Mother’s Day…

It’s been a week since it was mother’s day.  It’s taken me a week to sort through my thoughts and feelings on MY experience on the day…

For seven years Mother’s day was a day that brought me much angst, heartache and a sense of failure that threatened to cripple me.  While I loved being able to celebrate my own mother and mother in law, it was a day I dreaded more and more with each passing year of infertility.  It represented something that at the time excluded me.  For not being able to do something that *should* have been the most natural thing in the world.

In 2010 by God’s grace we finally conceived.  I was so excited to know that once my son was born I would no longer have to look to mother’s day with trepidation in my heart.  That seeing all the mom’s being honored in church would not pierce my heart any longer because I too would be standing proud.  In 2011 I missed mother’s day as Kade was only born in June but my baby shower was hosted on Mother’s day so in a way I had the best party ever given to a mother on mother’s day.  That has been my best mother’s day so far.

Come 2012 I was literally bursting with excitement at finally, finally being in the place in my life where mother’s day would be about me as well instead of being about me doing something special for my mom and mother in law.  It did not go well.  I had expected that my man would remember the tears and desperation of previous mother’s day and that he would do something amazing for me.  I was wrong.  I was highly upset and hugely disappointed.  In 2013 things were slightly improved.  Mostly because I arranged a family get together for the day and basically sorted out my own mother’s day.  I was again disappointed.

Cue this past mother’s day.  I had stupidly agreed that my husband could go cycling with his brother on Sunday morning.  In my defense I agreed before I realised it was mother’s day.  As a result of this, my day started at 05h30 with both children needing my attention.  I cared for my babies on my own on mother’s day for several hours, making breakfasts, feeding bottles, wiping noses, getting baby to have a nap, cleaning the kitchen, washing & sterilising bottles all the while entertaining a demanding nearly 3 year old.

By the time hubby got home I had just managed to squeak a shower in and was ready for a little bit of a break and a pampering.  Maybe expecting a gift of some sort.  I got neither as he jumped into the shower after his ride and the baby woke up from her nap.  My mom and sister came to visit after serving at kids church and we had coffee and I gave my mom  her gift from us.  Through the day Cliff kept on saying your gift is on its way, it just needs to be delivered and I found myself getting more and more annoyed.  Long story short he had ordered a gift online and had set delivery for the 12th May.  The day after Mothers day.  He said it was a mistake and on the actual day I was so angry and hurt that I didn’t want to believe him.  (In fact I kind of still don’t, I have my reasons for this but don’t want to stir up another can of worms)  I couldn’t believe he had messed up a third mothers day in a row.  After all the fighting and shouting of the last two years, it was STILL a stuff up.

We ended up having a massive barney about it all. A really unpleasant, shouty, angrily tearful fight.

I asked how he would feel if I had stuffed up his Father’s day and he honestly said it would not mater to him at all.  I was so prepared to just stuff up his father’s day this year and test him on it.  I was really angry and totally fed up.  I then decided that considering I had got both children to sleep at the same time that I would give myself an afternoon nap.  Well.  THAT didn’t happen either.  Kade woke up just as I was drifting off and he wanted me and was crying snot en trane for me so all I could hear was Cliff was shouting at him that I was sleeping and… I got up and took care of my child.

I’ve been thinking a LOT about why this is such a sore point for me.  It’s just a day right?  It’s not like he messed up my anniversary (to the contrary I was SUPER spoilt) or my birthday or God forbid Christmas.  But I keep coming back to the fact that it is important to me.  I would like to be made a fuss of.  I would like to be shown that on this day I am appreciated as a mother.  I want a little bit of effort put in.  I want a badly made breakfast in bed after I’ve been allowed to sleep in.  I want a small gift that is in line with my interests (it doesn’t have to cost a lot, a kindle book will suffice!) I want to get my gift ON MOTHERS DAY not the day after.  I want to feel like I was not an after thought.

Logically I know I sound like a complete spoilt BRAT.  I know what matters most is that I finally have TWO wonderful, gorgeous children and that they are the real gift.  I know that it shouldn’t matter so much because Cliff is the best father ever.  He helps DAILY with the children, he is a very present father and partner and we share the load evenly.

