What Do You Want for Mother's Day?

Sunday is Mother's Day. The American version of the holiday was officially established 99 years ago by Anna M. Jarvis, who campaigned for the creation of an official Mother's Day in remembrance of her mother. On May 10, 1908, the first official Mother's Day celebration took place at Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, W. Va. and a church in Philadelphia, Pa. Many other cultures officially (and unofficially) celebrate the important work mothers do with a range of holidays and festivals.

What values do you honor on Mother's Day? When you think of "a good mom," what qualities come to mind? What do you usually get -- or give -- for Mother's Day? Do you think we've achieved recognition that motherhood is real work?

I believe the best Mother's Day gift is to tell another mom she's a good mom. We don't do enough of that in this country -- maybe in any country.

What do you want for Mother's Day?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  May 11, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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First!!

Posted by: Mike C | May 11, 2007 7:25 AM

Well, continuing in the vein of yesterday's discussion -- I want some free time!!!! We have NOTHING on the schedule for Sunday (except Church and sunday school) and are going to take a REALLY long walk to one of my favorite parks.

BTW, I just want to thank everybody for that great discussion about balance yesterday on the blog. I found myself mulling it over yesterday (in the car, on the way to activities)and ended up having a great chat with my kids about the whole topic -- how busy they want to be, what activities they actually like -- and the big one, what they want to remember about their childhoods at home before they go off to college. (I'm hoping they'll remember SOMETHING other than me yelling at them to finish their math worksheets and to hurry up and get in the car because we're late for some darned activity.)
In my own mind, I'm trying to think about what THEY want to be and who God wants them to be, and not just who I want them to be. We've already decided to cut back on the math tutoring -- I'm so excited!!!
I learned a lot from you guys yesterday. thanks.

Posted by: Armchair Mom | May 11, 2007 7:31 AM

DD is too little for Mother's Day to mean much just yet (she's 17 months). Accordingly, we're not planning some grand celebration.

Regardless, I've asked for some extra money for summer clothes that I don't strictly need, but would really like. And I'll ask the boy to cover the middle-of-the-night wakeups so I can get a full night's sleep.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 7:46 AM

I never really celebrated Mothers' Day in the normal manner. My mother thought it was a fictional holiday created by Hallmark to sell more crap. (Recurring theme -- she tends to think that about a lot of holidays). So she flat-out forbade me to get her anything.

I, of course, couldn't actually just comply with that request (far too obstreporous for that), so every year tried to figure out what I could do that is not traditional, but that she would like (usually food of some sort, although biggest hit was when I had my college a capella group call and sing to her).

But leave it to my husband to subvert the whole process. He took her rule as a challenge -- he went out and found the sappiest Mothers' Day card he could, and wrote this hugely "meaningful" sappy note inside, then presented it in all seriousness. I have never seen her laugh so hard.

What do I want? To sleep past 5:30 AM. To get a homemade card from my daughter. To have a fun day as a family, outdoors in beautiful weather (yeah, right), with everyone having fun and no nagging or whining (kids OR adults!). To be mentally completely here, enjoying my family, without getting distracted by thinking about all the things I need to do. And then maybe to have a couple of hours to myself in the kitchen to make my homemade pasta (thank you, Molto Mario), which everyone begs for, but which I never have time to make.

Posted by: Laura | May 11, 2007 7:47 AM

Mother's Day never mattered much to my mother, nor does it matter much to me. I inherited her belief that mothers, as well as fathers, should be treated well every day.

That being said, it seems to be important to my children to mark the day in some way. I welcome any opportunity to go for a long walk or sit down for a leisurely meal with my family; if they want to give me cards and gifts while we're at it, I'll cheerfully receive them. After all, a large part of being a good parent is honoring who your children really are.

As my children get older, I hope they will call and visit often. But if they never acknowledge another Mother's Day, that's fine.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 7:52 AM

What do I want for Mother's Day? Well, it's time for a resolution for sorts. I think I am going to do something for myself. I'm going to drop all the feeds and widgets to this sexist blog. Women want equality in this world? Start acting equal.

Posted by: Bad Karma | May 11, 2007 8:03 AM

I would like to be home in Ohio with my family. My uncle died and they are having a memorial on Sunday. However, I am not feeling up to the trip and my aunt says that she doesn't need the worry of my traveling all that way pregnant.

So, in honor of my uncle, the farmer and outdoorsman, my family is packing a picnic and going hiking. Well, hiking as much as you can in the Midwest.

Posted by: scarry | May 11, 2007 8:07 AM

On Sunday afternoon, I'll bring my daughter to the graveyard to pick out some flowers for mom.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 8:13 AM

"Do you think we've achieved recognition that motherhood is real work?"

Had to toss in something to further the agenda, didn't you.....

Posted by: Vic | May 11, 2007 8:26 AM

I usually vacillate between doing something totally for myself (like having some cash and a day ALONE to do whatever I want on a day other than the actual Mother's Day sunday) and doing a big, everyone together thing with my mother and my family.

This year? I'd settle for a pedicure and a pleasant meal (no whining or misbehaving, please).

Posted by: chausti | May 11, 2007 8:35 AM

With my husband off to see his mom for the weekend, I will just settle for a day where the boys don't wrestle on the floor, do their chores without nagging, and smile all day. The last request is especially difficult for teenagers.

Posted by: dotted | May 11, 2007 8:38 AM

I know it's Friday but wouldn't talking about Michelle Obama have been more interesting?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 8:43 AM

My friend's teens/20something chiildren asked her what she wanted for Mother's Day. When she said she would like a day where everyone gets along, they replied "Really, Mom, what do you want for Mother's Day. Ha!

Posted by: Gotta laugh | May 11, 2007 8:48 AM

I know it's Friday but wouldn't talking about Michelle Obama have been more interesting?

WHY, who cares about her?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 8:49 AM

I want Fred to teach me how to use the computer!

Posted by: Frieda | May 11, 2007 8:51 AM

Michelle Obama's Career Timeout
For Now, Weight Shifts in Work-Family Tug of War

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/10/AR2007051002573.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 8:53 AM

I just want sleep...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 9:03 AM

My husband gives me Mother's Day cards from our dogs. He even writes long, misspelled messages in kid speak ("I love momy. I like ham sammiches."). It cracks me up.

I send cards to all the moms I know--my friend's mom back home (because I know her daughter will forget), my college roommate (because I know her husband will forget), and my mom and stepmom and grandma.

The one thing I really wanted to do was do something with my mom to remember her mom, who died 2 years ago. I know she misses her a lot, but I didn't really know what to do. Maybe I'll enlarge and frame a picture of her. Does anyone have other ideas?

Posted by: Meesh | May 11, 2007 9:03 AM

To meesh- is there a recipe that you associate with your grandmother? Preparing that for or with your mom is a nice way to honor your grandmother's memory.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 11, 2007 9:08 AM

My teenager daughter has promised to spend at least an hour cleaning her room and helping with the rest of the house.

For my mother we (daughter & I) are making dinner. It is the one day I hate going to a restaurant - too crowded, service & food suffer. My ex used to take me out the following week to avoid the craziness (with my agreement).

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | May 11, 2007 9:09 AM

Why God Made Moms
Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think

Why did God give you your mother & not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My Mom has always been my Mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did Mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your Mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between Moms & Dads?
1 Moms work at work and work at home & dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but Moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your Mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your Mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those
invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Posted by: educmom | May 11, 2007 9:09 AM

"Product of a Working Mother," that's a great idea. My grandma made homemade gnocchi. My mom has the recipe, so maybe we can make it together. Thanks for the suggestion.

Posted by: Meesh | May 11, 2007 9:12 AM

My mom died when I was 21. To honor mother's day for me one year, she gave me a card that was for someone that had lost their mother. It was such a surprise, and truly touching. I don't have children, and don't have a mom, so I am generally kind of out of the loop for this particular holiday.

Posted by: To Meesh | May 11, 2007 9:13 AM

I am here for you anytime you need to jump!

Posted by: Mako | May 11, 2007 9:13 AM

My friend gave me the card. Not my mother. Even Hallmark hasn't accomplished cards from the dead.

Posted by: To Meesh again | May 11, 2007 9:16 AM

All I want for Mother's Day is to not be the default parent. Our son is too little to do presents or anything, so it's on dad's shoulders, this whole mother's day thing. And all i want is to be able to enjoy my son and my husband on my time and my terms for a change. To be able to come in and play with the baby, knowing that someone else has been checking his diaper, giving him naps, making sure he's fed, all the things that, by default, are my duties on a day to day basis. The things that everyone justs assumes I am supposed to/like to/want to do. I don't want to be without him for the day, but just want to know that when he wakes up in the am, I'm not the person who has to go to him - if I feel like getting up and doing so, I can, but that his dad is the "default" for the day - he will go in, if I don't want to get out of my comfy bed. He'll check the diaper or figure out the cause of the fussing. if I want to run to the store or do something around the house, I won't have to make sure his needs are being taken care of, bc that's dad's job on Sunday. My job will be to just enjoy, relax and be, somewhat, for the first time in a while, free.

Posted by: wondering | May 11, 2007 9:18 AM

Mother's Day is a great reason to call my mom who lives out of the country and have a nice long guiltless conversation. I'll also call my grandmother and do the same. From my three, I'll open homemade cards, schoolmade gifts (I'm pretty sure I'm going to receive a collage and a pottery bowl but they've surprised me before), and get as many hugs as I can handle. We're planning a cookout with neighbors whose children live out of state. I'm on the fence - DH has offered to take the kids out for a few hours so I can have some time for myself but I think I would rather have them around me on mother's day than have quiet time. That may depend on how busy Saturday turns out to be :)

On the topic of the kid-made gifts, I have saved a LOT of stuff over the years - school work, art, homemade gifts. Any ideas on good ways to preserve and store this stuff? I actually don't keep everything but even the selected items amass over time ...

Posted by: Stacey | May 11, 2007 9:18 AM

Relaxation! I want to be with the family, but just low-key no grand plans, relaxing (and maybe a manicure) :-)

Posted by: mfd | May 11, 2007 9:22 AM

I want some hugs, I want them to be relatively civil to one another, I want their chores done without delay, I want time to go mow, and I want a bag of Route 11 spicy potato chips.

Oh! And I want to watch a good, adult movie without interuption from them, and comment-free on my husband's part. "Boys Don't Cry" has been waiting for me for, well, WAY too long!

I've sent my mom her schmaltzy Mother's Day card (she loves that sort of sickly-sweet thing) and bought tickets to a ballet performance. That will make her VERY happy.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 11, 2007 9:23 AM

I got my mother's day gift yesterday. DH weeded out my huge flowerbed and gave me a gift certificate to go by flowers for it this weekend, which he will help me plant and then mulch. He gave his time and sweat in the hot sun for me and it meant the world, because at 7 ½ months pregnant, there was no way I was ever going to pull that off - and the flowerbeds have always been my domain (and my pride). He knew looking at all those spring weeds was getting to me.

I couldn't be happier!

Posted by: higher.ed.mom | May 11, 2007 9:27 AM

3. I would like for her to get rid of those
invisible eyes on the back of her head.

I've still got my youngest kid convinced that I can change lights by clapping my hands!

Also that cars don't start unless you are wearing your seatbelt AND I have an "eject" button (a la James Bond) for children who drive me crazy.

Forget, "Don't make me stop this car!", for us it's, "I'm going to press the button!"

I painted it with the biohazard emblem. That sums up the state of my car too.

Hmm, maybe I can get them to clean it out and vacuum it? That's a gift worth getting from the kids too.

Posted by: MdMother | May 11, 2007 9:27 AM

A great read that I just found for all those moms who wonder what perfect is and how they measure up, and for dads who want to see how the otehr moms comapre... The Imperfect Mother. It was written/compiled by a woman in Annapolis. Has some great stories of what being a mom is truly like. A great mother's day gift to yourself!

http://www.amazon.com/Imperfect-Mom-Candid-Confessions-Mothers/dp/0767922662

Posted by: Imperfect | May 11, 2007 9:29 AM

higher.ed.mom,

That's wonderful! How I love "sweat equity" gifts. Have you considered getting paw-paw trees planted too? Maybe around the side, away from your lovely garden?

Good luck to you over the next month-and-a-half. You'll do fine!

MdM

Posted by: MdMother | May 11, 2007 9:30 AM

We're getting together with friends Sunday. The dads will watch the babies for a couple of hours while the moms have a kid-free girlie lunch. Then the rest of the day is with my sweet baby girl. I love diapering (her favorite thing, strangely) and feeding (BFing is so nice) and putting her down to sleep (I love watching her drift off) and calming her if she's upset (it's so nice to know I can make her feel better so easily). I can't wait until she's old enough to make a card!

Posted by: atb | May 11, 2007 9:32 AM

such nice and thoughtful posts. what we want is actually so reasonable, simple, low-key...i feel the same way.

Posted by: Leslie | May 11, 2007 9:34 AM

I want to be my wife's slave for a day. You know, where she simply snaps her fingers, points at her feet and says, "rub".

Better yet, if she said to me, "Fetch me a cold one and make it snappy!", I would really like that kind of talk.

But that would be too easy. I get stuck with the task of reading her nmind and trying to figure it out for myself.

I know, I know. if I REALLY loved her and LISTENED to her, she wouldn't have to ask, right?

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 11, 2007 9:37 AM

You are my wife, not my mother. Don't expect anything from me, get over it!

Posted by: to all of you ladies | May 11, 2007 9:41 AM

"I want to watch a good, adult movie"

Maryland Mother! You naughty, naughty girl!

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 11, 2007 9:42 AM

I just want RECOGNITION. My daughter's father and I are no longer together. She's too young to understand mother's day so for the last 2 years I haven't gotten so much as a card from her father and barely a "Happy Mother's Day." This year I decided to send MYSELF flowers. I have the best time with my daughter anyway so I don't need extra time or anything like that, and I don't want "Me Time." I just want ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

Posted by: Honestly | May 11, 2007 9:43 AM

I know, I know. if I REALLY loved her and LISTENED to her, she wouldn't have to ask, right?

Posted by: Father of 4 |

No, you'd still have to ask.

I'm also thinking that IF my husband feels he MUST spend money on me in some fashion, I want a generous gift certificate to Title 9. I'll tell him, if he asks.

Posted by: MdMother | May 11, 2007 9:43 AM

Fo4,

Thanks for noticing!

*cracks lunge whip*

Sorry, only at the horses!

Best button spotted at a horse show:

"Get the whips out of the show ring and back in the bedroom where they belong!"

I almost wet myself laughing...

Posted by: MdM | May 11, 2007 9:45 AM

I want to SLEEP. Past 7 am. On Sunday. That's all.

Posted by: fedmom | May 11, 2007 9:46 AM

I am making my mom a traditional English tea with scones and little sandwiches and things.

