Dear Snarky – “Where’s My Mother’s Day?”

5dcf4a30000ab041e9e34119166dad3aDear Snarky,

Why don’t I get a Mother’s Day? I’m the mom to three kids all under the age of 7 and yet every Mother’s Day it’s all about my mother-in-law. We go to church with her, have brunch with her and basically spend the entire day celebrating her. I’ve talked to my husband about this and he just looks guilty and says, “Well, she is my mom.” Is it too much to ask that I get a Mother’s Day?

Signed Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

I’m very torn how to answer your question. You would think that I would go off on your husband for not manning up and taking your side in this Mother’s Day battle. But, here’s the deal I have a son and I can only dare to dream that when he grows up and gets married he will put my wants and needs far, far above his wife’s. (Let’s all hope years down the road I don’t turn into THAT mother-in-law.)

All kidding aside, my peace making suggestion is have two Mother’s Day – traditional and observed. (Yes, yes, I know this sounds crazy, but work with me. The plan has the ability to be a winner.) On the Traditional Mother’s Day, the one on the calendar let your mother-in-law have her moment. Although she is no longer deep in the parenting trenches like you she has been a mother longer than you and deserves some love and if you can’t manage that then let’s call it respect or begrudging tolerance for raising an amazing son – your husband. Plus, for those of us who have aging, frail parents it’s a simple act of kindness that goes a long way in making their day. (I have a friend who recently lost her mother-in-law and while the MIL was a bit of a terror my friend said she never regretted being a role model for her kids about the power of kindness.)

The next Sunday should be your day – Mother’s Day Observed, This is where it is all about you. You can choose to spend the day celebrating with your family or do what I do – declare Mother’s Day a kid free holiday. I treat myself to a matinée movie, a solo stroll through Target and arrive home to a house cleaned by my kids and husband with dinner waiting. (In case you’re wondering they kind of phone in the whole house cleaning thing.) It may feel wrong at first to not get your Mother’s Day on with everyone else, but trust me Mother’s Day Observed is a twofer. You still get your day plus you earn brownie points and add to your karma tally by the simple, but, sort of, painful act, of doing a little gracious kowtowing to your mother-in-law.

Even bigger bonus every time you get in a fight with your husband you can with righteous indignation say, “I even gave up Mother’s Day for your mom.” Bam!

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.


9 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – “Where’s My Mother’s Day?”

  1. Laurel Isaak says:

    I agree this is a hard one. My mom is the one who wants all glory, laud, and honor bestowed on her and I’m an only child. We usually do the two Mother’s Day’s routine too. Our city ballet does a free performance on Mother’s Day weekend, so we do that together and then my husband take my three kiddos and I out! ;0)

  2. bea says:

    If this works for you, great! (If your MIL– and husband– would create such a pain in the ass that taking a stand isn’t worth it, you don’t really have any other options anyway.)

    But if your MIL is like mine, there will always be something to complain about, so appeasing is pointless. And if you give an inch, don’t be surprised when she takes a yard. (“Oh, you’re doing another “Mother’s Day” brunch next week? We’ll join you!” If your husband can’t set limits the prior Sunday, is he really going to shut her down one week later?) In my experience, setting firm boundaries with the in-laws early in your marriage can be painful but it pays big dividends.

    Of course, it depends what kind of role you want, now and when you’re the mother-in-law. If you’re happy to attend holiday dinners at someone else’s house, where your role is minimal and you don’t have all the cooking and cleaning duties of the host, a matriarch-in-law might be a great fit. But since you’ve never, ever roasted a turkey in your life, when your MIL passes away, she won’t be passing you the torch. No one’s going to suddenly default to your house, or maybe even come there ever. So while you’re patiently waiting for your turn like a good daughter-in-law, keep in mind that it might not come while your kids can stand you and you have no one’s adult diapers to add to the grocery list.

    Does anyone really get old and say, “I regret having my way so often?”

  3. monica says:

    At first when I read this I was like WHAT? Her husband should be providing the Mother’s Day….then I thought….2 Mother’s Days would be even better. I will say this. That its the husbands responsibility to balance the 2. When you get married your supposed to cleave onto your wife not your mother. Just sayin. HAHA. If she doesn’t like that idea of 2 different days. They could just split the day up too. Breakfast with MIL and dinner with Mom. Just another idea.

  4. TheSunGod says:

    “There’s a good boy for you.”

    No! I will teach my son to treasure the mother of HIS children. That is a good MAN, cut the cord on this one. Lunches and dinners around the holiday in general are more than adequate. Trying to say your needs need to be above his wife’s?! Yea, we call that emotional incest. When your child marries you become extended family as they have their own family now.

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