But my heart wants that special day.  That all elusive mother’s day where even if I don’t get to stop caring for my kids, I get to feel like I did because a small measure of effort was made.

Do you think I’m over reacting?  What are your thoughts on mother’s day?

26 thoughts on “Mother’s Day…

  1. First and foremost, (and quite naturally), my experience and your experience on Mother’s Day come from 2 spaces. While I cannot empathise with you over 7 lost years, I do understand why you feel like you do.
    I did get spoilt on my first 2 Mother’s days- specially bought cards, specially written by my hubby, appreciating all the hard work I did for Alex. I think even some where along the way, I scored a pair of ‘diamond’ earrings (or was that valentines day after Beth arrived? Its all a blur, after a few years).
    For 2 years I hosted breakfast for my Mom in law (and sister in law, I might add), but sadly the last 2 years have been mostly a write off. Like you, I get asked if he can go cycling a race (can’t really say no to that), or even better, WORK… 2 years ago I was bribed into a night away in Malelane with the kids, because he was on duty, and got a call out. A Woolworths packet with black and silver underwear was casually presented to me upon arrival at 8pm the night before.
    This year- this Sunday coming, because the French are not normal, I believe he is going to a practice cricket session in the afternoon, and then something about going to pick strawberries, somewhere near the local airport.
    While this makes me grumble, because I want champagne for breakfast, with the biggest bunch of yellow roses, and new pretty shirt, and to be surrounded by my best friends, their families and their kids for all day chillin’, I KNOW I’m not going to get it.
    That being said and done, men don’t really know what it is we really want, and perhaps a shift in perspective is more essential for me.
    Its these times in our lives where the little ones learn about Mother’s Day. Both my girls have had projects on the go at school- I have had to send jam jars and photographs, and while Anton says he will go and buy my gift, I really appreciate the little things the kids do. There is no time in your life than your children will love you more than they do now (and the next-fingers crossed-10 years).
    And while we are Mums, because God blessed us, we still have our own Mum’s, mostly close by, and I think that is even more important than a hubby trying to do the best thing for us.

    As a PS, I sadly have to confess that I did not get to call my Mum this year on Mothers Day. I thought about her, sent her a text message, and wished I was close to her, but as things go, it just didn’t happen. 🙁


  2. I hear you Sam. Walter ran a race on Mother’s Day! The week before I had to REMIND him that it was Mother’s day on the day of his race (my reasons for wanting a joyful celebratory day all about me, are just the same as yours 😉 ) and you know what he told me? He doesn’t understand the fuss… cos it’s not like it’s “your birthday”! Yeah that went well!

  3. It’s like reading my own mother’s day story!!!! I want a fuss to be made of, I want to be treat out of my socks!!!….. to hear this is just another day make me shit in my pants!!! at last we are mothers!! we want to be spoilt!!!

  4. While my hubby is great with Mothersday I have had the odd day that he was away for the weekend and I felt less than happy about it.

    I think one does deserve a small gift (I got a great book) and lovely roses, breakfast in bed and lunch cooked.

  5. Of course I totally get it! TOTALLY! On the bright side, I’m now getting cards and this weekend I got my gift!!!!

    I personally plan to “heap burning coals on his head” – teehee! Give him such a fabulous day he will feel guilty forevermore!

  6. Ah Sam. I can totally understand how you would feel this way. I am exactly the same. Sometimes motherhood can feel like such a thankless job. We give 100% of ourselves 24/7. Is it too much to ask for just one day of appreciation for being the awesome moms we are? I don’t think so at all!!

    Unfortunately though, husbands (or most of them anyway), are clueless when it comes to the significance of these days. Heck, if it weren’t for my constant reminders to my husband the weeks preceding Mother’s Day, I’m pretty sure he would’ve happily let the day go unnoticed….for me, my mom and even his own mother. Men need help sometimes. Ok, most of the time.

