Me again needing a swift kick in the but

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Me again needing a swift kick in the but
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 1:11pm
Ok here is the situation (this will be kinda long...sorry)

My mom's b'day was Sept. 14th. Every year I get stressed out over this day b/c nothing I ever do is good enough. It seems like she wants me to skywrite her name and throw an expensive party and all kinds of stuff that I can't afford to do. Well this year is her 50th birthday so I said, "ok, it's a pain, but 50 only comes around once so I'll make an effort to do something special." So about 2 months ago I suggested renting a private dining room in a nice restaurant, inviting the family and a date of her choice and having a nice dinner. She rejected the idea citing that she didn't want to go out for her birthday but that she wanted to have a barbecue in her backyard. Well, her backyard needs extensive work before it is suitable for anyone to do anything in it much less barbecuing. I didn't act on this desire (even though she proclaimed it was the ONLY acceptable birthday gift in her eyes) because I was not going to send myself into financial turmoil over her birthday. However, just last week I got the first of two of my tuition refunds (I pay tuition up front, then get refunded from my scholarships) this semester so I had some extra money and said, "why not?" So I enlisted her boyfriend who fixes stuff up to go to Home Depot and order the stuff needed. All in all it came to about $350. Well, I went and paid for it and even got volunteers to come out and help for Saturday (the day before her birthday). My plan was then to just have a small barbecue (b/c this venture, in essence, topped out my budget) and all parties would be happy. Mind you not two weeks before this she calls me and essentially lays a HUGE guilt trip on me b/c she thought I wasn't planning anything and essentially called me a bad daughter for not getting her what she wants, so my heart was not really in this present b/c by this point I didn't want to do anything for her. Well...

On her birthday it rained. So I had to call Home Depot and delay the delivery for one week (incidentally, next weekend Hurricaine Isabelle is supposed to hit us). Well that was the beginning of my mom acting like a whiny brat. Her boyfriend suggested we take her out for crabs and at first I was ok w/ that. Well I spoke to her a couple of times and she acted like it wasn't working for her so I'm scrambling for ideas on how to make her birthday more special since this is her 50th birthday. Well, I asked her if she had her heart set on crabs or could we do something else. She said she didn't care she just didn't want to make the decision. So I said fine, we'll have a dinner party for her and I'll invite her best friend and my grandpop and we'll all have a nice dinner and we can have cake and ice cream and we'll all just celebrate. So I call her best friend and I call my grandpop and all. Sunday I went out shopping and spent $65 on a big spaghetti/lasagna dinner (which, to those who know me, is a lot to spend on top of $350 I just spent on the darn back yard). I mean I got the fixins for some good spaghetti and I bought a HUGE lasagna and I made a killer salad (had everything a good salad is supposed to have) and garlic bread and I bought a cake and some ice cream. Well, I enlisted her boyfriend to take her out to a movie while I cooked and cleaned her house (we had to have it at her house since my stove is broken). Well she must have figured it all out and guess what...

Instead of being touched by my effort she gets mad at me. She says that spaghetti is nothing special to her and that I am selfish and self centered for not doing what she wants to do for her birthday (even though she wouldn't tell me exactly what she wanted to do). Furthermore, she said, if she couldn't have her backyard on her birthday she didn't want it (that's where I lost it--after I spent the money that I was going to spend on a new STOVE to buy her backyard stuff). So we ended up in a HUGE argument. By the time she got back to the house only the lasagna was done and I couldn't reach my grandpop before he left the house so he was on his way. I told her look there is a lasagna in the oven, salad in the fridge, you all have a nice dinner, I'm taking the rest of my stuff and going home. And I did. She honestly doesn't get it. So here are my issues:

#1 I feel like the dummy of the century for having spent $400 in the last week on a woman who can't appreciate what I was trying to do for her.

#2 I think she is selfish b/c she puts all of her birthday happiness on my shoulders even though she knows I have bills to pay and kids to care for and that I can't afford to do this.

#3 I think it is very ungrateful of her to make such a big scene about the whole thing. I mean, she could have said to herself "that's nice that Nikki went and put this all together on my behalf."

