Mother's Day In A Blended Family

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Mother's Day In A Blended Family
8
Tue, 05-06-2014 - 4:53pm

I am dreading Mother's Day as every year I feel slighted. It is a day where I typically get forgotten. When my kids were little I would get home made cards and small home made gifts from school. Now that they are older they don't make anything and I end up feeling very neglected on Mother's Day. Everyone I know has kids and husbands who make the day special. They typically get a card, breakfast in bed or brunch and maybe flowers. I do not expect anything expensive, I would be happy with a home made card and breakfast in bed but nothing? I do not have children with my current husband so he doesn't acknowledge my day much at all. We typically go spend half the day with my mom and the other half with his mom and sister and celebrate their mother hood. My mom is depressed this year and doesn't want to see anyone for Mother's Day and I don't want to spend Mother's Day with his family this year. I know many will disagree with me but why would I go celebrate their motherhood and watch them get flowers and gifts and a special brunch when I get nothing? I am not going to do it. My husband should take my kids out and help them at least pick out a card and maybe plan a nice brunch at home. Something, anything.Nothing expensive or extravagant but an acknowledgement. Just so I am thought of. On Father's Day if my husband's kids don't acknowledge the day he pouts for a week!!! I always get him at least a card saying he is a good day and a small gift and we go out to eat. My siblings are 65, 60, and 50 respectively and we ALL call our mom on Mother's Day, send cards, and those of us in town get her flowers on her day. I am just sad beyond words.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 05-06-2014 - 9:14pm

Well I would say this is your kids' fault, not your DH's--you aren't his mother or the mother of his kids.  If they aren't little any more, why do they not do anything for you?  I was lucky in that my ex always made sure our kids got me something for Mothers Day, birthday and Christmas (and I did the same for him) until they were old enough to do it themselves.  I think that training carried on so that now they are 18 & 25, they just do it automatically.  Now I know my 18 yr old son is not that big on remembering stuff, so I will actually remind him that next Sun. is mother's day--well actually he did hear it on the TV but I definitely would say something in advance because I do not want my kids thinking that the giving is a one way street.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 05-06-2014 - 11:48pm

You raised your children.  What did you teach them?  Did you teach them to be thoughtfull and kind?  Did you teach them by example, that Mothers Day is NOT just one day a year?  Did you take them to see their grandparents (BOTH SETS) frequently?  Teach them to call their grandparents frequently?  You say you call your mother, send her a card... If your children say Happy Mother's day, and send you a card, how is that different?  How they saw you treat your parents, and your husband's parents, is what they learn.

You say you are divorced.  Do your kids live with you?  Was your divorce messy?  Do you teach your children to love and respect their father?  Do you make sure they pay attention to their father on Father's Day?  What do you suppose he teaches them about you?   And why DOESN'T your husband tell your children to respect their mother?  Why don't you tell your step-children to respect their dad?  The way these children see you all treat each other, is what they learn.

And what do you do when they don't respect you?  Do you tell them they've hurt your feelings, with honest, simple saddness?  Do you teach them how to be better people next holiday, or next year?

Nothing happens in a vaccum.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Wed, 05-07-2014 - 10:03am

My husband is not a big gift giver. He wasn't raised like that. But this year I was feeling a bit sorry for myself as it was my 40th birthday. I said, we are going out for supper! 

As for the kids, I always tell them to save their money, we don't want it spent on us. Sometimes they do it anyway and that is ok but I am happy with a phone call. My boys are not his. And honestly he is still not a big gift giver so I probably woun't get anything anway but hey, I may ask him to bbq supper and do all the dishes! You have to ask for what you want or you will never get it. Do it in a civil way when you are not feeling jilted and I'm sure they would be fine for it. Otherwise you have to adjust your expectations maybe.

Good luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 05-07-2014 - 11:22am

  How old are your kids?  Are they old enough where they should be thinking how to make you feel special themselves?  My daughters are ages 22-30 and the one thing I know is that I will receive  phone calls from my older 2 who both live far away.  Years ago my wise aunt (when I was complaining about my kids or their father (my now ex) doing anything to make my day special), told me to quit being disappointed by them and make MYSELF happy.  Wise words!  From that point on, I bought my own gift and now make my own plans!  I don't sit around waiting for them!  I admit...my kids aren't good at giving, but as long as I hear from them, I'm happy.  This year, I made reservations at a nice restaurant for brunch, then invited my DD26 and DD22 who both got on board.  (Why not...Mom's buying, right?!)  Well, I don't care.  I get to spend an afternoon with my girls and so what if I had to be the one to plan it.  I totally admit I taught my girls to receive more than give, so what could I expect?  I doted on THEM and didn't expect much in return.  Serenity once told me that HER mother said kids weren't worth a damn til they were 30,  I'm finding is about right!  My girls have definitely matured as they are approaching 30 and I'm enjoying it.  Until the last couple years, I've been nothing BUT disappointed.  No more!  I've taken my happiness into my own hands and no longer give THEM the power to take it away from me.  :)  I DID invite dh and SS21 (who I have disengaged from due to drug use), to brunch with me and DDs, but dh has declined.  He also has distanced himself from MY DDs who have hurt me in the past and he doesn't like their disrespect of me, but I didn't invite his DS at Easter for brunch and he was not happy with me about THAT, so I thought I'd make ammends, but dh still declined.  He knows me and my girls enjoy our "girl" time and he understands that.  My ex used to tell me I wasn't HIS mother (didn't matter that I was the mother of his children) and my now dh told me the same thing!  geez  But, on Father's Day, I do nothing for him either since his kids aren't mine.  (Thank God.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Wed, 05-07-2014 - 6:30pm