Posted by: worker bee | May 11, 2007 9:49 AM

Honestly,

Happy Mother's Day! It's sad when some exs can't help their children when these special holidays come around, but just try to take joy in the fact that you love your daughter and you are a good mom.

She will get older and then you will get a lot of recognition for your hard work as a single mom, probably in the form of homemade bath salts and cards.

Posted by: scarry | May 11, 2007 9:49 AM

Mom's been gone ten yrs now, so it's bittersweet. I don't know what dh jas planned, since for a week I've said: so what's on the calendar for sunday and he replies-music class for the young one. And nothing else. I know he hasn't forgotten, but he likes to pretend he has.
I ask him what he wants to do, ie, spend time with his mom and he says: if you want we can go over there -and I'm thinking: um, she's *your* mom.

So I'll maybe take the little one to class and the big one to waffle house (where we go since it's not the real mom's day destination and when the big one was little I figured why spend the money for a big brunch after waiting an hour for a table-especially since he'd be cranky and all).

Then some of your ideas are good-maybe go to the movies by myself. I have no idea what's playing, though.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 9:50 AM

For Mothers Day it will be church, brunch, baking my b-day cake (Monday is my bday) and playing outside as much as possible. I would love a day without tears, bickering, eye-rolling etc. but I will be spending it with my family and my family is not perfect -- just the way that I love them :)

Posted by: Marie | May 11, 2007 9:54 AM

I just want my mom back. She died suddenly two years ago and I never got a chance to tell her how much she helped me in learning to become a mom. And how much I relied on being able to talk to her about parenting.
From my young kids (ages 5 and 7) what I really want are lots of hugs and to see what adorable project they have labored over (they have been whispering about it for weeks--"shhh mom's coming don't tell her") whatever it is it will move me and I will be reminded how important my family is to me.

Posted by: downtown dc mom | May 11, 2007 9:55 AM

I would like to see her and say how much I've missed her these last 30 years. She didn't see so much of my life; graduation from high school, going into the military, graduation from college, marriage, and now trying to start a family.

Happy Mother's Day, mom.

Posted by: John L | May 11, 2007 9:57 AM

and to you dads out there-yes you should acknowledge what a great mom your wife is. My dh always says: but you're not *my*mom but always does such sweet things. But with no 1, when I was going to be pregnant on mom's day we agreed not to acknowledge it-to us that's creepy. Well, then when ds was early he was all: well, I hadn't planned on it...! Darn!

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 9:59 AM

Mothers Day is hard for me. I dont love my mother. She is/was mean, addicted to any prescription drug she could find, verbally abusive and just not very nice. I have spent my adult life trying to come to terms with not loving my own mother. After some therapy, I can finally say it -- I dont love my mother. And here it is -- Mothers Day -- where we are supposed to honor our mothers. So I focus on my wonderful MIL and on my kids who love to present me with their beautiful cards -- and I pray that I wont be like my mom (even though I know I am not -- it scares me every day)

Posted by: Anon for this | May 11, 2007 10:01 AM

John L., seriously, stop making me cry at work.

Posted by: Meesh | May 11, 2007 10:03 AM

I want someone else to spend Sunday doing 10 loads of laundry. We have a very equal and balanced division of labor in my house, but it would be nice if someone else could do the laundry this week!!

Oh, and all the other stuff about no bickering, chores done without complaining.....

Posted by: Michelle | May 11, 2007 10:03 AM

I've been in the doghouse lately from working long hours.

Proud mama is going to wind up getting a spa treatment, a couple of odds and ends she requested, some flowers and a fairly elaborate everything-made-on-the-grill dinner. The 20-month-old is giving her a book called Mommy and Me. It seemed appropriate :-)

Still lots more to do to climb out of the doghouse....

Posted by: Proud Papa | May 11, 2007 10:15 AM

I'm getting whiplash from the range of emotions provoked here today. On the one hand, we have Md. Mom with one of her funniest, "Get the whips out of the show ring and back in the bedroom where they belong!"

On the other, Meesh, downtown dc mom, and John L, you almost had me weeping at my desk.

Anon for This, we have this in common. Mother's Day is something I strive to deserve, mostly by putting more distance every day between the kind of mother I have and the one I am.


Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 11, 2007 10:16 AM

Anon for this,

I'm sorry your mom was such a loser. I've struggled with similar issues, and I know how tough it is.

I suspect that, just by being aware that the stuff your mom did was wrong, you're way ahead of her on this mothering gig.

I hope you get to enjoy your day with the great family members you do have.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 10:16 AM

For Proud Papa -- dont forget for dinner to set the table (including condiments) and drinks. My pet peeve is when my dear husband "makes" dinner on the grill but leaves me to do everything else inside. Whereas when I make dinner, I do all of the table setting etc. -- Just a thought

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 10:18 AM

Oh, and for those of us with not-so-great moms, I found the perfect Mother's Day card this year. On the front, it says "Mom, I'm the woman I am because of the mother you are." Perfect. She may read it as "Mom, you've molded and shaped me," but I know it really means "Mom, I've structured my life to be nothing like you."

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 10:20 AM

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070510/ap_on_re_us/divorce_decline

US Divorce Rates at Lowest Rate Since 1970

Among other statements,

"Other researchers have documented what they call "the divorce divide," contending that divorce rates are indeed falling substantively among college-educated couples but not among less-affluent, less-educated couples.

"Families with two earners with good jobs have seen an improvement in their standard of living, which leads to less tension at home and lower probability of divorce," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of public policy at Johns Hopkins University.

Posted by: The Shark says | May 11, 2007 10:27 AM

Oh, and for those of us with not-so-great moms, I found the perfect Mother's Day card this year. On the front, it says "Mom, I'm the woman I am because of the mother you are." Perfect. She may read it as "Mom, you've molded and shaped me," but I know it really means "Mom, I've structured my life to be nothing like you."

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 10:20 AM

I love it, NewSAHM. You reminded me of how long it would take my sister and I to shop for mother's day cards back in the day, LOL. When you're searching for one that is truthful, but not hurtful, it's quite a challenge. (and before anyone says it, (a) I'm not crafty, and (b) my mother loves those icky Hallmark floral, pastel cards).

Posted by: MN | May 11, 2007 10:31 AM

My mother doesn't like it if I make a big deal out of mother's day but I know if I ignore it, she'll be sad. So my dh, our boys and I will make pancakes for breakfast. She (and my dad) will play with their grandsons until nap time.

For me, we're having hardshelled crabs and beer for dinner. I've asked for a mooning gnome to put in the front garden but I don't know if I'll get it.

Posted by: My mother's day | May 11, 2007 10:33 AM

Anon for This, I am with you. I had a similar experience. She's no longer with us and I was too young to remember the "good stuff" that my dad remembers. I only remember the negatives.

Mother's Day, her birthday and the anniversary of her death (which happens to be XMas eve, on top of everything) are all very strange. The strangeness never goes away but with time we are all able to get used to the strangeness.

Hang in there. My thoughts are with you.

Posted by: Proud Papa | May 11, 2007 10:33 AM

Read Queen Noor's commentary on cnn.com asking for a Mother's Day for Peace. I think it is a beautiful statement.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 10:33 AM

To Stacey:

Perhaps you could take some of the items your children have made for you and put them in a shadowbox and hang them on a wall somewhere in your home or display them on a table. You could also take some of their artwork and put it on furniture, such as tables, and put some type of finish over it and then place a large piece of glass over it. You could also make a scrapbook and put pictures of your children at the age when they gave you some of these gifts. Just a few suggestions. :)

Posted by: To Stacey | May 11, 2007 10:34 AM

Thanks everyone. Its nice to remember that there are others out there in similar situations. I know I am not like her, but its hard to remember sometimes. But you better believe I will call her on Sunday and play nicey-nice, and sent her decent gift. Dont know why I do it -- maybe guilt -- whatever, it makes my life easier :)

Posted by: Anon for this | May 11, 2007 10:42 AM

I'm really sad to see the posts on the people who didn't love their moms especially those whose moms never knew that their kids really didn't love them. Who knows if these moms thought they did a great job raising their kids. That is a terrifying thought! If you don't mind sharing, what are the things your mom did/didn't do that makes you feel the way you do about her.

Posted by: fabworkingmom | May 11, 2007 10:42 AM

I hate father's day. I feel it is so contrived. I feel the same way about mother's day, fortunately my mom does too. My wife is a completely different matter. I agree with fred and I tell my wife that she is not my mom. I always lose and end up buying a gift which frankly I resent. I do help the kids get her something nice though. Call me scrooge, it is just the way i feel.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 10:45 AM

Straight to the heart, Shaw's jeweler!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 10:46 AM

That's Jared....it can only be JARED!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 10:46 AM

I wish my mom was here to at least see my wonderful boys, but also to stop wondering all those things about my growing up. Since she's been gone I've grown up a bunch but I'd like to know why she married my dad, why she stayed with him, why she kept having kids, etc. I'll just never know.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 10:47 AM

I don't understand the "this holiday is so contrived" argument - what is wrong with setting aside a day of the year to recognize the work that Mothers (and Father's on Father's day) do all year round day in day out?
pATRICK - even though your wife is not your mother, she is the mother of your children and it's not asking too much to show your appreciation.
Why so sensitive you ask - my husband brings up that same silly argument every year for all sorts of holidays including Valentine's day and it drives me up the wall!!!

Posted by: fabworkingmom | May 11, 2007 10:49 AM

To fabworkingmom: Great question -- if you ask my mother, she would tell you that we have a wonderful relationship. That is the drugs talking. She has no grasp on reality whatsoever. I could go into examples of how she has no grasp on reality, but that is not your question. To answer your question (in no particular order):

1) had no respect/love for my dad
2) abused prescription drugs (which made her mean at times, incoherent at times, embarrassing at times, she even passed out at my kids b-day party last year in front of all of my friends);
2a) my dad and brother stuck their heads in the sand about the drugs, so I felt very alone growing up and I think that is the worst thing she did -- her behavior made me feel totally alone in a family that loved me
3) was convinced I was on drugs and even tore apart my room looking for them;
4) guilt-trips about wanting to be a normal kid (being with friends not her);
5) self-absorbed
6) know-it-all about things she knew nothing about

Do you want more (I am trying to give the list and not cry at my desk :)

Posted by: Anon for this | May 11, 2007 10:50 AM

Here are some of the highlights:

Starting when we were around 7, she'd pull us into her room, tell us she and dad were getting divorced and she needed to know, right now, who we wanted to live with. (They never did get divorced)

When she got really mad, she'd grab us by the hair, throw us on the ground and kick whatever body parts she could reach. God help you if you put up a hand to fend her off -- then she'd say you'd hit her, and things would be so much worse.

Searched our rooms, went through our trash, listened in on our phone conversations (when we were allowed to have them), and opened all our mail.

From the time we were 8 or so, pissing her off would get us thrown out of "her" house. We'd be expected to stay in the yard until she felt like letting us back in. My sister never did wait, and my mom would then call the police and tell them she'd run away. The first time she did this, I gasped, and she told me that if the police knew she'd thrown Sis out, that they wouldn't look for her.

Told us our dad was having an affair with his secretary (he wasn't).

Told us repeatedly as kids how we were a huge disappointment, how happy and rich she could have been if she'd never had us, that various family members (usually my paternal grandmother) hadn't actually wanted them to adopt us, and that there was clearly some dreadful mental illness in our birth families because we were "sick" and "the devil's spawn."

When we were 9 years old, my sister and I got teased a lot at school. She came home crying one day, and all mom could offer was "whay are you telling me this? I have my own problems!" Actually, that one pretty much summed up her whole attitude towards parenting. Her comfort and needs were paramount, and everything else was secondary. There was no worry about overscheduling in our house, since Mom wouldn't let us do anything that would entail effort on her part, even something as simple as driving us to sports practice.

Shall I continue, or does that give you a decent picture of what she was like?

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 10:52 AM

stop it

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 10:54 AM

I will tell you why. I feel that I do not need a hallmark day to be recognized and neither does she. I feel both of us should honor each other every day and not for one day. My wife is not my mother any more than I am her father. Save the gifts for who they are intended for. I also resent trying to come up with a gain the perfect gift, year after year, which I must do on valentines day, mother's day, her birthday, christmas, our anniversary etc etc etc. It becomes a beating. On Father's day all i want is to maybe go out to eat.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 10:55 AM

I just want to sleep in and spend some time with my husband and daughter! I'd love it if he cooked me breakfast (I do all the cooking) but that might backfire. ;-) As for a present, I asked for a bathrobbe. A long one. For some reason, whenever I've asked for and received a bathrobe in the past (even if it's a terry cloth one), they've been short. I want one that I don't have to worry about wearing when my brother and his wife and little one visit next weekend!! It's a simple thing, and honestly, I probably should have just picked out and bought a bathrobe for myself a long time ago, but it's one of those things that I just keep forgetting to do! You know, being a busy mom and all. ;-)

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Posted by: PLS | May 11, 2007 10:55 AM

Shall I continue, or does that give you a decent picture of what she was like?

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 10:52 AM

You know she was probably mentally ill don't you?

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 10:57 AM

I'm really sad to see the posts on the people who didn't love their moms especially those whose moms never knew that their kids really didn't love them. Who knows if these moms thought they did a great job raising their kids. That is a terrifying thought! If you don't mind sharing, what are the things your mom did/didn't do that makes you feel the way you do about her.

Posted by: fabworkingmom | May 11, 2007 10:42 AM

fabworkingmom, for one thing, while anon for this states that she doesn't love her mom, that's not always true for those I whose moms were crappy parents. Love isn't earned. It is freely given and as often flows to those who may not "deserve" it as it does to the saintly.

Since you asked, my mother is an entirely self-centered, perpetually unhappy, blame-oriented soul. Only one topic is of interest - her, what she's feeling, what she wants. When I was an adolescent, she had my dog put to sleep as retaliation because she was angry that she believed I was responsible for my 28 year old sister moving out of the house. She said many awful, cruel things when my father - no saint himself - was not at home. No witnesses is the key to all verbal and emotional abusers. She threatened divorce on a weekly basis during my teen years but never followed through. No visit is ever long enough. Calls are never frequent enough.

Some of us are raised by role-models. Some of us are raised by role-models for what not to do. Either works, if you're strong enough, but the scars remain for the second group.

Posted by: anon for today | May 11, 2007 10:58 AM

Yeah, I know. But since she wouldn't get help then and denies everything now, it doesn't help. What does a diagnosis mean to a seven year old who's afraid of her mom?

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 10:59 AM

You know she was probably mentally ill don't you?

