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TheAttachedMama

Mother's Day Disapointment

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11 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.   

 

Ok so now I’m pulling out my soapbox. 

Mother’s Day is for moms in the trenches. They’re the ones that NEED a pat on the back and a day off! Instead, it is co-opted by “mature” moms (aka grandmas!) who soak up all the worship on that day. 

Two facets of this...One, it creates more work, tension, and disappointment for women who are still actively parenting. Two, it reveals that there is possibly a reason the older women are venerated - because of guilt. They either lay it on, or adult kids lay it on themselves because the bulk of their relationship with parents has been reduced to holiday only interactions. 

We need to love each other better the other 364 days of the year. That’s my two cents, anyway.

 

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10 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.    

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.   

 

Next year you need to just rise early and wordlessly sneak out of the house for a day of doing whatever you want. Leave him alone all day to manage the kids and their needs. 

Maybe don’t wait til next year. June 16 might be a good day.

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13 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

Next year you need to just rise early and wordlessly sneak out of the house for a day of doing whatever you want. Leave him alone all day to manage the kids and their needs. 

Maybe don’t wait til next year. June 16 might be a good day.

 

Or, hey, make it part of a week away at a spa or some such.

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24 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

Ok so now I’m pulling out my soapbox. 

Mother’s Day is for moms in the trenches. They’re the ones that NEED a pat on the back and a day off! Instead, it is co-opted by “mature” moms (aka grandmas!) who soak up all the worship on that day. 

Two facets of this...One, it creates more work, tension, and disappointment for women who are still actively parenting. Two, it reveals that there is possibly a reason the older women are venerated - because of guilt. They either lay it on, or adult kids lay it on themselves because the bulk of their relationship with parents has been reduced to holiday only interactions. 

We need to love each other better the other 364 days of the year. That’s my two cents, anyway.

 

I'm so very grateful and lucky that my mom does think this way - she told me she didn't want or need me to drive 3 hours round trip to see her, to enjoy the day with my family. That she'd see my sister that morning and wold be exhausted by the afternoon anyway. True or not, there was zero guilt. I did call her, of course, and texted her, and sent her wine and margaritas via delivery, but it was nice to be able to relax at home. She's a good mom 🙂

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Also, in general, it is not wrong to have expectations of how people will treat you. It's okay to want things. It's okay to want different treatment. It isn't wrong to expect more!

Also, I do NOT advocate treating him the same way/badly on Father's day. That's spiteful - not good for marriages. Just be open and honest and actually assertive about your feelings, wants, and needs. Not passive aggressive, and not a doormat. 

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1 minute ago, Ktgrok said:

I'm so very grateful and lucky that my mom does think this way - she told me she didn't want or need me to drive 3 hours round trip to see her, to enjoy the day with my family. That she'd see my sister that morning and wold be exhausted by the afternoon anyway. True or not, there was zero guilt. I did call her, of course, and texted her, and sent her wine and margaritas via delivery, but it was nice to be able to relax at home. She's a good mom 🙂

 

Yes she is! That’s the way to do it, grandmas!

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2 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Also, in general, it is not wrong to have expectations of how people will treat you. It's okay to want things. It's okay to want different treatment. It isn't wrong to expect more!

Also, I do NOT advocate treating him the same way/badly on Father's day. That's spiteful - not good for marriages. Just be open and honest and actually assertive about your feelings, wants, and needs. Not passive aggressive, and not a doormat. 

 

It may be that boxed  Mac and cheese on a paper plate would be very satisfying to him.  That they are giving the other what they themselves want.  

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12 hours ago, Innisfree said:

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?


There would be no way I could raise a finger for fathers day.   That would be the thing to do, but I couldn't.   My resentment would burn a hole in the floor, and no one wants that.  

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1 hour ago, Seasider too said:

...Mother’s Day is for moms in the trenches. They’re the ones that NEED a pat on the back and a day off! Instead, it is co-opted by “mature” moms (aka grandmas!) who soak up all the worship on that day. ...