As a matter of fact I have taught my kids to be thoughtful and kind. They spend a lot of time with their grandparents on my side. Their other grandparents are deceased. They have always attended birthdays for grandma and grandpa and are with me when I get my mother flowers for Mother's Day and my parent's anniversary. I make ALL holidays special, send out cards to family and even friends I have known for years on ALL holidays. I say holidays and anniversaries are special occasions and need to be acknowledged. I decorate the house on all holidays, even minor ones, and make special family traditional meals on holidays.

Yes my kids live with me and yeah the divorce was messy not on my part but their dad is abusive, was arrested for choking me, and dragged our divorce on for four years. He refuses to cooperate with me and YES I encourage a good relationship with their father and they make him cards on Father's Day and call him on holidays and birthdays and he manages to see them twice a year by his choice. I have no idea what he tells my children about me. That is his deal and has nothing to do with me. I don't tell my stepchildren to respect their dad because I would get my butt handed to me if I did. It was one year that they forgot their dad on Father's Day and now they call on Father's Day and each sends him a card.

Does that answer your questions?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Wed, 05-07-2014 - 6:31pm

As a matter of fact I have taught my kids to be thoughtful and kind. They spend a lot of time with their grandparents on my side. Their other grandparents are deceased. They have always attended birthdays for grandma and grandpa and they are with me when I get my mother flowers for Mother's Day and my parent's anniversary. I make ALL holidays special, send out cards to family and even friends I have known for years on ALL holidays. I say holidays and anniversaries are special occasions and need to be acknowledged. I decorate the house on all holidays, even minor ones, and make special family traditional meals on holidays.

Yes my kids live with me and yeah the divorce was messy not on my part but their dad is abusive, was arrested for choking me, and dragged our divorce on for four years. He refuses to cooperate with me and YES I encourage a good relationship with their father and they make him cards on Father's Day and call him on holidays and birthdays and he manages to see them twice a year by his choice. I have no idea what he tells my children about me. That is his deal and has nothing to do with me. I don't tell my stepchildren to respect their dad because I would get my butt handed to me if I did. It was one year that they forgot their dad on Father's Day and now they call on Father's Day and each sends him a card.

Does that answer your questions?

 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 05-07-2014 - 11:38pm

Well, if you taught your children to be thoughtfull and kind, then somehow, they forgot.  Since they live with you, it should not be hard to begin again.  You still have time for this year.  Remind them that Mothers Day is for children to show their mothers, grandmothers, step-grandmothers,  etc, appreciation for all their hard work and sacrifices, and that it is also for mothers to celebrate their own daughters and daughters-in-law when THEY become mothers.  Remind them that Mother's Day is Sunday, and that they must make or buy something for you, their grandmother, and step-grandmother, just as you do, and time is running out.  Ask them what their plans are, and if they need any (physical) help.  Remind them that they must spend QUALITY time visiting BOTH their grandmas on Sunday, so no pouting or dying their cellphones while there, is allowed.  This goes for you, too.  Then be Oh so surprised when they give you a card on Sunday, lavish them with thanks, and then go spend some quality time with their elders, who might not live to see another Mother's Day.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 05-08-2014 - 12:44pm

I feel for you, but I do think that expectations in general are a killer.   

Curious, (sorry, I forget how old your kids are) but have you tried saying to them all "hey, this is what I would like for Mothers Day?"   We never made a huge deal over mothers day.  My mom has a luncheon thing we go to every year, so that is kind of our time with her.  It might be that so much focus has been on your mom that they don't quite "get it."  I think my grown kids are probably more focused on my mom, knowing her health isn't the best, than they are me.  

So, telling them is just one idea to try.  My mom last year just flat out told my DD28 that she would love a few hours of housekeeping for Christmas fromy my DD28.  DD doesn't have much money, and a dollar store gift is kind pointless.  KWIM?

I am fortunate that my DH knows my family doesn't make a huge deal out of Fathers day or Mothers day, and my grown kids usually just call or text, so it is pretty common for DH and I to spend a nice day together.  Then of course if my DD14 is home, she participates also.  

I try not to expect anything specific.  And I know if there is something I would like to do, I need to speak up.  Not saying one way is right or wrong, just how it is.  

Hope something in there was helpful.  I try to remember that it is about honoring MY mother and anything else is icing on the cake.  Otherwise yes, it can sometimes be disapointing.

Serenity

Serenity