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 10:57 AM

I know this was not directed at me, but I would like to comment -- I know my mom had/has issues, but as the child --right or wrong-- I dont care. No parent has the right to treat a child like that regardless of their problems. Dont have kids, get help, do anything but hurt the helpless human being who wants nothing more in life than to love you and by rejecting this helpless person you are fuc**ing up their life. No one has that right. Okay thanks for letting me get that off my chest

Posted by: Anon for this | May 11, 2007 11:01 AM

Anon and newSAHM- It's kinda hard to imagine you can't be doing better than that!!! Good for you getting out and doing better.

Posted by: atb | May 11, 2007 11:02 AM

Now that we are out of the country, I send nice flowers to Mom and MIL. They appreciate that we are thinking of them even though we aren't there. When we were there, my Mom, MIL and I would go to a nice MD tea and then the whole family would go out to a nice dinner. I think spending quality time with our families was the most important for us all on MD.

The UK celebrates Mother's Day in March for some reason. I was out of town, so didn't get to celebrate. I'm wondering if DH will just ignore it altogether or do something nice b/c it is MD in the states. Considering he has been a complete tool lately, I'm expecting the latter...

Posted by: londonmom | May 11, 2007 11:02 AM

My mom was manic depressive. Which just about tells you all you need to know. But during the 70's, they treated the mania with liberal doses of Lithium, without really knowing what the other health risks were.

So the condition caused mood swings (not her fault) that made her nasty and unpredictable at times. She was a very intellectual and proud woman who resented having to stay heavily medicated (because it dulled her senses) so she did not always take her pills. I have lots of memories of her being nasty or being me being in dangerous situations that a small child should never be in. My parents' marriage was pretty bad for several years, until she got incapacitated and my dad took care of her until her demise.

So add to that the notion that the doctors blamed the chemical imbalance that caused the manic depression on her pregnancy. So, yeah, wacky 70's quacks overmedicated mom, killing her and ruining my childhood, but they say the root cause was me being born in the first place.

So with years of counseling, I'm no longer an angry introvert. Now, I'm a snarky extrovert. Yay, counselling!! (seriously.)

I have to remember that despite everything, people older than me remember her to be an outstanding, warm and special woman who was ultimately overtaken by medical issues beyond her control.

Posted by: Proud Papa | May 11, 2007 11:03 AM

"You know she was probably mentally ill don't you?

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 10:57 AM

I know this was not directed at me, but I would like to comment -- I know my mom had/has issues, but as the child --right or wrong-- I dont care. No parent has the right to treat a child like that regardless of their problems. Dont have kids, get help, do anything but hurt the helpless human being who wants nothing more in life than to love you and by rejecting this helpless person you are fuc**ing up their life. No one has that right. Okay thanks for letting me get that off my chest"

I didn't say it was right or excuse it, just made a point. Both of you are right in your points also. I understand because my own father is a chronically angry man and it took me until I was 17 to realize that he was impossible to please or reason with. I was free after that because I knew that there was nothing wrong with me or my mom or sister.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 11:04 AM

"Straight to the heart, Shaw's jeweler!!!

Posted by: | May 11, 2007 10:46 AM

That's Jared....it can only be JARED!!!

Posted by: | May 11, 2007 10:46 AM"

I hate you. It's bad enough that I only have radio in my car, and have to listen to this cr*p all the time anyway...

I was under the impression that what most moms want for Mother's Day is a day away from their families! ;-)

Do childfree people ever feel left out when their siblings, cousins, etc. are celebrating Mother's or Father's Day? I don't, but I wonder if other people do. I was picking out cards for my mom, sister, grandmother, and BF's mom when I felt like I was leaving my aunt out, so I bought her a noncommittal "Happy Mother's Day to a Great Aunt" card, and added a personal note about how she was my favorite aunt and a great mother to her three cats and two dogs. I doubt she'd have noticed if I neglected to send her a card, but hopefully it will make her smile.

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 11:04 AM

And the book dh got me a few yrs ago on mom's day: blessing of a skinned knee-dont remember the author. It is fabulous.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 11:06 AM

"There was no worry about overscheduling in our house, since Mom wouldn't let us do anything that would entail effort on her part, even something as simple as driving us to sports practice."

I have to admit that this same background colors my view of the whole "overscheduling" debate. My SAHM mother was unwilling even to be part of a 5 parent carpool so that I could participate in high school sports teams -- for free - at my school. The woman was home and could easily have driven 4.7 miles round trip once a week, but it might have cut into her time preparing another wholesome meal of Hamburger Helper. As a result, if my kids are interested in pursuing a sport or hobby, and willing to put the time and effort in, I'm supportive of their interests. I know it's not about me, and my baggage, but there it is.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 11:07 AM

Patrick -- Oh I know what you were saying and that is how I make this distinction -- I dont love my mom, but I dont hate her either. She did the best that she could (I have to believe that). She has an addition, an illness. Can she control it, not without help or intervention and no one else will acknowledge it -- its better to ignore it. Oh well.

Posted by: Anon for this | May 11, 2007 11:09 AM

Despite my best efforts, my kids will probably be posting here what a crappy parent I was. Maybe it is inevitable. I will at least know I did my best.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 11:10 AM

I feel so bad for the people with messed up moms and dads. My mom may have been a crazy, cat lady, but that didn't hurt me in the least.

Good job to all of you who could overcome abuse and have strong relationships with your spouse and children. That is really an accomplishment.

Posted by: scarry | May 11, 2007 11:11 AM

Thanks for sharing. It seems from the posts that the issues with the "problematic moms" stems from drug abuse/mental issues. 2 things I draw from this are: 1) Mental issues are a real problem and need to be addressed by the "sane" adult in the relationship or else it can cause lasting pain for the kids and 2)Chances of being such a bad mom are low if you don't have those issues (this should be a relief to moms everywhere!)

Again - I really appreciate you sharing your experiences. I'm really learning a lot from this blog of late.

Posted by: fabworkingmom | May 11, 2007 11:11 AM

Anon for this, I dreaded every single holiday when I was growing up too, including Mother's Day, because it was just a matter of time on each of those days before my mother would pick a fight with us over some minor thing, saying it was our fault that we had ruined the day for her. I later figured out that maybe she was afraid no holiday could ever match her expectations, so she'd sabotage it in order to be able to blame someone else for her own disappointment. It was a relief after she died, so we didn't have to go through all this drama anymore, and the rest of us don't really like holiday celebrations, except for a low-key meal.

Posted by: Regular but anonymous today | May 11, 2007 11:12 AM

OK, Funny story about my sainted mother.

I have been accused by my brother and sainted mother (no, I am not going to write sm for sainted mother!) of talking a bit. OK maybe a lot, maybe I cannot keep my mouth shut, whatever.

One day I was walking around the parent's house videotaping it for my dad's sister. Sainted mom, 2 brothers and oldest son were involved in a card game. (Mom always cheated at cards but Dad always allowed her to do this.) I was running the camera and my mouth doing a commentary. Mom looked right at the camera and said "Shut up, Fred!"

I was playing some tapes a few months ago (mom died many years ago) and this bit was on there. My brothers and Frieda starting howling! "Mom sure had you pegged!"

Oh well, I am glad that I can give them a cheap laugh!

Posted by: Fred | May 11, 2007 11:14 AM

pATRICK posted: I also resent trying to come up with a gain the perfect gift, year after year, which I must do on valentines day, mother's day, her birthday, christmas, our anniversary etc etc etc. It becomes a beating.

Do you ever ask her what she wants?

Posted by: fabworkingmom | May 11, 2007 11:14 AM

NewSAHM and anon for today,
My heart breaks for you. But your survival and your good mothering skills say a lot in your favor. Whatever gifts your mothers failed to give you, you received from grace instead. And the love you give your children will come back tenfold, surrounding you with the warmth and affection that you deserve and earned. Open your arms and hearts to this. I am sure they will be filled and even overflow.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 11:15 AM

Okay last comment on my crappy mom because I love the stories of happy moms -- I am also proud of my mom (how weird is that) -- her father beat the cr*p out of her as a child and permenantly scarred her. He was also very emotionally abusive. But my mom -- she never hit us kids. She broke that cycle -- okay so she was mentally unstable -- but I dont have that baggage too. So I am hoping that I dont mentally scar my kids and in two generations, the cycle is broken.

Posted by: Anon for this | May 11, 2007 11:15 AM

The saddest part of all is that while I now notice the abuse that went (goes) on in my family and (hopefully) have overcome, it is very difficult watching my sister create the same pattern in their lives with their children. It is heartbreaking.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 11:19 AM

pATRICK posted: I also resent trying to come up with a gain the perfect gift, year after year, which I must do on valentines day, mother's day, her birthday, christmas, our anniversary etc etc etc. It becomes a beating.

Do you ever ask her what she wants?


Please don't even get me started. She thinks I should come up with the perfect gift. No hints, it should be a "surprise". I offered once to take her to a high end cooking shop (her hobby) and let her buy whatever she wanted. She was offended and said that "she shouldn't have to pick her own gift" and stormed out of the room. I hate it because it takes all the joy out of it. It is a constant source of friction and it is worse because it falls on a holiday.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 11:19 AM

I'm a full-time working mom (have to/no choice). What I would like for Mother's Day is the chance to be a SAHM. To do, as I once read on a blog that a woman's heart breaked for the kids in daycare. She thought to herself when it came to those kids, "Your mom should be home with you, baking cookies with you, hugging you, and laughing at your silly jokes."

That's what I would want.

Posted by: What I would want... | May 11, 2007 11:20 AM

Straight to the heart, Shaw's jeweler!!!

Posted by: | May 11, 2007 10:46 AM

That's Jared....it can only be JARED!!!

Posted by: | May 11, 2007 10:46 AM

No--you're both wrong.

Every kiss begins with Kay!

Posted by: MdMother | May 11, 2007 11:20 AM

pATRICK posted: I also resent trying to come up with a gain the perfect gift, year after year, which I must do on valentines day, mother's day, her birthday, christmas, our anniversary etc etc etc. It becomes a beating.

pATRICK, My husband can't cope with this either, and memory of all these days is not his strong suit. It became obvious around the third year we were together that, unless I was prepared to be perpetually disappointed and have my spouse feel like a perpetual failure, I needed to be selective and prioritize one or two of these days as the ones I care most about. It's my birthday and valentines, btw, but YMMV. He feels strongly that Christmas is about the kids, so I've let that one go. It also helps that we both forgot our third anniversary, by the way. But he understands that being the only one at the office who doesn't get flowers for my birthday, etc., is such an easy thing to solve and it means something to me, although arguably it should not.

Just sayin'. None of these days should be a reason for someone to feel bad, and there ought to be a middle ground of managed expectations that every couple can reach. Of course, if I were one of those women who expected gifts of jewelry 7 times a year, we'd have to practice polygamy and bring a third income into the family, LOL.

Posted by: MN | May 11, 2007 11:23 AM

I feel so cheap when I buy flowers for my wife on those "special" days. It's such an effortless guesture.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 11, 2007 11:23 AM

My family typically took two vacations a year, scheduled around everyone's school breaks. One of them fell around Easter, typically, and we'd all load up in the car, hitch up the travel trailer, and go to Florida for a week.

The catch was, my mother was not allowed to cook; there were plenty of others (my sister, myself, younger brother and then Dad) to cook so she got a break from doing the things she'd do anyway at home.

When it was my time to cook, I grabbed a head of lettuce from the refrigerator, chopped it up and served it with some tomatoes as a salad before the meal.

Except, it wasn't lettuce; it was cabbage. My mother, to her credit, complimented me on the salad while everyone else was choking with laughter. I was probably 13 or so.

I do hate this month so much.

Posted by: John L | May 11, 2007 11:24 AM

I want a STEAMIN` HOT 25 year-old Mama to give me some sugar as a wake-up call.

Posted by: Mister Methane | May 11, 2007 11:25 AM

wow - did anyone read Stacey's On Parenting column today? It's a gut wrencher.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 11:25 AM

I saw Stacey's "On Parenting" blog also, and agree with her. My wife's dad died slowly in a nursing home, and I saw how it eroded both my wife and his while they waited for him to die. His wife told us that there were times she hated herself for wanting him to die, and my wife always told her mom that wasn't anything to feel guilty about.

Both mine and my wife's moms died suddenly, without warning. IMO that was the better way to die (if there is such a thing), for all concerned, both the dying and those left behind.

Posted by: John L | May 11, 2007 11:28 AM

I feel so cheap when I buy flowers for my wife on those "special" days. It's such an effortless guesture.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 11, 2007 11:23 AM

being cheap and easy isn't such a bad thing.

My husband learned early on that one of those $1 roses from 7-11 picked up on the way home from work could make up for almost any argument. It meant alot to me and was easy for him. Be glad you married someone with reasonable expectations and who laughs at your jokes.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 11:29 AM

pATRICK posted: I also resent trying to come up with a gain the perfect gift, year after year, which I must do on valentines day, mother's day, her birthday, christmas, our anniversary etc etc etc. It becomes a beating.

Do you ever ask her what she wants?


Please don't even get me started. She thinks I should come up with the perfect gift. No hints, it should be a "surprise". I offered once to take her to a high end cooking shop (her hobby) and let her buy whatever she wanted. She was offended and said that "she shouldn't have to pick her own gift" and stormed out of the room. I hate it because it takes all the joy out of it. It is a constant source of friction and it is worse because it falls on a holiday.

You have my sympathies, pATRICK. I have to deal with the same scenario with my husband. I can remember asking him where in the WORLD did he come up with these ideas that marriage was easy, that anyone could read his mind and determine what the h*ll he wanted, all the time, even when HE didn't know what he wanted? Was he a secret read of Harlequin romance novels or something--did he have any OTHER bombs he wanted to drop on me?

I'll share my good potato chips with you though!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 11, 2007 11:29 AM

Stacey's article is sad but no unusal. I spent the first half of the week praying for my uncle's death.

Posted by: scarry | May 11, 2007 11:30 AM

"Please don't even get me started. She thinks I should come up with the perfect gift. No hints, it should be a "surprise"."

I agree, Patrick. Expecting you to read her mind is unfair. I drop very unsubtle hints for my husband. A few weeks ago, I was admiring my friend's kitchenaid mixer when we had dinner at her house. I really did love it. A couple of mornings ago, I saw one in a box at the bottom of our hallway closet. But sometimes, the dropping hints thing backfires. A few months ago, when we were shopping, I looked at a purse in the Coach store, just because I was looking. I never intended to buy it -- I just don't spend that kind of money on purses. But my husband noticed and thought it was a hint, so he gave it to me for my birthday. Yikes. I wanted to return it because I knew how much it cost, but I didn't have the heart to tell him that I thought the price was ridiculous, and that I just don't expect gifts that cost so much money.