That is my theory too.   I think my mother got spoiled by my being an older mom.  So, there were a great many years where she was THE mom.   We had some rocky years when DD was little.   Mom expected my family to drive an hour to see her and cater to her.   I had to explain that I was now the mom of the child, and I was staying home.  So, now that expectations are set, mom was happy with a long phone call.   DD is 8 and talked for a long time with her grandmother.  She sounded so grown-up.   

DD for some reason thought that Mother's Day was today, and I was staying home from work.  So, we didn't really do anything mother's day-ish.  But, it was still a nice day.   DH went to our other house and worked his tuchas off getting it ready to sell, so I am content.  

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12 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.

 

You must tell him.  

11 hours ago, MOLaura said:

 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.

 

These are very wise words.  It’s ok for you to have wanted more.  And it’s ok that you’re upset that he didn’t do more.  He lives in the same culture all the rest of us live in.  He sees the same commercials and sees the same displays in the stores.  He knows better intellectually, but somehow he forgot emotionally.  It’s time to admit that you want what you want and then spell out exactly what that is.  

Next holiday, send him a billion reminders of exactly what you want, down to the last detail.  

5 hours ago, Sherry in OH said:

 

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. 

 

That’s my story, too, regarding my first Mother’s Day.  My baby was colicky and didn’t sleep for more than 2 hours in a row, day or night.  It was hard.  When my husband did nothing on Mother’s Day I was so furious and hurt.  But I didn’t tell him.  So when Christmas and my birthday (a week apart) rolled around, he didn’t know how upset I’d been at Mother’s Day.  And I also got nothing for Christmas or my birthday.  Holding things back like that will cause huge resentment on your part.  Much better to tell him you’re upset and why and then tell him what you want.  And it’s ok if you have to remind him the days before the holiday.  Some people don’t do this naturally, so help them out and then you can enjoy the holiday.

2 hours ago, Seasider too said:

 

Ok so now I’m pulling out my soapbox. 

Mother’s Day is for moms in the trenches. They’re the ones that NEED a pat on the back and a day off! Instead, it is co-opted by “mature” moms (aka grandmas!) who soak up all the worship on that day. 

Two facets of this...One, it creates more work, tension, and disappointment for women who are still actively parenting. Two, it reveals that there is possibly a reason the older women are venerated - because of guilt. They either lay it on, or adult kids lay it on themselves because the bulk of their relationship with parents has been reduced to holiday only interactions. 

We need to love each other better the other 364 days of the year. That’s my two cents, anyway.

 

 

Yup.  I think I mentioned that in another thread about a week ago, where someone was not looking forward to Mother’s Day.  If I could go back in time, I would totally say, “I’m the one with the baby/toddler/preschooler.”  Going out to eat with Grandma is a TON of work for me.  DH: take the babies to visit your mother, but I’m staying home and relaxing while you’re gone.  

My MIL would have understood!  It might have taken her a day or so to adjust to the idea, but she’d have understood ultimately, especially since it would still mean she’d see her son and grandkids.  If she lived far away, it might have been harder, but I think she’d have still understood.  (My own mother lives a couple of thousand miles away, so isn’t part of the equation.). 

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2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Also, in general, it is not wrong to have expectations of how people will treat you. It's okay to want things. It's okay to want different treatment. It isn't wrong to expect more!

Also, I do NOT advocate treating him the same way/badly on Father's day. That's spiteful - not good for marriages. Just be open and honest and actually assertive about your feelings, wants, and needs. Not passive aggressive, and not a doormat. 

 

I agree. It would be different if he had intentionally tried to hurt her feelings on Mother’s Day, but it sounds more like he was just clueless. 

I think at some point or another, we all make the mistake of assuming that other people can read our minds and magically figure out what we want, but if we don’t tell people what we want or what we expect, it’s not really fair to get angry when they mess up, and it would certainly not be right to be spiteful about it on Father’s Day. That would be a rotten thing to do if the Mother’s Day stuff was unintentional.