    I saw this list on Happy Home Fairy and unfortunately we were away on holiday so I couldn’t print it out, but you can bet next year I am making full use of this list. And I may just tick everything on it!!

    1. I love that list – I am SO printing that out for next year. What I am so annoyed about is that we’ve fought about this for three years running, one would think he’d have learnt by now. *sigh*

  7. What is it with cycle races on Mother’s Day? Chris did a mtb race and only got back at 2pm!!! My parents came for lunch and he was a bit put out that they had already left by the time he got home. I had said it was okay (for him to do the mtb race) but really it wasn’t. My girls are at a very easy age and so the mornings are dead simple, they made a huge fuss of all the moms at church, although ironically the sermon was given by our worship leader who is 33 and desperate to be a mom. She now has a steady boyfriend so hopefully all will go according to plan but she spoke beautifully and honestly about how hard the day was for her. Anyway, I bought myself a present from the Le Crueset shop (just in case) but the girls both gave me the most beautiful cards they’d made at school and they’d even gone to buy a present for me with Chris on the Saturday (4 wooden meercats all different sizes to remind me of our recent trip). So special. So, I have also been disappointed in the past but as my girls get older Mother’s Day becomes more and more meaningful as they start to do everything themselves and the commercial side fades. They even made me a chocolate pudding (was actually divine – crushed digestive biscuits, flaked almonds, chocolate melted with a bit of cream, smarties and jelly tots all left to set and cut into squares) from their own recipe book.
    I am returning the favour by going away to Knysna over the Father’s Day weekend with a group of 12 ladies and we are all running the Outeniqua Traverse (tough trail run) on the Saturday but then planning to enjoy lots of eating and drinking for the rest of the weekend. Cannot wait.

    1. Kat I don’t understand your comment.

      No he is not my mother. I looked after my own mother in terms of a gift and showing my appreciation for her. And I also look after HIM when it’s Father’s day, he gets spoilt rotten on behalf of our kids.

      He is my husband and since my kids are too small to do something for me on their own I do expect some small measure an effort ON the day to show me I am appreciated.

    2. My husband said the same thing when I complained about his mtb race and he told me tongue-in-cheek that his mother was in Cape Town BUT when your kids are little and cannot do things themselves and much of your life revolves around caring for them 24/7 and there is very little me time, then I do believe it is the father’s job to make an effort on their behalf. My husband is also not big into birthdays. anniversaries, Father’s Day,etc. BUT he has known me for almost 19 years now and he knows how important they are to me, so I expect a bit of an effort. Mother’s Day is also especially significant for anyone that has struggled with infertility. Ironically I had my 2nd miscarriage on Mother’s Day and while I still remember it like it was yesterday I am pretty sure my husband never gives it a second thought and certainly doesn’t remember which day it happened.

  8. You know, I don’t think you’re overreacting Sam. Mother’s Day may be a commercial effort that retailers made up to sell more stuff, but it’s still one day in the year when your family can show you how much they appreciate all the hard work you put into caring for them CONSTANTLY. And you’re right, it doesn’t have to be an expensive gift or gesture, it just has to show that thought and effort have gone into it. Hoping next year’s is better for you!

  9. You’re not overreacting. He needs to get his act together. It is ONE day in the year. I’m really, really sorry that you had an awful day, my sweet friend. xxxx

    Not sure what that earlier commenter meant but she’s right. You are not his Mother. You are, however, the Mother of his children and THAT, my friend changes EVERYTHING. xx

  10. 😆 😆 I’m not laughing at you, just laughing because I see I’m not alone. I’m convinced my hubby had been walking around with his eyes shut and his ears closed! He didn’t even know it was Mother’s Day so you can imagine how that went. My hubby is also super helpful and caring but I think sometimes they miss the mark. Though because I’m used to him not remembering or acknowledging certain things I’ve learnt not to expect anything.

    One thing I do know Sam is as the kids gets older Mother’s Day become more fun and they kind of “force” daddy to make a fuss about it. I’m thinking I would boycott Father’s Day and though I’m sure my husband wouldn’t even notice.