I find it really hard to buy for my husband. He likes gadgets, but he likes to pick them out himself. I sometimes buy him clothes, but to him, clothes are more a necessity than something he actually wants. But he is okay with the idea of going shopping with me and picking out something he likes. And then if I cook him a nice dinner and maybe throw in a romantic evening, he is quite happy.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 11:30 AM

Another fond memory of sainted mom. Way back when there were only 6 of us boys, the school or some organization had some kind of costume contest. Sainted mom had this idea and being she was on first name basis with the grocer and the butcher, she got six 100 lbs potato sacks. Big burlap sacks, I don't even know if they exist anymore.
So we were

One potato, two potato, three potato, four, five potato, six potato but no more!

Posted by: Fred | May 11, 2007 11:30 AM

But my mom -- she never hit us kids. She broke that cycle -- okay so she was mentally unstable -- but I dont have that baggage too. So I am hoping that I dont mentally scar my kids and in two generations, the cycle is broken.

Posted by: Anon for this | May 11, 2007 11:15 AM

I agree 100%. My mom did better than hers. I am doing far better than my mom. If we can get to fully emotionally healthy in two generations, that's success.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 11:31 AM

Oh, I meant to say sister*s*.

And, I also think, as someone mentioned, that while it may be that there is illness or whatever, the parent not doing the abusing should be responsible too. It is really my dad who I think has a personality disorder, but I wonder why mom married him, stayed with him for 30 yrs and had not one not two but *three* kids with him

One reason I am more aware of all of this is I see my sister, who was well aware that the person she was dating, then married, was abusive, then she had *3* kids with him. So everyone be d***ed, she wanted three kids.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 11:31 AM

fabworkingmom,
My mother left when I was 16. I was stuck in charge of my younger brother and sister and father. I cooked, cleaned, worked and went to school. She has always been a very unhappy and selfish person. If she gives a gift it is all about her and the gift, not the person who received it. I could go on and on but there is no point.
She has made some terrible financial decisions so all three of us assist her with things she needs (car, computer, extra cash).
She is newly diagnosed with lung cancer and nobody lives near her. It will be difficult as time goes on with her treatment but we will do what we have to because that is just who we are and what we do. Sucks but it beats the alternative of abandoning her.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 11, 2007 11:32 AM

For any occassion, I would love for my husband to organize a night away. Book the hotel room (Motel 8 would be fine -- okay maybe not -- but you gett he point), book the babysitter, make dinner reservations and just tell me we are going away. Some women may hate this, but I would love to be "wisked" away like that

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 11:33 AM

Big burlap sacks, I don't even know if they exist anymore.

They do! Try a Southern States near you and ask about their feed bags. I've gotten 100# bags of grain regularly.

If that fails, try the Vermont Country Store, see if they have them.

Posted by: to Fred | May 11, 2007 11:33 AM

I would like:

Lots of hugs and kisses from the kids.
A back and foot massage from the hubby.
A day free from my usual responsibilities. A bottomless glass of wine.
Hot sex. :-D

Posted by: 2xmami | May 11, 2007 11:36 AM

For Mother's Day I want my wife to be ok, but I know we will spend the entire day wondering if we will ever get to have kids, much less the life we had wanted. We went yesterday for her to get a blood test because her white blood cell count was high. The doc thinks it might be a form of leukemia, as her dad has it... I tell you, it's one thing after another. The only way to face this, is as we've faced everything else- we still have life to live and will do our best and make the most of what we have. So, that said, please pray.
-----

Sorry for not replying to people yesterday, but had good reason. I don't want this to be so much about me, especially with the above, but feel it important enough to go back and answer some things just in case it can provide insight for anyone else with a similar background on how to deal with things.

As far as yesterday's statements to me: Yes I am white, and that only matters to people who think it does. If you are always looking for an excuse, you will always find it.

I did grow up in an abusive home when we moved in with my grandmother and uncle (who was using steroids), and faced put-down after put-down, insult after insult, and threat after threat, in a manner designed to crush an individual, as it did my mom, or make them tough enough to face just about anything. From such an environment I was able to place an incredible value on the importance of nurturing, and encouraging reading- which my mom had taught me prior to us moving there when I was 7. I openly acknowledge and am aware that aside from the many novels I read, this is where I developed my ability to think quick, argue, and use sarcasm, which while primarily used for harmless humor, can also be used to shred. People from abusive homes can break the cycle when they identify and classify behavior patterns into what and what not to do.

"you have higher than average intelligence" Yes, but tenacity is the thing that has seen me and countless others through. "Never give up."

"you had encouragement and support from your mother and others on a faily (sic)consistent basis." No. My mother snapped and docs have spent the majority of the last 2 decades trying to get her stable. She fell apart and could not defend herself in that environment, and I was the only one to try to stand up for her- as every time there was ANY disagreement, they would simply threaten to put her in the hospital.

I "self-parented" using the guidance she had given me when I was 7 and younger- indirectly- that if you take ownership over yourself and your actions, always do your best, and always learn as much as you can, then you can do just about anything. Books helped. I owe my mom a lot for that alone.

"you weren't dehumanized and numbed to the point where it wouldn't take much for you to lose your humanity-" Humanity- at risk of cliche, what is that? Look around the world and you see humans doing inhumane things all the time. Very hateful things were said/done to and around me when I was a kid- lets leave it at that.

I have been called one of the most giving and loving people, yet I am intelligent enough to know that if ever the "proper" circumstances developed- ie- Threat against loved ones, that my "humanity" would take a back seat, and every ounce of energy and my life would be spent on protecting them. Then again, isn't that the essence of humanity? I can numb myself to things as needed to deal with what is in front of me, but I always make sure that I am not just bottling something up and locking it away. Always take time to acknowledge and process things when the dust settles or you'll get overwhelmed. The mistake most people seem to make is they spend their life either controlled by their emotions and panicking, or bottling them up and denying them. Balance, as often stated here, is the key.

To answer atlmom's question on how I or others from troubled backgrounds develop work ethic- it's about showing children that a better life, or nearly anything, IS available if they are willing to strive for it, and encouraging them to strive. The paltry allowance you get on welfare is hardly living. Logically, we can't all grow up to be astronauts, but we can lead very fulfilling and adventurous lives if we choose.

"if you'd come from a more economically privileged background, what advantages would you have liked to have had as a child that you missed out on?" Gosh, more sushi.

Seriously, I don't "what if" about the past much, and I know personally and see that race or income has little to do with personality, other than as a backdrop in which a person can grow. Which direction you are pointed is the most important.
Economically privileged seems to translate into more material things... I suppose the greatest monetary benefet would have been not having to run up debts in college, or to get married. But as a child, I missed out on some movies, and we weren't always able to get books when I wanted them, but libraries are great. I could say better clothes, as among kids that was a favorite thing to pick on. Goodwill and K-mart may be the source of great deals, but they make you a target for the immature who shop at the mall and put you down for your inability to do the same. I was taught that what is in your heart is what matters most, and knew that if I worked hard, someday I could buy better clothes, but that would not make me really different on the inside. If the surface was all they were concerned about, they probably would never be happy, and if they ever ran out of money they would fall apart and not know how to start from the ground up. So, the crack about clothes didn't really bother me, except that it was a waste of time. As a result any friends I had, I feel, were worth more because they didn't care about those things- so in fact I learned early on that it's better to have a good friend or two than a big clique based on dress-code.
Now, I have very poor sense of fashion (and being partially color blind does not help that), but thankfully my wife helps me match my shirts and ties. ;-)

Sorry for the long post, but again, just wanted to answer some things I couldn't yesterday.

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2007 11:36 AM

I have institued a dinner and card policy. Christmas and her birthday are the ONLY days I will subject myself to this torture anymore of gift giving. I still hate it. It seems so juvenile to me.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 11:37 AM

"...the parent not doing the abusing should be responsible too."

This is true, though it took many, many years before it occurred to me that maybe dad wasn't the blameless, supportive parent I thought him to be. Wen you're a kid in a bad situation, you need some shelter, and for us it was my dad, the "good parent." It was only after he died that I realized that he could at least have tried to do something about our situation. I wish I could ask him why he didn't.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 11:40 AM

In childhood, did you draw moral support from teachers, your friends' parents and other responsible adults? I found such people helped me overcome my mother's abusive behavior toward me.

Posted by: To Chris | May 11, 2007 11:42 AM

"...the parent not doing the abusing should be responsible too."

This is true, though it took many, many years before it occurred to me that maybe dad wasn't the blameless, supportive parent I thought him to be. Wen you're a kid in a bad situation, you need some shelter, and for us it was my dad, the "good parent." It was only after he died that I realized that he could at least have tried to do something about our situation. I wish I could ask him why he didn't.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 11:40 AM

So true, and I am just starting to see this about my dad. I needed him to be my shelter and he is still alive. I should ask him why, but I dont want my shelter to get mad and leave me. Sad -- I am 34 years old and I am scared my dad will abandon me, but I guess that is what happens. I would rather not ask him -- what can he say. He still does not believe its a problem.

Posted by: Anon for this | May 11, 2007 11:44 AM

Yes buying flowers is easy, but means so much.

Except that when I used to commute in nyc and on valentine's day you'd see all the men in their suits piled 10 deep at the flower guy trying to buy flowers right before they got on the train. I hated that. That's why it means so much more when I get flowers for no reason than when it's some sort of 'day'.

Oh, and that publix commercial for valentine's day-anyone know what I'm talking about? Makes me cry every year. My dh laughs at me-every time.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 11:44 AM

Chris, I'm glad you post here, and I am very sorry about what you and your wife are going through. Order whatever you want off the virtual sushi menu. It's on me.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 11, 2007 11:44 AM

it occurred to me that maybe dad wasn't the blameless, supportive parent I thought him to be.

My mother was verbally abusive to my dad too. All of us were her targets at different times, or together as a group. Sometimes dad had to be protected from her abuse.

Posted by: To NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 11:46 AM

proud papa, I hear you about the Lithium. My mom was on that... what a mess. She's doing better now, but with the quacks playing with her meds over the years her brain got fried. She is still smart, but a shadow of what she was- and not always stable. Sorry to see others go through that crap...

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2007 11:48 AM

Yeah, my dad was a target, too. But he was an adult. He had a car, and money, and a job, and could theoretically have done something about it. I know he was desperately unhappy, because he told us so, but I don't know why he never left.

DH posits that maybe Dad stayed around rather than leaving her because he was afraid that a court would award her sole custody of us kids, and then we'd have been screwed even worse. I don't know that I really believe this, as dad stayed ever after all of the kids were gone, but it does make me feel a little bit better.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 11:50 AM

My AF dau called from overseas the day before yesterday. She was very upset about some stuff (it is called life) and we talked for an hour. She said that she is so happy that Frieda and I have been married, so many of her friends have divorced parents and the some of the people she works with are also divorced. She thanked me for being her parent.

(Please understand that I am not saying anything about any other parent, divorced or not.)

THAT is all that I will ever need from my children.

Posted by: Fred | May 11, 2007 11:52 AM

Guess I was luckier than you, because sometimes my dad took me with him when he went for a drive to get away from my mom. But I agree that if your mom had gotten sole custody you would've been in even worse shape.

Posted by: To NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 11:54 AM

"DH posits that maybe Dad stayed around rather than leaving her because he was afraid that a court would award her sole custody of us kids, and then we'd have been screwed even worse. I don't know that I really believe this, as dad stayed ever after all of the kids were gone, but it does make me feel a little bit better."

I would completely agree, it was bad with him running interference can you imagine if he was gone or legally prevented from helping you? By the time you all left he was probably older and starting over would have been hard I imagine.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 11:54 AM

Oh, what I disliked about seeing the flower guy so busy onvalentine's day was that no one seemed to buy flowers on any other days.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 11:55 AM

Yeah, my dad was a target, too. But he was an adult. He had a car, and money, and a job, and could theoretically have done something about it. I know he was desperately unhappy, because he told us so, but I don't know why he never left.

DH posits that maybe Dad stayed around rather than leaving her because he was afraid that a court would award her sole custody of us kids, and then we'd have been screwed even worse.

That's why I've stayed married. Even half-time with their father, solo, is bad for the kids. Our one separation underlined that!

And...sometimes things GET better once the children are grown and on their own, a lot of pressure is lifted. Not saying that's the case for your father, but it can happen. I do not want to be 60+ years old and telling people I stayed married for the sake of my long-grown children. I hope to be free of him by then.

Posted by: guess who | May 11, 2007 11:57 AM

When my kids were younger; I wanted some free time from them. Now that they are older and we are a broken family (divorce) - I want them to be around. Fortunately, my kids have already planned to spend time with me this Sunday which is absolutely awesome.

I'd like them to spend Sat. night at home since I absolutely dread that they consider the "new wife" any way or shape or form a mother to them. That is my selfishness coming out.

Love your kids and save your marriages. Keep your families intact.

Posted by: C.W. | May 11, 2007 11:59 AM

"Oh, what I disliked about seeing the flower guy so busy onvalentine's day was that no one seemed to buy flowers on any other days."

This is what I mean. I want to buy flowers when I feel like buying flowers NOT because I am 'supposed" to. That is the contrived part.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 11:59 AM

Oh, what I disliked about seeing the flower guy so busy onvalentine's day was that no one seemed to buy flowers on any other days.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 11:55 AM

oh, I don't know, atlmom. You don't see a line other days, but that's not to say that all of the guys in the line THAT day are not also inspired on 10 - 15 of the other 364 days to buy flowers. Just because you notice that everyone watches the SuperBowl doesn't mean that many of the same viewers don't also watch the other games in the season.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 12:01 PM

She thanked me for being her parent.

. . .

THAT is all that I will ever need from my children.

Posted by: Fred | May 11, 2007 11:52 AM

Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. We have a winner for the best non-sappy thought of the day.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 12:03 PM

"DH posits that maybe Dad stayed around rather than leaving her because he was afraid that a court would award her sole custody of us kids, and then we'd have been screwed even worse. I don't know that I really believe this, as dad stayed ever after all of the kids were gone, but it does make me feel a little bit better."

Not to mention the guilt given to the parent who leaves about hurting the children. Your father may have believed that you would be hurt worse being from a broken home in addition to the abusive situation you had. Notice the comment in Fred's post - I know Fred didn't mean it as criticism but when one is deciding whether to leave or not hearing comments like that make you think you should stay for the kids sake

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | May 11, 2007 12:04 PM

Thanks. :-)

As far as support goes: Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Anthony, etc...

I had a couple memorable teachers who encouraged me and offered support, but sadly the public school system is geared to large classes. My favorite tearcher was the one who would let me read a novel in class. If any of the kids said anything, she would call on me, I'd give the answer and go back to my book. :-) She knew that the public school had limits, and always offered positive encouragement to not settle for those limits. We didn't talk much, but that alone was invaluable, and she did ask for me to let her know if anything ever got "too bad."