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I did end up buying a gift for DH's mother (cause man, he's hopeless LOL -- I send him links/keep an amazon wishlist for gifts for myself).

For my Mom, I made plans with her for a different day as a Mother's Day Gift -- turned out to be on my birthday, in fact, so that's fun, too.

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Next year, plan a day for you out of the house doing something that you enjoy doing.  Inform him in advance that he will be watching the kids alone (or hire a sitter if he really is that incompetent); don't ask.  I am not buying the "husband can't do anything/doesn't know how".  It ain't rocket science and he can learn, and I think that's why you are justifiably upset; husbands who act like this are thoughtless.

Edited by Reefgazer
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Another way to look at it is what do you want your children to learn?

 Moms do everything as usual plus extra care of grandmas (minus Mac and cheese meal) while Dads play fetch with the dog and kids make a bigger mess than usual?  

I think better would be Moms tell the kids (and husband) exactly what they want well ahead of time , and as necessary depending on ages and abilities teach especially the kids, but maybe also the husband, well ahead of time how to do it.   Then they express their joy and thanks for it being done to best of husband and kids’ abilities, growing these abilities from holiday to holiday.  

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Did he watch the kids when you took your mom to lunch? If so, maybe that's why he thinks he did enough. (I don't think that's enough, btw!)

My first MD was horrible. My dh refused to wish me a happy MD because I wasn't his mom. I remember an elderly man at church did, and I've always been grateful for that happy memory. This year, I reminded my dh of that first MD, and I could see how sorry he was, so just because your dh doesn't get it now, there is hope for improvement! 

One time at a mom's group another mother talked about her birthday and how her family ignored it, and I was so relieved to hear that this wasn't unusual. I had felt a lot of shame that our marriage was so bad that he couldn't go out of his way to show appreciation to me on a special day, so it helped to know that I wasn't alone and that we weren't doomed to divorce.

I think you should talk it over with him, maybe when you discuss FD plans, and offer him the same day you had. And definitely feel him out ahead of time next year, and if it seems that no plans are being made for MD on his part, then make your own. You can even tell him that. "I don't want to feel sad on MD. I can make plans for myself to have nice day, or you can. Either way is fine with me, just tell me a week ahead." Then do it! An overnight alone in a hotel, a salon visit, trips to stores you don't normally get to go to... whatever will make you enjoy your day.  

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For next year, in addition to turning any gifts for mil over to dh to figure out, which could perhaps happen a week earlier to give you some personal time then too:

I also suggest that the visit to mil be done by dh and kids without you — and that you have something planned for fun for yourself at that time, completely free of kid care.   Long bath, nap, or going somewhere... whatever you would enjoy...

communicate about this well in advance 

 

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Sometimes you have to be blunt. I asked DH if he planned to take me out for Mother’s Day and he was all “but the restaurants are so crowded.” So I said “I don’t care if you take me to Burger King, I’m not cooking.” And then he got it together and found out that Chili’s has order-online, curbside pickup. So he ordered the food, and we went to the park and ate. His mom didn’t get a card from him.  His mom, his responsibility. I don’t feel guilty.

Sometimes I buy the cards but this year I didn’t because Mother’s Day snuck up on me. My mom didn’t get a card on time, but she’ll get it a day or two late. I did text and call her. 

I did let my kids go crazy with stickers, markers, and blank cards to make MD cards for the grandmas and great-grandmas. I didn’t correct spelling or direct them in any way, so it was not a burden to me. They all made a card for me, too, but none bought me presents because their awareness that MD was coming up was no better than mine. I can’t really hold it against them. Luckily my mom is very easygoing about all holidays, and it’s never been a tradition on either side to do things with the grandmas on the day.

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Possibly a spin off ?