So if you've gotten this far in the post you're probably wondering "does she have a point?" Well yes I do. This is a WWYD? I still have the receipt for the Home Depot stuff. Now mind you I can still buy my stove (I get another tuition refund in two weeks), so do I a) let her keep all the backyard stuff, plan her own renovation and then just be one wiser for next year or b) take the receipt, get my money back and go on about my business? I just feel so dumb for letting what she thinks rule over my thinking. I am usually so practical and extravagant b'day gifts are just not a part of how I run my life. Anyone else would have gotten a nice gift (like an outfit or purse), lunch at a restaurant and a card. Why am I like this when it comes to my mother?


Avatar for karenester
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 1:19pm
Since she will not be happy no matter what you do, get your money back, and stick it away for a rainy day for the kids. And the next time you are thinking of making yourself insane over someone else's stupid issues, remember this experience and grow from it.

Do you let your daughters whine and cry and then buy them off with toys to try to kee them happy? Of course not. So don't do it with your mother. She is old enough to know better.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 1:29pm
She told you what to do. She said she didn't want the backyard if she couldn't have it on her birthday. So, I would return all the home Depot stuff, and buy a new stove with the money for it. Further, I wouldn't plan ANYTHING for any of her future birthdays. I would send her a card wishing her well, and let it go.

From what you say, I think this is one of those people you have to be very straight-forward with. (((((NIKKI))))))

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 1:45pm
I agree with the other two posters. Get your money back and chalk it up to a painful lesson learned. It won't take the pain away but you really could use the money other places.

I really, really think there are certain people in this world that are toxic. They are never happy with anything and you can never do enough to please them. My sister is sometimes this way and very self-centered. I have learned to distance myself from her and not set myself up to be hurt. It is much easier when it is a sister and not a mother.

I am so sorry you had to go through this-so sorry.


"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 2:11pm
Get your money back. Put that money in a savings account for something special later on. You might need that money Nikki, with 2 children and the ups and downs you have had, every penny you can sock away is important.

You just have to kind of let go as far as your mom's b-day is concerned. Someone who would throw such a fit over a BIRTHDAY, is pretty immature, imo. Shes your mom, ya love her, but you have your children to take care of after all. Shes an adult and you *attempted* to give her a very nice birthday, which she didnt even have the grace to appreciate.

Get your money back and call it good.



"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 4:07pm
probably because she is your mother and we all want to please our mothers, no matter what they are like. im not going to even give my opinion of what you should do with the stuff for the backyard, because i am really a spiteful person, who tries not to be.

i have a mil who is not happy unless she is unhappy and is never happy with any gifts, so we send her flowers on her birthday and thats that and dont even ask her if she likes them, LOL. because shes not my mother, it doesnt even phase me, but if my mom were like that, i dont know what the answer would be. i could draw my mom a picture and put "love, beth ann" on it, and she would cry and be happy i thought of her.

hope it works out for you nikki, i know its a tough spot to be in. oh, and btw, your mom still loves you whether you can see it or not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 4:10pm
you said it perfectly. mine would have sounded ugly. thanks ok, i agree with you.

p.s., you're pretty smart for being such a young whipper snapper!!! ROFLMAO....GOTCHA!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 7:23pm
I'm with the majority: get your money back and put it towards something for YOU.

You went above and beyond the call of duty and it was unappreciated. Chalk this year up to experience, and get her a simple gift certificate next year. Honestly, there's no use trying to please someone that just simply CAN'T be pleased.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 7:52pm
I agree with the others, Nikki. Get your money back and use it for yourself and the girls. I'm sorry your mom is being such a whiney, immature brat...some people are just like that. Next time you'll know better.

Shame on her. I felt bad when I read your post because I've never done anything even nearly that elaborate for my mom. I can't imagine someone not appreciating that kind of effort and expense.

((((NIKKI)))) ....I'd love to have a daughter like you!


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-1999
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 8:21pm
(((Nikki))), sweetie you don't need a swift kick in the butt, but I'd sure like to give one to your mother right now. Return the stuff and call it a day. You tried, she's ungrateful...don't waste anymore of your hard earned dollars on her. Run to Home Depot and get your money back.

I would be so proud to have a daughter like you...big hugs! C

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 10:44pm
I say go for B. And remember, no one is responsible for their own happiness but themselves. *she* may not have realized this yet, but if *you* do, then you'll quit beating yourself up over not being able to make her happy.

Glad to see you around hon!