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2007 12:04 PM

Come on, pATRICK. Smile just for a second. You know you want to.

signed,

Pink Makes Me See Red

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 11, 2007 12:05 PM

DId you ever see the episode of "Newhart" where he buys Emily a blender-for-cryin'-out-loud for her birthday, prompting her to feel old and go on a youth-kick, making a fool of herself by trying to act like a 20-something again? (I can also envision episodes of other sitcoms with the roles reversed, but can't recall which ones right now). But my point is that sometimes a spouse just can't catch a break.

Posted by: To pATRICK | May 11, 2007 12:06 PM

I just wish I had both my mother and my mother-in-law back. They both died within a couple of months of each other, in 2004.

Posted by: CJB | May 11, 2007 12:08 PM

Come on, pATRICK. Smile just for a second. You know you want to.

signed,

Pink Makes Me See Red"

ok, maybe a small smile......;)

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 12:12 PM

To be fair the conventional wisdom in the 70s/80s was to stay together 'for the kids.' nowadays the views are different.

CJB: my mom passed away the year my aunt had her stroke. That year on my birthday life wasn't the same without the card from my mom and the card from my aunt that always had that $25 check in it. It was so sad.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 12:14 PM

That's better. It's Friday. You love your wife. She loves you. Your kids are healthy. That's enough, I think, for most of us.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 11, 2007 12:15 PM

"Notice the comment in Fred's post - I know Fred didn't mean it as criticism but when one is deciding whether to leave or not hearing comments like that make you think you should stay for the kids sake"

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | May 11, 2007 12:04 PM

Trust me on this, I KNOW that some situation are untenable and divorce may benefit the parents as well as the kids when all the factors are considered.

Posted by: Fred | May 11, 2007 12:16 PM

I'm with pATRICK about the buying flowers when you are supposed to part. I can't stand that, and then when the wife always gripes about how I never buy flowers it makes me not want to spend money on them even more... but today I think I will be getting her some on the way home.

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2007 12:19 PM

In my family (me, mom, sister), we make dream lists. Things we would like to have if we had some mad money to spare. There is a wide range of prices. These serve our husbands/families well for any gift giving occasions since we keep the lists updated throughout the year.

So, if DH, or anyone else, needs gift ideas, they can always check the list.

I have gotten my hubby started doing this too. He is a big movie buff, so it is nice to have a list of what he is looking for.

Even saying that, I would like to sleep in, not make dinner, and not clean up on Mother's Day. Too much of a zoo to go out to eat though. Maybe Wegman's ready to eat or Chinese food....

Posted by: Robin L. | May 11, 2007 12:20 PM

Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...

Stacy, can I come over,
After school? (After School)
We can hang around,
By the pool. (Hang By The Pool)
Did your mom get back
From her business trip? (Business trip)
Is she there,
Or is she tryin' to give me the slip? (Give me the slip)

And I'm not the little boy, that I used to be!
I'm all grown up, and now baby can't you see?

Stacy's Mom has got it goin' on!
She's all that I want,
And I've waited for so long!
Stacy, can't you see?
You're just not the girl for me.
I know it might be wrong,
But I'm in love with Stacy's mom.

Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...

Stacy, do you remember
When I mowed your lawn? (Mowed your lawn)
Your mom came out,
With just a towel on. (Towel on)
I could tell she liked me
By the way she stared. (way she stared)
And the way she said,
"You missed a spot over there." (Spot over there)

And I know that you think it's just a fantasy,
But since your dad walked out,
Your mom could use a guy like me!

Stacy's Mom has got it goin' on!
She's all that I want,
And I've waited for so long!
Stacy, can't you see?
You're just not the girl for me.
I know it might be wrong,
But I'm in love with Stacy's mom.

Stacy's mom, ooh! (I'm in love with)
Stacy's mom, ooh! (I'm in love with)

Stacy, can't you see,
You're just not the girl for me.
I know it might be wrong,
But I'm in love with Stacy's mom.

Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on...
(until fade out)

Posted by: Are you like Stacey's mom | May 11, 2007 12:22 PM

Actually, my family never did gifts, but DH's does - so we've gotten into the habit of getting people stuff, but I'm not such a great gift giver so it's sort of stressful for me.

So I hoard things that I buy for him all year for birthday/anniversary/father's day (all in june) and the eight gifts we try to give each other in December.

Whatcha gonna do.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 12:24 PM

Ok, what kind of monster did I create? I started doing some parodies a while back and now people are just posting songs. Disclaimer: those people are not me. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2007 12:26 PM

Has anyone ever cut their parent(s) off, or considered doing so? After reading some of the abusive parent stories here, I wouldn't blame you! My mother herself is a lovely person, a bit off-kilter emotionally, and has her share of problems, but she'd never hurt me. My biological dad, however, is another story. He's been repeatedly abusive to her and my sister and me, but I thought recently that he'd changed and mellowed with age, because we were actually able to stay in the same room with each other for a few hours and not fight. Then this past weekend, when I asked him to co-sign a student loan for law school, he said I didn't "deserve" a second degree because I already had a B.S. and I should make do with it. I guess he feels there's no place for doctors, lawyers, scientists, businesspeople, etc. in this world. This after making comments about how he "put" me through school (really? then why aren't the student loan bills coming to you instead of me?), and how he should go visit California (where I am going to law school), so he can "see where my money is going." Money? What money? Wait, did I miss something?

This, after knowing that my mother and stepdad are willing to break their backs to make sure I can go, even though they are practically destitute, makes me want to never speak to my father again.

Wow, my pathetic little story, after reading all of yours, makes me sound very selfish and childish. I'm just so angry, though, and a little panicked.

Congratulations to those of you who have escaped the clutches of abuse and become productive, well-adjusted members of society.

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 12:28 PM

We can tell the difference, because you're a genius and these other folks are hacks.

Posted by: To Chris | May 11, 2007 12:29 PM

A responsible father for my child.

A night (or day, heck beggers can't be choosers) of hot, passionate sex.

A day to feel like I'm appreciated by somebody.

Posted by: Single Mom | May 11, 2007 12:31 PM

To mona: actually, I have cut off my sisters. After a while, and me being sure that they had no idea why, I wrote them letters to explain (I wanted to make sure I said what I wanted to say, that I did it without attacking them, that I got my point across, etc etc).
I received a nasty obnoxious letter from one, and no response from the other. Well, I made my peace and that's that.
As for my dad, while I should cut him off, I see no reason in doing so - I live 1000 miles away, so he calls me every once in a while, he's visiting once every year or two. He's the one with the personality disorder (but he thinks it's everyone else's fault). He certainly needs help and will never get it. He's lied to me in the past, but if you ask him now, he will not remember it as it happened. He is certainly sick, and asks nothing of me, so that's that. So, no, I'll probably not cut him out, but I don't go out of my way to speak with him or see him.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 12:33 PM

"I do not want to be 60+ years old and telling people I stayed married for the sake of my long-grown children. I hope to be free of him by then."

You're assuming you're going to live to 60, and not be diagnosed, say, tomorrow with cancer. I don't understand people who don't take responsibility for their life and their happiness and realize that everyday is one less day you have to live.

Posted by: What kind of life is that? | May 11, 2007 12:36 PM

You're right, sometimes geographical distance is the best way to cope with toxic relatives.

Posted by: To atlmom | May 11, 2007 12:36 PM

As far as support goes: Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Anthony, etc...

You left out Pohl Anderson! And I'd like to sneak in a little Piers Anthony and Anne McCaffrey under the radar.

Seriously though, I love those too. Anyone else remember "The HellBound Train"? Great story, it won a Hugo for damned good reasons. I appreciate it more and more as time goes by.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 11, 2007 12:37 PM

I don't understand people who don't take responsibility for their life and their happiness


Yes, it's always about you.

Posted by: To What kind of life is that? | May 11, 2007 12:38 PM

I promise to let it go after this...

pATRICK/Chris and other men of the "contrived holiday" variety - do you per chance buy gifts/flowers for your wives regularly on non-holidays?
I bet not because if you did, they wouldn't clamor for gifts/flowers on holidays

Posted by: fabworkingmom | May 11, 2007 12:38 PM

Sometimes you just find the perfect little gift for someone. I try to buy it and give it for no reason. Seven almost perfect words "I saw this and thought of you".

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 11, 2007 12:40 PM

My wife cut off contact to both her parents years ago. When we were visiting her mom got into an argument with her, and we ended up cutting the visit short and staying overnight in a totally different city before going to visit my dad. Her mom called in tears when we got home and apologized, but the entire conversation was an attempt to guilt-trip my wife and she wasn't having any of it.

Basically, my wife told her mom that when she started treating her like an adult was when we'd come back to visit them. It took a while but eventually her mom did, and their relationship was much better after that. It took my wife standing up to her mom before she'd change, though.

Posted by: John L | May 11, 2007 12:41 PM

we would but then our spouses would think we were having an affair or something!

Posted by: to fabworkigmom | May 11, 2007 12:41 PM

I promise to let it go after this...

pATRICK/Chris and other men of the "contrived holiday" variety - do you per chance buy gifts/flowers for your wives regularly on non-holidays?
I bet not because if you did, they wouldn't clamor for gifts/flowers on holidays

Posted by: fabworkingmom

Personally, I don't want them any other time either.

I do find myself doling out very thoughtful "Happy Unbirthday" presents periodically throughout the year to the family. They like that getting things. I do not.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 11, 2007 12:42 PM

to KLB: yes, I do that, all year long, then hoard the gift til the time to give (father's day, etc...)

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 12:43 PM

Atlmom and to atlmom, thanks for your input. Right now I'm seething so much toward my father that I just want to scream at him. I realize that it's not all about his refusal to help me out with student aid, but more a manifestation of all the cr*p he's done over the years, and the annoying, irritating, infuriating knowledge that WHEN I do become an attorney, he's going to take all the credit for my having done so, even if he doesn't help me out. Kind of like he did with my UG degree. He's always been like that. So part of me is hoping I have to do this myself, the hard way, so I won't owe him a thing, and can be justified in my anger.

I have difficulty holding a grudge, and even after all the nasty things he said, I gave him a hug and a smile, and told him to drive safely home. But now, the more I realize what a huge thing could be taken away from me by his refusal to do a relatively small thing, and it makes me really angry. I don't like to use the word "hate" because it's such a strong word, but I feel like sometimes I could feel that way. I know the ultimate revenge would be to do well and then ignore him (as he ignored me and my sister for so long), and enjoy my "victory" when he's sad and lonely because his family wants nothing to do with him, but sad old men bum me out, and I'd have a crisis of conscience. But where does forgiveness come in when you realize the sadness is his way of manipulating you yet again? There's so much I could say about this, but it's not at all relevant and I don't want to dominate your time with my whining. I would, however, like to hear more of your experiences with distancing yourselves from abusive family members.

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 12:44 PM

to KLB: yes, I do that, all year long, then hoard the gift til the time to give (father's day, etc...)

Me too. The kids have learned NOT to look in my closet unless they do NOT want a surprise.

Posted by: MdM | May 11, 2007 12:45 PM

mona, yes it is definitely hard. I was over 30 when perspective made me look at what i had growing up (and no, it was not as nasty as what some of you have gone through...for that I *am* grateful).

It is all a journey. I let my dad be himself and think what he wants. I would tell you that my sisters and i have never really been close, but if you had asked them a certain time ago, they would have said: sure, of course we're close. Because they live in their own fantasylands.

You're right, living well is the best revenge, and that is definitely difficult - cause all you want to do is scream: no, it had nothing to do with you, it's despite you, you horrible human. but you are a decent person, so you do not.

It's all part of growing up and accepting who you are and your actions.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 12:48 PM

Mona, that's a serious concern. I went to live with my dad for a year my Sr. Year of HS and he would buy himself $500 gold rings and all sorts of crazy stuff, but would throw a fit over paying for a shirt, or anything. His fiancee was a better "parent," and as soon as I graduated, she ditched him. I haven't spoken with him much since. He later married someone else and pulled the same crap on her, got kicked out of the house, and was too prideful to return for what few family heirlooms there were.
Don't ever let an abusive parent stand between you and your future. Always treat them how you would want to be treated, but don't cling to something that is poisonous to you in hopes of having something impossible. Sometimes a distant relationship is the best thing.

Anyway, if you can swing a scholarship, that's great... ROTC is a great way to get one, but it's a different sort of life... and between Congress and the terrorists, now is not the best time to be in a uniform. ;-P
Good luck though! Stay positive and you'll make it. :-)

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2007 12:49 PM

I had a very good friend whose mother is just like this. M finished her undergrad in 3 years, with 2 majors; she had a full scholarship. She then went to law school on her own dime.

Her mother later tried to make her feel guilty about something, and whined about "I spent all that money on you in college!" M replied, "I can give you your lousy $200 in cash, if you'd like. That'll re-pay you in full for college."

Less is more. Keep those conversations brief, he stays off-site when he visits, and simply know (and respond if asked) that he simply has to ride your coat-tails because he probably realizes somewhere, deep-down, that he doesn't hold a candle on you and contributed little more than sperm.

He's a jerk. He's a relative, not FAMILY.

Posted by: to Mona | May 11, 2007 12:51 PM

Ok, another fun story. (you guys are bumming me out with your "I hate mom" stories--even tho I do understand--OK)

My Sainted Mother's birthday is the 14th. So some years, these days would fall back to back, like this year, or be on the same day.
One year, mom's b'day was on Monday so one of her sons, I am not saying which one, called her up at 11:58 pm on Sunday to wish her a happy mom's day and then talked to her until the next day. You know, a whole 2 minutes so he could wish her a happy birthday!

Posted by: Fred | May 11, 2007 12:52 PM

fabworkingmom (a little ego there? ;-P), you lose the bet. I am always buying her little things here and there, or taking her out. Though a lot less lately as we are trying to get rid of debt. My wife just loves flowers. :-)

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2007 12:52 PM

pATRICK,

Why does it seem so juvenile to give gifts to your wife? Do you enjoy any aspect of giving gifts?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 12:53 PM

Mona, here goes the conversation (to abused sister):

Me: you don't seem happy
her (defensively): I *am* happy, I just had a kid, didn't I?

Then I ask her to think about why I would say that to her - does she not think I have her best interest at heart? What have I ever done to make her think that?
AND - I said to her: um, I think that's a lot of pressure to put on a tiny baby - that she should be the one to ensure your happiness. What if you never had that child?

Her: no response (most of this is in letters/emails). And attacking me (me: suggesting her son's issues might be food related, she: no, they're not, do you grow your *own* food in the backyard and not buy any processed food. Rather than attack back - i've TRIED to answer things in this way: No, but we're not talking about me and my family - my child doesn't have the issues yours does, so I don't have to look for reasons - we're talking about your child, so rather than dismiss me out of hand, maybe you should think I have the best interest of your child at heart.