I’ve been Thinking about church? or school or other  MD gifts— made by kids led by an adult group leader

I have sometimes received a group MD craft type gift, and as I am Konmari-ing I have very mixed feelings about them.  First, object gifts are not my love language, so it doesn’t especially meet a hope I have.  Then, because (sort of) kid made I feel like I cannot get rid of them, and so I end up with useless thingies in my already too small and too thingied house.  (Especially the kitchen seems to be a target of such craft gifts.) Then also, I don’t feel able to ask for what I really might personally appreciate (maybe some extra help since my love languages include service!) because I have already been given such a nice bread dough soap dish, or holey oven mitt, or glitter dropping handmade card (some actual items I’ve been coming to during purging) .  And then too, the group made gift doesn’t really feel like something from *my* own child* him or herself in a meaningful way to me.   (ETA- more like I’m getting what the group leader feels good getting, not at all what I feel good getting .) 

I think I would far rather have a group leader talk about MD with  kids briefly for a few weeks before and ask them to think about what they could do that their *own* mom would like and also to suggest asking their mom what she would like.  Maybe even to compare what they thought and what they learned when they asked. And maybe hearing from other kids would give additional ideas.  

Basically just to plant seeds of thinking and asking.

this could be a problem for mom-less kids, but so could having to make something for a non-existent mom.  

Edited by Pen
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14 minutes ago, Pen said:

Possibly a spin off ?

I’ve been Thinking about church? or school or other  MD gifts— made by kids led by an adult group leader

I have sometimes received a group MD craft type gift, and as I am Konmari-ing I have very mixed feelings about them.  First, object gifts are not my love language, so it doesn’t especially meet a hope I have.  Then, because (sort of) kid made I feel like I cannot get rid of them, and so I end up with useless thingies in my already too small and too thingied house.  (Especially the kitchen seems to be a target of such craft gifts.) Then also, I don’t feel able to ask for what I really might personally appreciate (maybe some extra help since my love languages include service!) because I have already been given such a nice bread dough soap dish, or holey oven mitt, or glitter dropping handmade card (some actual items I’ve been coming to during purging) .  And then too, the group made gift doesn’t really feel like something from my *child* him or herself in a meaningful way to me.  

I think I would far rather have a group leader talk about MD with  kids briefly for a few weeks before and ask them to think about what they could do that their own mom would like and also to suggest asking their mom what she would like.  Maybe even to compare what they thought and what they learned when they asked. And maybe hearing from other kids would give additional ideas.  

this could be a problem for mom-less kids, but so could having to make something for a non-existent mom.  

I think this depends on the age.  Little kids are just so delighted when they give us those silly little gifts, and their hearts are worth pretending to love it, LOL.  I would take a photo with the child and gift, keep it displayed for a little while, and quietly let it disappear at some point in the future.

After a certain age, maybe 9 or 10, it would make sense to get the child thinking what would really help or please the mother.  Of course the child may get it wrong, in which case you repeat the steps above, LOL.  Eventually they may get it right, or at least those childish crafts will stop being part of their curriculum.  And once they are old enough to understand your wants, you can just ask for what you want.  This year I asked my kids for a new phone case as my old one was broken.  They loved shopping for it and the anticipation of giving it to me.

ETA - I am surprised as I notice how many middle-school-aged kids are being instructed to make their moms something in art class etc.  My kids haven't been asked to do this in years, and I am glad of it.  They can always make me something at home if they think I would like that.

Edited by SKL
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1 hour ago, emba56 said:

Sometimes you have to be blunt. I asked DH if he planned to take me out for Mother’s Day and he was all “but the restaurants are so crowded.” ...

 

My favorite restaurant experience is Sunday Champagne Brunch.   We used to do that maybe three times a year when I was a older kid.   One year we went on Mother's Day and it was HORRIBLE.  There was literally no food left except for dessert when we got there.  After that we always did the Mother's Day meal the week before or the week after.  Totally wonderful.  