    I got 3 roses he picked from the garden , just because they were beautiful not because he knew what day it was. And the church gave all ladies chocolates. Guess who ate them!!! Hubby dearest 🙁

    I think Julia’s idea is a wonderful one. Lay down exactly what you want ahead of time. That way he has no excuses.

    Seriously why do they have races on Mother’s Day!

    Ps: a few years ago my church started celebrating all ladies (not just mothers) on Mother’s Day. Because as my pastor put it God answers prayers and will grant the desires of everyone’s heart in good time.

    Pps: sorry for the “blog post” in the comment

  11. Shame man Sam. I think that if Mothers Day is important to you then hubby should respect that. It is about listening to each others needs. I personally am not big into mothers day. I love spoiling my Mom but have never got it into my head that I am a mother as well (sounds silly I know). I spent my Mothers day spring cleaning…and hubby helped.(oopppss…i did get breakfast in bed and a gift the girls had made at school) That was what I wanted. I did not want a gift. I just wanted time.

  12. Sigh … I got a toolbox (which he bought the Sunday morning) for mothers day… to be used to store some of my arts & crafts. I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. All I want is some me time. My perfect mothers day would be breakfast at home, not made by me I want to sleep in, then I want to have a spa day by myself, pedi mani, facial, massage etc. a lazy lunch again by myself, (which I can eat warm, in one sitting and with both hands holding utensils) a afternoon nap and then back home to watch a movie with hubby and kids eating popcorn. It is only once a year surely they can get it right once!!! I feel your pain Sam I feel it … want to share the toolbox?

    1. Wow. A toolbox, altho if you are a crafty type and need storage space it could be seen as being quite a thoughtful gift… *could be*… I would be annoyed by the fact that it was only bought on the day tho, cos that to me is like an afterthought… I think next year I am taking things into my own hands and booking myself into a day spa BY MYSELF for the day. You want to come along?


  13. Sigh, I hear you. I also have to remind hubby that it is mothers day and remind him that I would like him to make a big deal! Last year I was REALLY peeved because he went for a drink with my brother and took ages to come home (In hindsight I think this was more my brothers fault than his) This year he bought the card and gift the night before from THE SPAR! I did get to sleep in though!

    Mothers day is special to me for the same reason, but I have decided to just be thankful for what I get. My hubby is not sentimental at all and I suppose that I have just decided to choose my battles. That being said, I won’t let it go totally and I think that if you feel annoyed about it you have a right too.

    1. The thing is I have told him how important it is to me – every year for the last three years! And I don’t think I’m asking too much for him to just plan ahead. Like I said it doesn’t have to be an expensive something – just a sleep in till I wake up, some breakfast in bed and more showing me I’m appreciated.


      Date: Wed, 21 May 2014 10:57:11 +0000 To:

  14. I FEEL you.. I totally feel you!! Not to be generalist, but I do believe that most men are wired this way. But I’ve also come a long way in expecting anything amazing from my hubby.. and I mean this with respect to him. He is not the romantic type, he is not an emotional lovey-dovey type… and he truly doesn’t “GET” why I make a big deal of these touchy-feely occasions. And you know what, I’ve come to accept that. So now I TELL them what I expect and what I would like. Some may say that takes all the fun out of it and its not really them showing appreciation, its them taking orders.. haha.. but truthfully, we are both happier when we know exactly what the other wants and expects. I guess it helps that he does make me feel appreciated and loved on the regular, so I am able to turn a blind eye when he doesnt deliver on that one special day, lol. And yes, there’s always room for spontaneity which he is good at, but for the most, we tell each other what we want and expect and it works for us…

  15. I feel exactly the same way on birthdays, anniversaries and any other day that I feel is supposed to be all about me. I totally get you. I feel terrible that this is how I feel but I just can’t shake it off.

  16. Wow, what alot of materialistic, self centred people. Just be grateful you have children to be a mother to, be grateful that you have a husband and even more so if helps alot with the kids. Just be patient and wait until your kids are older and they can do something for you, as it is called Mothers day not Wife day. Fuck, can’t believe all the drivel which I just read, a bunch of moaning, narrow minded women.

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