So, I try to not get defensive, try not to attack, try to put the conversation back on what we were talking about...

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 12:55 PM

this year we're doing a standard mom and daughter spa day while brother and father make dinner and pretend to tidy the house.

as adults mothers day has become more of a celebration with mom, as a kid it was a day for mom to have by herself and a bonding day with dad.

Posted by: the ocho | May 11, 2007 1:02 PM

To the "hoarders":
Have you ever forgotten or lost a gift? I have so that is why I give it right away.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 11, 2007 1:02 PM

Thanks, everyone. I'd like to hear more, if anyone is willing to share. It's nice to know I'm not alone and also find out how I can handle this. "To Mona," you made me cry a little bit. You hit the nail on the head. :-)

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 1:05 PM

pATRICK,

"Why does it seem so juvenile to give gifts to your wife? Do you enjoy any aspect of giving gifts? "

You should read my posts and maybe you will understand more. I enjoy giving gifts that are appreciated on my own schedule. Not ones that are mandated by the HALLMARK company. The juvenile part is this rigid expectation of a gift rather than a fun afternoon or a dinner or a drive or seeing a movie together etc but a store bought gift.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 1:08 PM

Mona,

Well, see, there's the thing. You know you can do this, that you have the strength. Heck, if you have the strength to apply to law school, move across the country, etc, then you can handle anything. You will always have YOU to rely on.

:)

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 1:11 PM

About the contrived gift giving, I too dislike the formulaic cards and the standard presents. Don't even get me started on the jewelry.

But I do it to make other people happy, not myself. I have friends who need to get gifts on holidays (one friend reminds me of her birthday and pretends it lasts the whole week!). I am the opposite, so it kind of bugs me. But I do it anyway because they like that stuff. I wouldn't begrudge them the presents or cards because *I* felt stressed out because the point is to make them happy. When it's my turn, I do it my way (dinner or porn, depending on the holiday--just kidding!!).

Posted by: Meesh | May 11, 2007 1:21 PM

Mona your dad seems like a jerk, but I don't understand why you think either parent should help you with school.

Posted by: anon | May 11, 2007 1:23 PM

Although I disagree with the method and tone used to deny your request to co-sign the loan, is it possible he did not want to be responsible for repayment if you defaulted?

I made it clear to my undergraduate dauaghters that they would be fully responsible for any grad school. They are working, going to school at nights, and their employers pay for school.

Posted by: To mona | May 11, 2007 1:27 PM

MONA gotta go against you. He owes you NOTHING once you grow up. Co sign your note? Would you expect MEESH to do that? Would you be angry with her if she said no? Frankly, I would say no if I was your Dad too.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 1:29 PM

In some families, paying an adult offspring's educational expenses even for grad or professional school is considered like a sacred part of their family values. YMMV, so don't judge everyone by your standards.

Posted by: TO anon and to Mona | May 11, 2007 1:32 PM

and some of us had to go to CSS and just suck it up.

Posted by: To: Posted by: TO anon and to Mona | May 11, 2007 1:35 PM

Most people I know do not pay for grad school. That must be for the super rich.

Posted by: TO anon and to Mona | | May 11, 2007 1:37 PM

Someone's been reading this blog! Check out today's "Baby Blues" in the Comics section. ;-)

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 1:37 PM

Mona wasn't asking for dear old dad to PAY, just to cosign. If he trusts she will pay it back, HE WILL PAY NOTHING.
it's to get a lower interest rate, I suppose.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 1:39 PM

Mona, can you post a link?

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 1:40 PM

It is not an entitlement, but the way he said things was beyond rude. I see nothing wrong with saying "no." Granted, if I had the spare money, I would say yes if I was the dad, simply because I value learning.

Besides, cosigning is not paying! It is just a standard requirement to get a loan, for the security of the corporation. As long as a person is responsible and makes their payments the cosigner is ignored and has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2007 1:40 PM

I sympathize with the people who had messed up parents. I too had a Mom like that. She had 2 kids before she was with my Dad and her first husband didn't want a ready made family so she gave them up for adoption at 7 and 9. (My Dad was husband #2) When I was 16 I was no longer convenient so she sent me off to my aunt. This was a few months after she sent me to juvie for assault. My crime, I pushed her off me after she almost dislocated my shoulder and left a huge bruise and welt on my face from where I hit the wall. In today's world she would have gone to jail but the 80's were about tough love and discipline so I got to go instead. Where was my Dad? Midlife crisis chasing 20 somthings in Mexico. I tried to reconcile with her later but she denied that anything she did ever happened. At 20 I decided that I could put all the effort in the world into trying to have a relationship with her and it would still never be a healthy one. That was when I decided to cut all ties with her. I felt muh better after that decision. When people try and make me feel guilty for not dealing with her anymore I just shrug it off. People with good parents can never understand what it is like to have terrible ones. Now that I am a Mom I strive to be the opposite of her and have a great relationship with my daughter. That is all I can ask for on Mother's Day.

Posted by: CaliforniaMom | May 11, 2007 1:42 PM

Good call, CaliforniaMom. Kudos for breaking the cycle. :-)

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2007 1:43 PM

and some of us had to go to CSS and just suck it up.

Posted by: To: Posted by: TO anon and to Mona | May 11, 2007 01:35 PM


Nowadays even a CSS isn't cheap anymore.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 1:46 PM

Sorry, co- signing is being legally responsible for, in this case, quite a sum of money and frankly from what MONA told us, she and her dad don't have that great of a relationship. I think it is way off base to assume your dad would or should do that for you.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 1:47 PM

Chris - fab is a play on my name but I also love the connotation! Only time will tell if I really am a fab mother.

Posted by: fabworkingmom | May 11, 2007 1:48 PM

pATRICK/Chris and other men of the "contrived holiday" variety - do you per chance buy gifts/flowers for your wives regularly on non-holidays?
I bet not because if you did, they wouldn't clamor for gifts/flowers on holidays

Posted by: fabworkingmom
_________________________________

Personally, I like getting my wife gifts - especially stuff she would never get for herself. Clothes, for example.

DW likes dressing up and looks spectacular, but won't buy nice stuff because she feels guilty about it with kids' college educations coming up (rapidly). She'll just go to Kohl's and buy what's on sale.

I got her a cashmere sweater in February - she loved it and got tons of complements from everybody at work, and I got a big kick out of how much she liked that. But she would never have bought anything like that for herself.

For Mother's Day, DW will get flowers "from the kids" and some new software for managing digital pictures from the dog, and we'll probably go out to dinner with her parents, but that's about it.

(Now all I have to deal with is the courier service for my mother's present. Grr - I ordered her a two pound box of assorted Leonidas chocolates to be delivered, but the courier service has claimed for the last two days that they can't find her house. Sheesh, folks, mapquest works. Or Google maps! Or, I don't know, call her up and ask for directions!)

Posted by: Army Brat | May 11, 2007 1:49 PM

Please see WaPo Michelle Singetary's comments about co-signing anything for anyone. never, ever, ever, because of the legal liability.

for god's sakes, you are going to be a lawyer.
unless you are a public defender, you should make enough $ to repay the loans.

Posted by: To Mona: | May 11, 2007 1:53 PM

"I enjoy giving gifts that are appreciated on my own schedule."

To Patrick -- I have a small quibble about what you said. Part of giving a gift is putting yourself out a little bit, and doing something not for yourself, but for another person, even if you might not usually enjoy doing that yourself. You do it because the other person enjoys it. That's why it's a gift. It is all well and good to do things for your wife when you feel like it, but if it's not something she wants, or if its done in an openly hostile and grudging way, then it's not really a gift, is it?

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 1:54 PM

I agree that Mona's dad doesn't owe her the co-signing, but I would also be pissed about him saying "he wanted to see where his money went" I read it not as much anger at not co-signing, but at not co-signing and then taking credit.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | May 11, 2007 1:54 PM

Mona,

Your father recognizes that you are what he isn't and will never become.

You can't blame him for wanting to be able to turn straw (himself) into gold (you). You CAN recognize that it's sad that he didn't or couldn't put forth any of that effort into transforming himself OR raising you.

Go read Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog!" and maybe Rick Berman's book about dealing with difficult family members.

It wasn't easy to ask him if he would be willing to co-sign. I would understand a parent saying, "No, too risky given...".

It's probably a secret gift that he DIDN'T sign, he'd hold that over your head until the day one of you DIED.

If you prefer, think of this as a "mixed" relationship. He's a hollow chocolate bunny, whereas you are SOLID chocolate. The good stuff!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 11, 2007 1:55 PM

Did I ever say I expected him to pay anything? I have no problems incurring debt for my education and paying it myself. What infuriates me is his taking credit for the things I do.

I would never dream of asking him to pay my tuition. Why bother, when he never even bothered to pay child support when we were kids?

I understand that most parents don't pay for their kids' grad school, and I'm not expecting him to. I'd be a lot more understanding if he weren't such a jerk about it, and if he'd actually paid for undergrad like he tells people he did. I don't exactly have a huge sense of entitlement, but considering the non-father he's always been, I think this is the least he could do, especially since there is a relatively small risk to him.

Please don't misunderstand me. It's not so much about his refusal, but more his attitude. He has a long history of neglect and abuse toward my sister, my mother and me, and this is sort of the apex of it. I am making a big deal of it (it is a big deal to me), but it's not all about him "paying" for something for me. It's more about this is the latest in a serious of a**hole moves from him, and me trying to figure out why I even bother with him.

"He owes you NOTHING once you grow up."

This would be a lot easier to swallow if he'd done anything at all when I was a kid. But then again, my first mistake was expecting he'd have changed.

"and some of us had to go to CSS and just suck it up."

That's where I went for undergrad. And paid for it myself, btw. Interestingly, law schools appear to be harder to get into than private schools--not sure why--and they tend to have better financial aid packages. I got into every private law school I applied to, but rejected from every public school. And there is no difference in tuition, so why shouldn't I pick the school that's best for me, even if it is private?

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 1:57 PM

Today's homage to cherry Kool-Aid and hot dogs:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/comics/king.htm?name=Baby_Blues

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 1:59 PM

Mona,
The best thing you can do is to stop expecting your father to do anything for you. It sucks, but the reality is that the more you expect of him, the more disappointed you will be. I do get the sense that you feel he owes you, and maybe he does, but that is a debt that you are just going to have to forget about. Your childhood is over. You will never be made whole on it. No amount of money will ever be enough, and it sounds like he won't give you any anyway, so it is best if you just stop expecting anything. Stop beating your head against the wall. It will feel so good when you stop.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 2:06 PM

I'm right there with those others who had/have toxic mothers. Mine never has anything pleasant to say. She is racist, bitter and generally mean.

I've got my mother living with me right now; she was living with my brother and his family, and it was a mess. My brother's first wife divorced him after my mother came to live with them. The second wife fought back and scared the snot out of my mean old hillbilly mother.

It's a terrible thing to know that the most venomous person you've ever met is your own mother. She says nasty things to my daughter and I remind her that I'll drop her off at the indigent old folks home if she can't keep her mouth shut. That works for a week or two. One of my sisters was on the verge of a nervous breakdown when she threw her out right after Christams four years ago.

She threw all of her daughters out while we were still in high school, yet somehow she believes we owe her. My two older half sisters won't even speak to our mother.

And yes, those of you who grew up with loving parents cannot begin to understand this. So be sure to tell your mothers how much you love them and never take for granted the love they show you. My daughter's love means more than anything to me, and that's all I want for Mother's Day.

Posted by: anon for this as well | May 11, 2007 2:06 PM

"I enjoy giving gifts that are appreciated on my own schedule."

To Patrick -- I have a small quibble about what you said. Part of giving a gift is putting yourself out a little bit, and doing something not for yourself"


EMILY, once again I would refer you to all my posts for perspective. I don't mind giving a gift and being "put out" to do so, the problem is the HALLMARK aspect of it. Much like admin asst day,etc. I do not want soap on a rope for father's day, a tie whatever just to get something. I don't want any gifts at all really on father's days. It goes both ways.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 2:07 PM

Faulty memory correction for Mona!

Dealing With Relatives (...even if you can't stand them) : Bringing Out the Best in Families at Their Worst (Paperback)
by Rick Brinkman (Author), Rick Kirschner (Author)

Get THIS book. Also "Toxic Parents", if you can find it.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 11, 2007 2:07 PM

pATRICK,

Your wife sounds like she's an emotional blackmailer to me.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 2:10 PM

I can honestly say that I would NOT let into my home a parent who was toxic to me or my kids for one simple reason. They are adults and you do not owe anything to anyone is who is toxic to you. You may help them, endure them whatever but we reap what we sow. I get along with my dad, spend time with him, laugh etc but a spade is a spade and he will NEVER live with me. I accept his nature and stopped trying to excuse his behavior a long time ago.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 2:12 PM

Thanks MdM, and to the others who have sympathy, and even to those of you who disagree with me. I guess we all have different expectations of what we should do for our kids. And while I don't plan on paying for my kids' graduate educations outright, if they need my help, and if my help is the difference between "I'm going to med school this year!" and "I can't afford med school," well, you can guess what my contribution will be. And if my kid puts him- or herself through school without my help, you can bet I'll be bragging about that kid's ability to do so, not my own imaginary contribution.

There is a very high possibility that his help in this matter will make or break my chances at going to law school this year. I will keep you all posted. Thanks for all your advice and opinions. :-)

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 2:12 PM

I know what you're saying. My grandfather passed away when my mom was young. Her uncle was very well off and kept telling people (or not correcting them) that he was giving my grandmother money. Whcih he most definitley was not.

My mom told me that that was why she completely felt guiltless when she went to see him and ask him for money. She would go and take clothes (he owned a garment business) for her and her sister. She thought that if he was lying to people that if she took his money etc then he'd be lying a little less.

My grandmother didn't like him all that much anyway. When they got divorced (they got married to keep him in the country-long story), she made him give her daughters money. Then she gave him the divorce.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 2:13 PM

"EMILY, once again I would refer you to all my posts for perspective. I don't mind giving a gift and being "put out" to do so, the problem is the HALLMARK aspect of it. Much like admin asst day,etc. I do not want soap on a rope for father's day, a tie whatever just to get something. I don't want any gifts at all really on father's days. It goes both ways."

Sorry, Patrick, that's a cop out. If you know your wife wants to do Valentine's Day or Mother's Day or Ground Hog Day, or whatever, you should be able to give her that small thing. What's more important? Your principled stance against Hallmark, or your love for your wife. Just because you don't want father's day gifts does not mean that your wife's wish to be appreciated on Mother's Day is not valid. She is not you, and may not feel the same as you about Hallmark holidays. It would be nice if you could put your principles aside for a moment and realize that respecting her desire to celebrate a silly hallmark holiday shows respect for her feelings, while denying her this based on your principles tells her that you don't care how she feels (which is a big, ugly message).