That might be an idea for the OP.   She can call a family meeting and declare that since Sunday was Mother's Day for the Grandparent-generation, this upcoming Sunday will be Mother's Day for you. 

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

I think this depends on the age.  Little kids are just so delighted when they give us those silly little gifts, and their hearts are worth pretending to love it, LOL.

 

Oh, totally!  Of course I would do that.  

And yet, a silly little gift could as easily be an object found on a walk that easily returns to nature...

Quote

 

  I would take a photo with the child and gift, keep it displayed for a little while, and quietly let it disappear at some point in the future.

After a certain age, maybe 9 or 10, it would make sense to get the child thinking what would really help or please the mother. 

 

Why not younger? 

ETA:  IME age 3-8 they often have a real desire to please and might themselves appreciate learning what would do so, how to ask, and that different families and people are different.

otoh For many dc by 9-10 they are at a deliberately wanting to differentiate and not please parents stage.  

Quote

Of course the child may get it wrong, in which case you repeat the steps above, LOL.  Eventually they may get it right, or at least those childish crafts will stop being part of their curriculum.  And once they are old enough to understand your wants, you can just ask for what you want.  This year I asked my kids for a new phone case as my old one was broken.  They loved shopping for it and the anticipation of giving it to me.

ETA - I am surprised as I notice how many middle-school-aged kids are being instructed to make their moms something in art class etc.  My kids haven't been asked to do this in years, and I am glad of it.  They can always make me something at home if they think I would like that.

 

Not a Mother’s Day gift, but my Ds has had high school art projects that have been similarly not keeping situation needs in view.  

Edited by Pen

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When I told my (now ex)husband that I wanted him and the kids to do something for me for mothers day his word for word response was "why, you aren't my mother. Why should I do something for you for mother's day?".... When I pointed out that I helped the kids do Father's Day for him, his response, "Well, that's your choice." :-/ ...one of the many reasons he is now my ex husband for sure. I just learned to not expect anything on mother's day so I wouldn't get my feelings hurt.

These days, my current husband and I don't celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day at all. We both just feel that if we want to show each other that we care and appreciate each other, we shouldn't wait to do it one day a year. We do little things to show each other we care and appreciate each other all year round. I know it wouldn't work for everyone (definitely would not have worked with my ex-husband or with dh's ex-wife)but it works for us.

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22 hours ago, Angie in VA said:

 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.

I don't think that's fair or reasonable.  If your child did the Mother's Day thing very near Mother's Day, I don't think they should be expected to do so on actual Mother's Day too.  It counts, even if it's not on the exact day.

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47 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I don't think that's fair or reasonable.  If your child did the Mother's Day thing very near Mother's Day, I don't think they should be expected to do so on actual Mother's Day too.  It counts, even if it's not on the exact day.

I disagree.  I mean, it counts, but it's totally fine to say, "Could you say it again tomorrow?  I like hearing it on the day."

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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I don't think that's fair or reasonable.  If your child did the Mother's Day thing very near Mother's Day, I don't think they should be expected to do so on actual Mother's Day too.  It counts, even if it's not on the exact day.

 

Well, since they're my feelings, I'm going to count them as both fair and reasonable, thank you very much. I didn't complain about - or even mention - my disappointment to that child or to anyone else. (Just here. A safe place?)

Since I'm in the "dead mother club" and one child had just graduated Saturday w/ a masters, w/ high distinctions, and received a prestigious award given by the faculty, I felt a little down after the big high and more than a little self pity b/c my mother was not alive to see all that. That colored my mood for the day.

Had I acted on my feelings and complained to my child, I might agree w/ you. But since I said nothing to that child, it's OK for me to feel that way. 😉 

47 minutes ago, freesia said:

I disagree.  I mean, it counts, but it's totally fine to say, "Could you say it again tomorrow?  I like hearing it on the day."

 

Thanks. I have a mini concert coming in a few days, so I'm good. 🎻

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