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Guest Mom: When Does Mother’s Day Become My Day?

Like most moms, I believe I have an incredible daughter but have found juggling motherhood and working full time to be very challenging. With my chatty 17 month old and a career I love, it’s hard to find a balance.

This year I will be celebrating my second Mother’s Day. Last year, I put my foot down and selfishly stayed home. I relaxed, read a bit, played with my daughter, had pizza for dinner — nothing too fancy, but perfect. Sure, my husband took our daughter to see his mom for a brief visit, but we didn’t see my mom (which we received slack for). But what was great about last year was that I did what I wanted to do. For every other holiday, our family does what everyone else wants us to do. We figure out what both families are doing and then do the mad juggle between several houses (never our own of course and not by choice). By the end of each holiday we are exhausted. Not Mother’s Day though. That is my day…except this year.

Everyone was so disappointed last year so I’ve once again agreed to accommodate the older generation of moms. In doing this, of course we have to be fair and see both our moms, which means we will once again be driving all over the place. Lunch with one family, dinner with another, and a 45-minute drive in between. All the while, we will hold our breath hoping that our daughter stays in good spirits without a proper nap. In hindsight, I’m bitter with my decision. I wish I stood my ground because I am now dreading Mother’s Day. Next year I will be selfish again.

I wonder though, when does the switch happen with Mother’s Day? My mom certainly doesn’t see her mom and until recently my mother-in-law didn’t see her mom either. With a sister-in-law who still centers the day around her mom, when I can put my foot down permanently without being the selfish one? Have you put your foot down yet or do you also spend your Mother’s Day running around like any other holiday?


  1. Anonymous May 1, 2008 at 8:19 am

    I have been through this exact scenario! We have been on an every other year pattern so far (my oldest is only 4). One year, I’ll do the traveling and the next is my year to stay home with my boys – planting flowers in the yard!

    I have another friend who celebrates with the grandmothers the weekend before Mother’s Day, perhaps that would work for you?

  2. Anonymous May 1, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I suppose it is a glass half full/half empty conundrum. We live 500 miles away from our moms/grandmoms, so spending Mother’s Day with them isn’t a feasible option. I would enjoy the time that you and your extended family can spend together–and maybe choose another Sunday to have a stay-at-home-and-eat-pizza-for-dinner day. I bet, in time, you’ll be glad you made time for both!

  3. jsciusco May 2, 2008 at 11:57 am

    OMG– I literally thought this word for word on the train yesterday as I started to begrudgingly plan the day I now refer to as “Grandma DAy”

  4. Anonymous May 5, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    It is time for Moms to take back Mother’s Day! This will be my second year as a new mom. My first Mother’s Day was awful! My baby was only 4 months old and I had to take her (without my husband) to a loud restaurant, try to hold her, feed her, keep her calm with all the noise around and have dinner with my family. I couldn’t believe how they didn’t even consider the fact that I had a newborn. I was very excited to be a new mom and celebrate my first Mother’s Day and then it was ruined by having to hold my daughter, try to eat and keep everyone from messing with her because she would scream bloody murder and then be in a bad mood the rest of the day. So this year, I am doing what I want. I am going to church with my mom in the morning because it is still her day too but I am skipping the dinner with family to go to the zoo with my little girl and husband.

  5. Anonymous June 16, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    I sympathize and don’t have any great answers. Lucky for us, my mom lives about 150 miles away — too long for the expectation that we’ll visit. Plus, her bday is right near mother’s day, so this year we visited for that event instead. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is in a relatively nearby nursing home. It seems mean and selfish not to want to visit, and on the other hand, it’s not really my idea of a fun and relaxing day for me. This year, we didn’t make any formal plan to visit, but had time in the afternoon and made an impropmtu drop-by. With the great weather and some other family as surprise guests as well, it turned out to be the best visit we’ve ever had. I think the lack of pressure of HAVING to visit, made it all the more relaxing.

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