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 2:14 PM

Mona that is tough! Are you sure you need his cosigning to get a grad school loan? When I was in grad school I don't think even the international students needed cosigners

Posted by: fabworkingmom | May 11, 2007 2:14 PM

Someone sent me this. I have no idea if it is true or not but it sure is funny:

"This was the winning entry for the MSN writing contest for stories about Motherhood. It is so believable.

"Why my lips stayed chapped on Mother's Day"

So, we had this great 10 year old cat named Jack who just recently died. Jack was a great cat and the kids would carry him around and sit on him and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on this mat in our bathroom.

Well we have 3 kids and at the time of this story they were 4 years old, 3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli really loves Chapstick. LOVES it. He kept asking to use my Chapstick and then losing it. So finally one day I showed him where in the bathroom I keep
my Chapstick and how he could use it whenever he wanted to but he needed
to put it right back in the drawer when he was done.
Last year on Mother's Day, we were having the typical rush around and try to get ready for Church with everyone crying and carrying on. My two boys are fighting over the toy in the cereal box. I am trying to nurse my little one at the same time I am putting on my make-up. Everything is a mess and everyone has long forgotten that this is a wonderful day to honor me and the amazing job that is motherhood.
We finally have the older one and and the baby loaded in the car and I am looking for Eli. I have searched everywhere and I finally round the corner to go into the
bathroom.

And there was Eli. He was applying my Chapstick very carefully to Jack's . . .. rear end. Eli looked right into my eyes and said "chapped."

Now if you have a cat, you know that he is right--their little butts do look pretty chapped. And, frankly, Jack didn't seem to mind.

And the only question to really ask at that point was whether it was the FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat's behind or the hundredth.

And THAT is my favorite Mother's Day moment ever because it reminds us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious little creatures, there will always be that day when you realize they've been using your Chapstick on the cat's butt.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 11, 2007 2:15 PM

pATRICK posted: I also resent trying to come up with a gain the perfect gift, year after year, which I must do on valentines day, mother's day, her birthday, christmas, our anniversary etc etc etc. It becomes a beating.

Do you ever ask her what she wants?


Please don't even get me started. She thinks I should come up with the perfect gift. No hints, it should be a "surprise". I offered once to take her to a high end cooking shop (her hobby) and let her buy whatever she wanted. She was offended and said that "she shouldn't have to pick her own gift" and stormed out of the room. I hate it because it takes all the joy out of it. It is a constant source of friction and it is worse because it falls on a holiday.


Posted by: to Emily | May 11, 2007 2:16 PM

pATRICK,

Your wife sounds like she's an emotional blackmailer to me.

No, her problem is that she is aggressive and gets her feelings hurt very easily and tends to try to take on too much. This is a strange mix and leads to some weird moments to say the least. She is very hardworking, kind,stubborn and unreasonable and I love her.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 2:16 PM

Mona,

If the worst happens, you can't go to law school this year, does that preclude your going NEXT year? Would you be able to save up just enough scratch to ward off needing a co-signer at all? Or at least one who wouldn't jerk the Cable of Fear, Obligation and Guilt on a regular basis?

I have no idea how law school admission works, but would they hold your spot or keep you high on their list for the next year's students?

Posted by: MdMother | May 11, 2007 2:19 PM

Mona,

I'm with you all the way on co-signing the loan and, without dissing anyone else, I think your perspective simply makes more sense to those of us familiar with law school, the loan process, and the extremes to which you'd have to go to be considered in default. I thank the Almighty daily that my husband had a fab aunt who didn't think twice about co-signing and knew I'd never let her down.

Going way back to your original question, do you ever cut off the lousy parent, the answer is, it depends on what gives you the most peace in the long run. I have a brother that cut off our parents and I have to say, for the remaining siblings, it's hell. The son who cut them off is the focus of all their regrets in life. None of the rest of us, even the Perfect Sister, can elbow our way into their hearts after this event. I'm also not convinced that he's any happier than if he'd let himself see them age and become less rigid, etc. But he made the call and life goes on.

I decided in my 20s that maintaining a good relationship (on the surface) with my parents was the best path to my own peace, and it also enables me to support my sister, the local caregiver, in a way I could not if I refused to visit or communicate with our parents. That sibling relationship is highly valuable and makes the rolled-eye-moments worth enduring. Also, if you have kids you have to decide whether you are going to let them know your parents -- and develop their own knowledge of who you are and why - and develop their own relationship with their grandparents unsullied by your history; or explain why you denied them that relationship and opportunity.

You make the choice that gives you the most peace, and is consistent with your view of life, its meaning, and your purpose.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 11, 2007 2:19 PM

I believe that Mother's Day was established by Woodrow Wilson not Hallmark!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 2:21 PM

"Mona that is tough! Are you sure you need his cosigning to get a grad school loan? When I was in grad school I don't think even the international students needed cosigners"

Yeah, if I were going into grad school it would be easier: grad students often get a stipend, and tuition is much lower. But law students cannot work (at least the first year), and tuition is higher. Because of this, I will need a co-signer. If I can just get through the first year, the rest I can do on my own. I just need a bit of a jumpstart, but apparently it is too much to ask for him to help. The interesting thing is, my mother, who is desperately poor and about to be divorced, would be willing to sell her liver if it helped me get through school.

My only alternative as far as I can see is just to keep working and hopefully save enough to pay that first year's tuition outright. I don't know how I'll manage that, but if I have to, that's what I'll do.

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 2:22 PM

Thank you, MN. ::cries::

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 2:23 PM

MN, you rock!

Posted by: catlady | May 11, 2007 2:23 PM

Agree with others who have said SLEEP!!!

Posted by: Momof2MD | May 11, 2007 2:25 PM

Mona,
Where do you work? Any chance that you could get your employer to kick in some tuition money?

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 2:26 PM

Mona, most banks have a student loan program. if you are in DC, try bank of america. visit a branch. talk to the manager. they have leeway to approve loans that are out of the ordinary, and most banks want more business.
Good luck!!

Posted by: experienced mom | May 11, 2007 2:26 PM

"Do you ever ask her what she wants?"

If she could only figure it out, we would both be happier!

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 11, 2007 2:27 PM

My mother and I have created a tradition when it comes to Mother's Day. On the Saturday morning before Mother's Day, we get up early and go to the local nursery together. We spend the morning loading up our carts with annuals for planting in our gardens and container gardens. She pays for my Mother's/Birthday (I was born on Mother's Day) plants and I pay for her Mother's Day presents. Then we go home and plant.

On Sunday after church, we cut some flowers from my bulb garden and head over to my Grandmother's grave side to place some fresh-cut flowers on her grave. My Grandmother was a wonderful gardener and I think that she would appreciate this gift the best. Then we head back to my house, picking up a bucket of KFC (family meal deal) along the way. No cooking, no clean up, no setting the table. We discovered year's ago that when the guys say that they are going to "cook", my mother and I end up spending the entire afternoon in the kitchen. So we sit out on my back patio eating fried chicken, enjoying my family and garden. It is the loveliest and most simple way to celebrate the day.

Posted by: dcdesigner | May 11, 2007 2:28 PM

"Agree with others who have said SLEEP!!!"

but the breakfast we cooked you is getting cold!

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 11, 2007 2:29 PM

She is very hardworking, kind,stubborn and unreasonable and I love her.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 02:16 PM

uh, pATRICK, LOL, it sounds like a strikingly familiar combination of traits. ever walk in at the end of the day and say, "hello, Kettle. Pot's home" ?

Mona, Talk to the head of Admissions at Santa Clara. In my experience, they can sometimes make things happen for you if you can't otherwise make the loan paperwork "work". I realize my experience is different than yours, but the beauty of a private law school is they often knock themselves out to assist you in a way you wouldn't experience at a public law school.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 11, 2007 2:31 PM

"but the breakfast we cooked you is getting cold!"

Serve it to her in bed then, with a wonderful hot cup of coffee. There is nothing like waking up to breakfast in bed.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 2:31 PM

pATRICK, when it came to gifts my father wanted no fuss at holidays whatsoever, while my mother not only was like your wife when it came to gifts but also insisted upon doing up holidays big for the rest of us whether we wanted it or not. I know you love your wife -- but the sad fact is that people like you and my dad and I, who are (to my thinking) reasonable about these things, just don't always get our way. To try to keep some semblance of family peace I just went along with my mother.

BTW, one coping mechanism I had re gifts was to keep a mental list throughout the year of things my mother indicated (directly or indirectly) that she might like, so that when I had to buy her a gift at least there was so much decision-making involved.

Good luck to pATRICK and the rest of you in this boat!

Posted by: catlady | May 11, 2007 2:32 PM

Experienced mom, thanks. I will try that. I am not sure how it works, because the standard operating procedure is to go online at Citibank or Access Group and apply there. I'll get some info on private bank loans asap.

Emily, it is only under very special circumstances that an employer would pay one's tuition. My acquaintance is in that type of program; he goes part-time to law school and works on campus full-time. My employer is a university, but we work in research, and my law school is on the other coast. I highly doubt I can get my boss to fund my schooling, considering I'm quitting here in July. I have contacted the financial aid officer at my school to see if she has any other suggestions.

I'm determined to get through this, with or without his help. His refusal just confirms my suspicion that he never had any interest in being a father, so why start now?

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 2:33 PM

thanks, catlady :>)

Posted by: MN | May 11, 2007 2:36 PM

Twisted fingers. Last setence should read:

"so that when I had to buy her a gift at least there was so NOT much decision-making involved."

Posted by: catlady | May 11, 2007 2:37 PM

You do have my sympathy, Mona. Keep at it and leave no stone unturned. There is a Buddhist saying that after the last no, there is a yes. Just keep looking for that yes.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 2:38 PM

You guys are so great...I felt terrible until I got all the great advice and encouragement from you guys. Thanks so much; I just hope one day to return the favor. :-)

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 2:42 PM

Mona, Believe me, you give back so much already, with your enthusiasm and immense curiosity, not to mention sense of humor :-))) We're rooting for you!

Posted by: catlady | May 11, 2007 2:49 PM

uh, pATRICK, LOL, it sounds like a strikingly familiar combination of traits. ever walk in at the end of the day and say, "hello, Kettle. Pot's home" ?

That is funny, however I have a much thicker skin than my wife and she is much kinder than I am. Maybe that is why we make a good team. (usually). I like your sense of humor MN.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 2:50 PM

If I were you, I'd defer law school for a year, work my butt off (work two jobs even) and save as much as possible so that a much smaller loan amount is necessary. It will delay gratification, but will be worth it. Do it on your own, then you can revel in your accomplishment in a few years without having to thank your jerk of a father. If he ever asks you for legal help (in 4 years), charge him $450 an hour.

Posted by: To Mona | May 11, 2007 2:50 PM

To Mona, that is my last resort alternative. It's not a bad idea, and I'll do it if I have to, but I'm so looking forward to law school that I don't like the idea of delaying it. I believe I can defer admission for a year. I like your idea of charging him 450/hr for legal advice, though. ;-) I don't much relish the idea of having this "favor" hanging over my head, though, if he were to suddenly change his mind and co-sign. I guess we'll see, won't we?

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 2:53 PM

Father of 4, I dreamt I visited your house last night. There were way more than 4 kids there...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 2:58 PM

To Mona -- if he agrees to co-sign -- take it. You will still do law school on your own and if he thinks you "owe" him, whatever. You will be a successful, self-supporting, self-sufficient person. He cannot take that away from you. Sometimes the end justifies the means

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 2:59 PM

Momwas under no preconceptions. Dad was a horrible gift giver. He'd give her a card and on it he would write something like: this card good for one string of pearls. And she'd go get what she liked. That worked for them.

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 3:15 PM

Re: Mona's dad co-signing. I get the idea that if he co-signs and Mona pays, then it doesn't cost him anything. But, does it show up on his credit report? If he co-signs and then applies for a loan for himself at some point for a car, house, or whatever, could he be turned down for having too much outstanding debt? Would the student loan be counted in the determination to approve or disapprove his loan?

Can't speak for Mona's dad, but that would be a deterrent for me cosigning for my child, especially as we are nearing retirment and looking to relocate or buy vacation home.

Any financial experts out there?

Posted by: maybe? | May 11, 2007 3:19 PM

So, any of you hot mammas like to have sex on Mother's Day...

or is that one day you prefer not to be bugged by your husband for it...

or does it depend on the size of the boquet...

or is it up to us to read your mind?

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 11, 2007 3:25 PM

to maybe? No. It won't show up as debt on any credit report. Sometimes a jerk is just a jerk.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 3:27 PM

Father of 4 - no more or less than any other day of the year, although if DH is sweet, it always increases the likelihood he'll get lucky.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 3:30 PM

So, any of you hot mammas like to have sex on Mother's Day...

or is that one day you prefer not to be bugged by your husband for it...

or does it depend on the size of the boquet...

or is it up to us to read your mind?


Posted by: Father of 4 | May 11, 2007 03:25 PM

Only if my relaxing day out shopping with girlfriends is capped off by a few margaritas, followed by walking through that front door with the little one in bed, dishes done, toys straightened up, Sopranos and Entourage ready to go, with a glass of chilled white waiting for me by the couch...

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | May 11, 2007 3:30 PM

Oh, a foot and back massage wouldn't hurt either

;)

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | May 11, 2007 3:32 PM

DD was about 10 when we were talking about Mother's Day. I commented that I had her to thank for making me a mother. She replied, "No, Mommy. You have Daddy to thank for that."

LOL.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 3:33 PM

Only if my relaxing day out shopping with girlfriends is capped off by a few margaritas, followed by walking through that front door with the little one in bed, dishes done, toys straightened up, Sopranos and Entourage ready to go, with a glass of chilled white waiting for me by the couch...

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | May 11, 2007 03:30 PM

Ahhhhhhh. There's an image of a happy mom.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 3:34 PM

Ahhhhhhh. There's an image of a happy mom.

