's Mother's Day gift entirely on your own, because she's not my mother and my hands are full with taking care of my Mother's Mother's day gift. I expect you to do the traditional kids making a card, flowers, and a meal that you plan, shop for, make, and clean up.  I also expect you to tidy the house with the kids for that day. Are you writing this down?  Get pencil and paper or a device so you can take this down and put it where you can find it. Maybe taped to your laptop or here on the fridge or.... This is standard stuff, so don't look so surprised. Get out your phone now and set a reminder for 2-3 days before. You may as well set reminder for my birthday, our anniversary and Christmas while you're at it.  I'll keep a wish list for those in ______________________, so you don't have to guess. I know you don't read minds."

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I'm sorry he was so tone deaf.  I agree with helping him hear you via father's day plans (or lack thereof).

[edited out a lot of personal stuff.]

Edited by SKL

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I got a text wishing me HMD from one child. Granted, I saw this dc in person Friday and Saturday, but I wanted a video chat or phone call. I got a text. Now I did get a hug and HMD wishes Saturday night, but I still wanted to hear this child's voice yesterday. Didn't happen. 

The other child and I did FaceTime yesterday, and I did get HMD wishes. 

All I *ever* want is for my kids to play a song on the violin for me. Didn't happen, but one kid comes home from college this week, so I live in hope!

Also, I lost my mom several years ago, and while I was feeling a little sorry for myself about not talking to one child, I allowed myself to wallow a little longer and deeper b/c I missed my  mother. I've kept busy today and am over it now....I think.

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Honestly, reading through that, I don't think your problem is Mother's Day. Your problem is that one day a year you expected him to pull his fair share and he couldn't even do it a single day. Don't go into Mother's Day next year with no expectations. You should go into every day with the expectation that he'll pull more of the weight. And I'm in total agreement with those saying that you really need to tell him. Read him what you wrote here. And ask for him to do more. Point out all the work you do that he is obviously not seeing. Make him do all of it sometimes while you take a walk with the dog or go to the gym or go read a book or whatever you want. 

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12 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Anyone else suffering from Mother's Day disappointment?   I feel silly and selfish even expecting anything special for some made-up holiday    Every year I try NOT to expect anything.  But our culture puts so much pressure on the day.   Today I keep breaking out in tears which makes me feel even more silly.   Anyone else feel this way?   If so, know that you are not alone.   

 

I’m sorry the day disappointed you. 

Reason #749 we do not observe this holiday. 

Seriously, the best thing I ever did was to just say it’s a day that I’m not going to cook, clean, or provide food for anything. I told all my kids and dh to please not get me anything - my gift to them. They have 365 days every year to make me feel special, but every second Sunday in May, I make sure they know I have no expectations. I hope you can come to a set of circumstances that gives you peace. 

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