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Hating Mothers' Day

My mom and I are not what I'd call close. She's VERY difficult to get along with. I'm pretty sure she is bi-polar, although it's never been diagnosed because she doesn't think there's anything wrong with her. She has done her best to make me miserable throughout my childhood and into my teens. I finally feel like I've broken free of her clutches, although she can still call sometimes and put me in a bad mood. Anyway, I always dread Mothers' Day because I have to act like she's actually been a good mother and give her cards and flowers when in reality I know she's been terrible. I always dread it.

This year is even worse than usual because she's gotten on this kick where she thinks life is too short and she wants to get back into my life more. She wants to have DH and me over for dinner and play board games, but every time she's called to invite us has been a bad night for us. She's trying, but there are still a lot of hurt feelings over the past and I can't just move on and forget about them. I've told her this but we just get in arguments when discussing the past.

?My MIL is wonderful and she makes up for a lot of what I've gone through in the past. I wish I could just celebrate Mothers' Day with her, but that's not going to happen. I'll have to see my mom at some point or there will be hell to pay. I even went out and got cards already, one for MIL and one for my mom. I showed them to DH and he said we should white out the word "wonderful" when describing what kind of mother she's been.

I guess I just needed to vent. Anyone else have such negative emotions associated with Mothers' Day? ?

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Re: Hating Mothers' Day

  • Yep.  Last year we spent Mother's day with my sweet, loving, wonderful mother.. made her dinner, etc. 

    We mailed a card to DH's mother... and spent 45 minutes at the store trying to find a card that DID NOT say anything about her being a good mother.  It only said that we hoped she has a wonderful Mother's day.  (we were not speaking to her at the time).  This year, even if we do see her, the card will not say anything about her being a great mother...she isn't, she wasn't and she probably never will be.  So for the rest of her life we will probably go out of our way to find a card that says nothing about her being a great mother.  DH feels no reason to tell her she is, because she is not.

  • Hmm maybe instead of a sappy card you could get her a funny one instead. 
  • Too bad they don't make cards that just say "Thanks for giving birth to me and keeping me alive as a child". :)

    It's more than just the card though. It's the whole having to be nice and act like she deserves praise for doing such a bad job. It's almost like being forced to praise an employee for a job well done when you know they just slacked off.

    I mean, I understand why the holiday exists and I think some women really need to be recognized for the hard work they do because their children wouldn't otherwise tell them they appreciate it.?

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  • Why do you have to gush about her every year on Mother's Day?  What will she do that makes you think there will be "hell to pay"?  If she starts yelling or whatever, leave her house or hang up the phone.  She continues to have this hold over you because you let her.

    If you don't want to see her on Mother's Day, then don't.  Mail her a generic card and call it a day.  Or stop by her house very quickly.  There is no reason why you have to pretend she is mother of the year.

  • No, you don't 'have to' spend time with her, make her feel she was a great mom, or pretend your relationship is good. ?You really don't.

    You can choose to send a card or flowers and be busy or sick that day, really. ?

  • image cre8iv_babe:

    It's more than just the card though. It's the whole having to be nice and act like she deserves praise for doing such a bad job. It's almost like being forced to praise an employee for a job well done when you know they just slacked off.

    This is the thing - you don't HAVE to do any of that.  You choose to.  You can also choose not to.
  • image casmgn:
    image cre8iv_babe:

    It's more than just the card though. It's the whole having to be nice and act like she deserves praise for doing such a bad job. It's almost like being forced to praise an employee for a job well done when you know they just slacked off.

    This is the thing - you don't HAVE to do any of that.  You choose to.  You can also choose not to.

    Agreed.  You DO NOT, and SHOULD NOT celebrate her as a wonderful mother... if she, in fact, is not.  We acknowledge Mother's day... and the fact that she is a mother, but we will never go out of our way to celebrate her as a wonderful mother to my husband.  Not on Mother's day or any other day. 

  • I am sorry you feel this way about your mom...it sounds like she will never change.

    Maybe you can see her first thing in the morning and then get it over with so there is no tension throughout the day....Fast and simple and say happy mothers day and then leave...

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  • Send her a card (maybe some flowers, if you're feeling generous) and be done with it.

    NO ONE is forcing you to do anything more here.  You've only got yourself to blame for your miserable day if you decide to force yourself to spend it with her.

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  • Thank you, ladies, for the advice. You are very right. DH says the same thing. I usually do the minimal I can to acknowledge Mothers Day. I still dread it and probably always will... until I'm a mother, I guess.?
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  • I, too, am really dreading Mother's Day, and am not yet sure of how I will handle it.

    I have a question re your situation though...what do you mean by "hell to pay"? I mean, beyond her yelling and pitching a fit, what can she really do to you? If you really feel that you can't see her, then don't force yourself. The sun will rise the next day...I promise. And no one will die. Wink

  • image margaritagirl:

    I, too, am really dreading Mother's Day, and am not yet sure of how I will handle it.

    I have a question re your situation though...what do you mean by "hell to pay"? I mean, beyond her yelling and pitching a fit, what can she really do to you? If you really feel that you can't see her, then don't force yourself. The sun will rise the next day...I promise. And no one will die.?Wink

    Yeah, I should probably clarify. She pouts... a lot. If I didn't somehow acknowledge Mothers Day she would act like a pout-y child the next time I saw her or talked to her on the phone. She'd also make my dad miserable. Which isn't really my problem... She probably wouldn't yell though. She's the type of person that holidays are really important to. She actually buys and gives Thanksgiving cards. I don't know anyone else who does that.?

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  • DH feels this way about Mother's Day since his mom is pretty much a giant pain...he always says he feels guilty for not sending a card, getting her flowers, etc. And they don't exactly make cards that say, "This is only because you asked for it, you are a craptastic mother and don't deserve it!" although it is not a bad idea.....

    :)

    I think holidays place a lot of guilt on children with dysfunctional parents because they think they should feel differently than they do...they WANT to enjoy the day with their parents, but don't....they would like to get them a gift, but feel they don't deserve one....it's just a slippery mess to deal with sometimes.

     

  • Ah...I see...well, that would be hard to deal with. But ultimately, you need to do whatever you're comfortable doing. The good news is it sounds like you have your H's support...GL!
  • Yes. ?I am sending my mother a basic card that says?

    'Happy Mother's Day Love, Fish and H'

    It's basic, it's not too much, and I don't feel like I'm lying/overdoing it.?

  • This mother's day will be awful.  My mom just died in January.  She was healthy and it was totally unexpected.  She was 58.  My mother in law is the devil and made me cry every day during our engagement.
  • image LenaBallerina586:
    This mother's day will be awful.  My mom just died in January.  She was healthy and it was totally unexpected.  She was 58.  My mother in law is the devil and made me cry every day during our engagement.

    I just wanted to say I'm sorry to read this.  I too lost my mother (it's been 13 years but I still miss her) and have an awful MIL.  It is a really hard combo.

  • Your mother pouts and whines and pitches temper tantrums because it works.  She gets her way, or she gets a big apology from you, or she gets you all upset to keep her company, or whatever satisfaction she's getting from it that makes her keep doing it.

    If you don't want to gush over her and tell her how great she is (because it sounds like she is not and has not been a stellar mom), don't.  Send a card and call it a ball game.  If she takes it out on your dad, that's his business and he should take it up with her, not go to you about it and try to get you to fix everything or whatever it is.

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • I also hate mothers day.  I have not spoken to my mom in 4 years.  She has caused my siblings and myself such pain that I just couldn't have her in my life and be healthy and happy.  I love my MIL and choose to celebrate with her every year and be happy that she is in my life. 
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