Posted by: | May 11, 2007 03:34 PM


What's yours?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 3:36 PM

My idea Mother's day is to get to spend the day with my family, especially my mom, son, and husband. It doesn't have to be fancy. Sitting around in the back yard while my husband, brothers, and stepfather grill something is great. I just don't want to do the dishes afterwards. But I will make and serve everybody dessert.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 3:41 PM

What's mine?

a relaxing day WITH DH either on a boat on a lake, or wandering around an art museum, or both, capped off by a large bottle of red wine at home, where the house faeries have put both kids in bed, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, straightened the living room and kitchen, and cleaned up all the dog hair.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 11, 2007 3:43 PM

I forgot about the house elf scenario. Do they do cars?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 11, 2007 3:45 PM

best mother's day gift i ever got was a 20 cubic yard dumpster parked in my driveway for 2 weeks and DH's commitment to our finally cleaning out all the accumulated junk of our merged households. for example, we had 2 battered kitchen tables and accompanying chairs in our basement because we'd bought a new set when we first moved in together. the amount of old, dead computer equipment was truly staggering. (and no - that didn't got into the dumpster - it went to an appropriate recycling facility!)

Posted by: 2terrificboys | May 11, 2007 3:45 PM

I know this is waaaaaay off topic, but someone out ther might be able to give me advice. I am doing freelance work for a company and they are paying me to fly out to their corporate offices to do some on-site work/meetings. Should I put the cab fare to/from the airport on my bill in addition to the airfare? Thanks!

Posted by: advice? | May 11, 2007 3:46 PM

To Maybe? I get what you're saying, but the impression I'm under is that it doesn't show up negatively on one's credit report. That may change if the loan is in default, but I'm not sure. That was a concern of his (not that he plans on buying anything anytime soon, unless he wants to buy yet ANOTHER house for his stepson, that "golden child"), so I told him I could refinance the loan in only my name after I graduate and start making money. His name would be on the loan for five years, tops. He said he'd consider it, but I sent him the information a week ago and not a peep. I'm not feeling too optimistic, but who knows, miracles can happen, I guess.

"Only if my relaxing day out shopping with girlfriends is capped off by a few margaritas, followed by walking through that front door with the little one in bed, dishes done, toys straightened up, Sopranos and Entourage ready to go, with a glass of chilled white waiting for me by the couch...

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | May 11, 2007 03:30 PM

Ahhhhhhh. There's an image of a happy mom.

Posted by: | May 11, 2007 03:34 PM"

Sounds happy to me--only make mine a red, and instead of the TV shows, a couple of good horror films.

Oh, wait, this is Mother's Day we're talking about here, not my Friday nights. ;-)

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 3:48 PM

To advice.

I would bill them for the cab fare. Why wouldn't you? Just don't bill them for the movies that you watch at the hotel, or for the minibar drinks. :)

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 3:50 PM

I almost forgot,
Last year, for Mother's Day, my husband and son detailed my car. It looked brand new afterwards, which is a lot to say for an 8 year old car. It was the best present ever.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 3:52 PM

I forgot about the house elf scenario. Do they do cars?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 11, 2007 03:45 PM

I understand that they do. Share my dream.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 3:56 PM

I know this is waaaaaay off topic, but someone out ther might be able to give me advice. I am doing freelance work for a company and they are paying me to fly out to their corporate offices to do some on-site work/meetings. Should I put the cab fare to/from the airport on my bill in addition to the airfare? Thanks!

Posted by: advice? | May 11, 2007 03:46 PM

in addition to your cab fare, consider invoicing them for your mileage to and from the airport (at the current IRS reimbursement rate). Expect them to reimburse you consistent with their current travel policy applicable to employees.

If you don't submit, you always lose.

Posted by: MN | May 11, 2007 4:00 PM

To advice: yes

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 4:01 PM

"No, her problem is that she is aggressive and gets her feelings hurt very easily and tends to try to take on too much. This is a strange mix and leads to some weird moments to say the least. She is very hardworking, kind,stubborn and unreasonable and I love her."

pATRICK, that is the sweetest post. Just had to say.

Posted by: Megan | May 11, 2007 4:10 PM

On a different note, anyone see the Lindsay Lohan drug video? I always feel sad when my kids watch the Parent Trap and I see her. Makes me wonder how she turned out to be such a disaster. Hollywood is no place for a kid that is for sure. On the other hand, I can't wait for Paris Hilton to go to jail, now that is Karma at work.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 4:10 PM

pATRICK, I know what you mean. Lindsay was with Jamie Lee Curtis in the "Freaky Friday" remake, too. Maybe she'll get her act together like Drew Barrymore, who was once a train-wreck with a scary mom as well.

Posted by: catlady | May 11, 2007 4:14 PM

Drew's mom remains scary.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 4:21 PM

I really hate to burst everyone's bubbles but we had the conversation about the house elves a couple of weeks ago. They have run off with gremlins after having had sex in your bed and baths in your tub. They drank all the alcohol (esp the champagne) and ate the cheesecake.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 11, 2007 4:25 PM

No wonder house is such a mess. That explains everything.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 4:26 PM

Demi Moore is on Oprah talking about her mother. I missed the beginning but it sounds as tho she wasn't a great mom. She said that after her mom passed that she took all the bad stuff/baggage with her. While they are alive you simply move it aside but once they are gone it is gone too and you can look back and see the good.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 11, 2007 4:27 PM

Lindsay's mom seems like what she will end up being when she is that age, a party hag.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 4:28 PM

As a working mother, I voice my ideas through my blog at
http://careerbright.blogspot.com
one recent post says:
A working mother wants:
Flexible working hours so she can be home with kids and enjoy her life more by being part of their lives more than just truly getting involved with their activities on the weekends.


A working mother wants more parental leave. She is the one who has to take time off from work when a child is sick or for other family members, she would be much happier if the employers offered extra leaves when a child or a family member is sick.


She wants less stress in life. The multitasking and juggling family and work takes a serious toll on her day in and day out. She would do better with some support at household chores or having some house cleaning help. She wants your contribution and a helping hand at day to day activities.


Working mothers need a support group. She needs friends and family members who could help in picking up their kids from school in case she is in a meeting. She needs to talk about her problems and work related issues. She needs her spouse support which would enable her to work stress-free and manage her family responsibilities with ease.


She needs an occasional (or frequent) meaningful 'thank you' from spouse and family, just to let her know that she matters a lot and is not someone taken for granted. A heartfelt acknowledgement and a hug will make her day for sure!

Posted by: Careerbright | May 11, 2007 4:29 PM

BTW - Demi is being interviewed by Maria Shriver who is looking gaunt. Demi looks awesome as usual.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 11, 2007 4:32 PM

Sounds like working mother wants and expects a lot. What's she giving besides a paycheck? Why should her employer give her flextime because her lousy husband won't ever take off?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 4:40 PM

As a working mother, I voice my ideas through my blog at
http://careerbright.blogspot.com

If we wanted to know your thoughts, we'd visit your blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 4:44 PM

Gotta go, I have the perfect gift to go pick out and it's not a journey for the faint of heart. Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by: pATRICK | May 11, 2007 4:44 PM

Yay, Patrick. Good luck!!

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 5:04 PM

Mona,

1. Do any of the schools to which you were admitted have evening programs? I know it's near impossible to work while going to law school full-time, but having a day job/night classes is totally doable. That's how I was able to go to law school -- I borrowed tuition, but made my own money to live on. And I didn't end up needing a cosignor.

2. As to your original question, I've tried several times to cut my mom off, but I simply cannot do it. Rotten or not, she's my mother. I know she'd be terribly hurt if I ignored Mother's Day or her birthday, and I usually can't hurt her deliberately. The only time I ever did something I knew would hurt her was when I left her name off my wedding invitation. She was furious, but only because (as I learned later) she'd been leading people to believe she and my dad were paying for the wedding, and she thought some of them would figure out from her absence on the invite that I was actually the one paying.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 5:05 PM

NewSAHM, sounds like your mom is a lot like my dad. Every encounter with him makes me so grateful that I have a close relationship with my mom and stepfather.

If I ever get married and have a wedding (every time I think about weddings, it makes me want to elope), I had always planned to have my mother walk me down the aisle. The more I talk to my father, the more I'm considering not inviting him at all. I can see it now:

"I don't like New York City, but this hotel sure is nice. I figured I'd come up here and see what kind of party I'm payin' for!" (Sure. His wedding contribution would be a "We Are Marshall" sweatshirt.)

"I don't know why she had her mother give her away. Don't she know that's a dad's job?"

"DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?" (BF is Asian, and yes, his whole family speaks English much better than my father.) After that he will launch into his racist jokes: "I don't understand how Chinese people name their kids. It sounds like they're throwin' silverware against the wall and namin' it after the sound: Ching Chong Chang." BF's family stands agape in horror, not only because they are Japanese, but because that is not just a racist joke, but a bad one as well.

"What do you do? You're an engineer? Me too!" (He took some math classes at some community college and that makes him an engineer. He actually works in insurance.)

"How do you say yer name? Eye-wah-myur-uh? Well that's just crazy. Why don't ya change it to somethin' easy, like Smith?"

"What's that big fat guy doin' up there on the altar? Jesus wasn't fat! You shoulda had the wedding in our church!" (I'm atheist. We don't have a church.)

I have to stop, before I give up on wanting to get married altogether. I dread the day his wonderful family has to meet this guy. Hopefully it never comes to that!

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 5:18 PM

Is this On Balance or On Mona?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 5:25 PM

Mona,
Your imitation of your father actually made me laugh. Hard.

It's not that I am not sympathetic. He sounds kinda like Archie Bunker. I think all of our families have someone who embarrasses us. For me, it's my aunt on my father's side. I remember during one family wedding, she got drunk and tried to seduce the priest. I actually heard her tell him that it would be okay. That since he was Catholic, he could just go to confession the next day and all would be forgiven. Or the funeral when she brought her friend the psychic to the service, and told us about all our dead relatives who were there (but whom we couldn't see) because were weren't psychic. At one family vacation, she brought a scuba outfit and climbed on the roof of the cottage during a thunderstorm so that she could make psychic contact with alien spirit entities.

Anyhoo. We should set your dad up with my aunt. I bet they would be great together.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 5:27 PM

Mona:

I vote for eloping. I did, and I must say that I was happy to not have the stress of planning a wedding, and I did not want to deal with the dysfuctional family (mine; I love my ex-husband's family).

Also...it will save you loads of cash to pay off those law school loans ; )

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms on here.

Posted by: single western mom | May 11, 2007 5:28 PM

I eloped too. Highly recommend it. It was easy, stressless, inexpensive, and we had a helluva honeymoon because we could afford it since we spent no money on the actual wedding.

Posted by: Emily | May 11, 2007 5:35 PM

When my son was 19, he wrote in my Mother's Day card

"Thank you for supporting me everything I do. Thank you for always being there for me." Made me feel like a million bucks, because it summarized perfectly what I think being a mom is all about.

I love the Sunday buffet brunches, in a nice restaurant or hotel. Yum!

Posted by: Suzy | May 11, 2007 5:39 PM

5:25, get off me! Ow!

Seriously, though, sorry about dominating the board. I have a bad habit of doing that (inherited it from, you guessed it, the dad); I'll try not to be so selfish next time.

Happy friday, everyone! :-)

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 5:46 PM

Mona and Emily - you have given me the best laugh at the end of a bad of a really, really bad week. I cannot decide which relative would horrify me more to own. I'm actually leaning towards your aunt, Emily, and given the comparison, that's saying something.

Thank you both!

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 11, 2007 5:59 PM

I vote for eloping. We did the big wedding thing.

1) my SISTER was offended we didn't put parent's names on the invite. They weren't paying, they didn't get names on there.
2) dad not only didn't pay for wedding, he wanted a 'loan' (i.e., just give me a check, i don't really believe in paying you back).
3) sister thought it inconvenient for her - we should have the wedding on a caribbean island so she could vacation with her family
4) or, we should have it in a 'neutral location' (when I told her I was having it where I lived, which is where DH is from - she thought that there would be too many people from 'his' side)
5) 'you should have the wedding where the bride is from'
6) i told darling sister if she wanted to pay for wedding, she could have it wherever she wanted.
Oh, I could go on...

Posted by: atlmom | May 11, 2007 6:02 PM

Is this On Balance or On Mona?

Posted by: | May 11, 2007 05:25 PM

As it happens, more than once Mona's teed up a better topic than either Leslie or Brian. The popularity of this board depends upon interesting participants. Some day when you grow up, if you're very lucky, you'll become interesting, 5:25.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2007 6:04 PM

Virtual hugs and kisses to all mothers out there!

Fred and Frieda!

Posted by: Fred | May 11, 2007 6:04 PM

Mona, what a cousin did was elope, then have a simple buffet reception a few weeks later, when things were calmer.

Posted by: catlady | May 11, 2007 6:07 PM

A thought for the weekend to all with difficult relatives: It's NOT YOUR FAULT that they're the way they are.

Posted by: catlady | May 11, 2007 6:10 PM

And a virtual hug back to both Fred and Fredia!

Posted by: dotted | May 11, 2007 6:34 PM

atlmom, YIKES.

Posted by: Mona | May 11, 2007 6:56 PM

Is it wrong that I'm enjoying reading about the shenanigans of other people's relatives? Some more wedding-related hijinks from dear ol' mom.

When I started planning the wedding, she asked me not to have the wedding in my home state (I no longer lived there). Apparently, if I got married ANYWHERE IN THE STATE, "people might want to come by the house."

She (and consequently, my dad) missed the wedding rehearsal entirely, and they were 1.5 hours late for the actual wedding. Fool that I am, I waited for them. Thank heavens we were the last event planned for the church that day.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 11, 2007 7:10 PM

I don't really understand the argument from some husbands that since their wife is not THEIR mother that they don't have to do anything for her that day. If i'm the mother of your kids, then I gestated and birthed them, stayed up all night with them in their first months, etc, and you'll honor that if you know what's good for you. Have some respect buddy! Mother's day is a day to allow mothers to have something THEY want or need, rather than what everyone else (including their husband) wants or needs (which is every other day of the year).

For mother's day, I would like to have some free time to just leave the house without being the one responsible for my children's whereabouts. Not to do errands, but just to do whatever the heck I want to. In reality, what I will do for mother's day is spend the previous night at my mother-in-law's house, where my baby will wake up every hour through the night because he doesn't like their crib. In the morning, I will listen to my husband's family talk about people I don't know, and try to prevent my two kids from destroying all my in-laws' stuff. I will eat a too-small lunch, made completely without salt, and agonize over whether it would utterly offend my in-laws if I told them they need to cook twice as much food when I come over. When we return home, I'll try to squeeze all the weekend shopping into the one hour remaining before the stores close. I'll fail miserably, and have no food for the week ahead. I'll finally get to call my own mom and wish her a happy mother's day. I'll stay up late on Sunday night doing the laundry.
Good times!

Posted by: m | May 12, 2007 12:05 AM

Here's a brand new Mother's Day song for you from yours truly:

Happy Mothers
Dr BLT's One Man "Banned"
words and music by Dr BLT (c) 2007
http://www.drblt.net/music/HappyMother.mp3

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

Posted by: Dr BLT | May 14, 2007 3:26 AM

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