Mother’s Day — As Mothers

Mother's Day - FTD Boundless Beauty BouquetHappy early Mother’s Day, ladies! I’m curious: what does Mother’s Day look like for you, now that you’re a mother yourself? What are your memories of it as a child, and what do you hope/want for it when your kids are small (versus when they are older)?

For my $.02 — as a child I remember a lot of it revolving around my maternal grandmother. I remember that side of the family (four couples with six kids total) would all get together and we would go to a “fancy” buffet or other family event. The kids would wreak havoc (dressed in our frilliest dresses, of course), the parents would endure; ketchup usually wound up squirted across the room at some point. (We know how to party.)

As I’ve grown older and moved away, the holiday was more or less reduced to a sending of flowers to my mother and grandmother, and perhaps a quick call to both. I tend to remind my husband about getting his mother flowers or a gift as well.

The odd thing for me is that now that I’m a mother — at least while the kids are small — Mother’s Day is almost entirely off my radar. Arranging a buffet? Are you kidding? Even flowers for my own mother are usually beyond me (my brother usually deals, thank goodness). I’m too busy being a mother to celebrate it (or nudge my husband until he plans a celebration), you know? This isn’t so much of a whine — because if I wanted it, it would happen — just an observation.

Ladies, what are your thoughts — are you keen on being “celebrated” for Mother’s Day? Does the holiday revolve around your mother or grandmother? What is your ideal present — jewelry? time alone (e.g., a spa gift card)? a family meal together somewhere nice? 

(Pictured at top: Boundless Beauty Bouquet, available for $69 at FTD.)


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  1. Philanthropy Girl says:

    My first two Mother’s Days were horrible. My first son passed away shortly before Mother’s Day in 2012 and that day was a real challenge for the next three years. My hubby took me out for lunch, but we didn’t have a nice time. It didn’t feel much like a celebration.

    This year, we have a new little one at home, and I confess I’ve been feeling a bit anxious about what this year will be like. The emotions are complex, to say the least. My birthday is also very close to Mother’s Day, so those celebrations usually end up rolled together.

    As a kid, we did all the usual stuff: jewelry or art projects or flowers we potted ourselves, and breakfast for mom, and often lunch with one grandmother or the other. We never celebrated my mum’s birthday (she insisted birthdays were for kids), so Mother’s Day was the day we celebrated my mom.

  2. EP-er says:

    So much this:

    I have specifically asked for no breakfast in bed this year. Being woken up! Having to get out of bed to tell my husband where the waffle iron is! Crumbs! Spilt OJ! Kids crawling on my lap as I try to eat! I kind of would love for my husband to get up with the kids and take them somewhere without me…. but then that isn’t really the point, right? I do love the little “fill in the blanks” about mom that the kids come home with. “My mom always says “I love you!”” That melts my heart (and makes up from him thinking that I am 87 years old…)

    This year we are still firming up plans, but it includes 1 PM brunch with my extended family (parents, siblings & their family.) We are still figuring out what we are doing with MIL.

    My MIL is great — she thinks that Mother’s Day should be celebrating mother’s of younger children, not so much grandmas. My mother makes a bigger deal out of something and some gift for her. I always have the kids make something homemade for Grandmas… and sometimes will have them make a third one for myself. Last year I got a spa gift card and still haven’t used it; not because I don’t want to, but because carving out that time seems so hard sometimes. It is better now that the kids are growing up a bit and not babies anymore.

  3. New DC Mom says:

    As a new mom (I have a 6 month old), I thought I would be more excited about celebrating Mother’s Day – but I really just want a massage and a pedicure. I pretty much just want to feel human again.
    Slight threadjack – I would like to get/make something for my mom and MIL from the baby. Any ideas? I was thinking of putting the baby’s footprints in plaster or something like that. Both moms are out of state and new grandmothers. Help! I cant think.

    • Newly pregnant says:

      My MIL would probably love the baby’s footprints in plaster but my mom isn’t really a knickknack person, so that could be a little bit of a know your audience thing. What about a framed photo of your mom/MIL with the baby? Or one of those picture frames where you can upload photos remotely so they’re regularly getting new photos.

      • hoola hoopa says:

        +1 to the remote upload frames, particularly if your mom isn’t on a photo-sharing site (instagram, FB, etc), but even if she’s not. New photos randomly appearing is like Grandparent Christmas.

        Footprint art will be well-received, but I’d do something on paper (temporary) or a canvas reusable shopping bag (practical). One of my kids did a plaster one at daycare and it’s too awkward to display but I can’t bring myself to throw it out.

        • due in june says:

          I have never heard of such a thing (remote upload frame) but this is flipping brilliant and we’re totally going to get one for each set of grandparents.

    • Meg Murry says:

      There are about a million different art’s and crafts on Pinterest that involve dipping your baby’s hands or feet in paint and writing a poem around them. My aunt did one of the these with my cousins and I when we were kids and it is still hanging on my grandmother’s wall. I think it is the first one on this list, or something like it:

    • Framed pictures of the baby. They will always appreciate framed pictures. We jokingly call it the “cop out gift” in my family, but the grandparents ALWAYS love it.

  4. Meg Murry says:

    I posted the rant about Mother’s Day yesterday, thank you for letting me whine :-)

    For me, I want to:
    1) Not spend a ton of time and effort planning something “special” for every other Mother while no one does the same for me
    2) Have my husband teach me kids to acknowledge the day in some way (which can be small/no cost). I mean, it can be as simple as picking a flower for me out of the yard and presenting it to me and saying “Happy Mother’s Day” with a hug. That’s all I really want – a teeny, tiny bit of effort. Handmade card or taking the kid to buy me a small present are nice too, but not necessary.

    The year my son was around 3 or 4 I ended Mother’s Day a sobbing mess because my husband and son had not done a single thing to acknowledge it for me after expecting me to orchestrate all the planning/present buying for our Mothers, 3 Grandmothers plus 2 Great-Aunts who were like Grandmothers. I may also have been pregnant that year, which also contributed to the exhaustion and frustration. To give him a tiny bit of credit, every year up until that year he really hadn’t had to do much, because daycare had always made some kind of craft for Mother’s Day but didn’t that year – but I was still so so upset.

    In general though – this is my opinion, especially when I had young kids:

  5. This will be my third Mother’s Day. We typically celebrate with gifts and a meal, and we include any grandmas and other family that are in town. We’ve gone out in the past, but this year I am cooking.

    Last year, we got the grandmas custom phone cases that have a picture of the baby on the back. They LOVE them. Huge hit, and not too expensive!

    This year, we went a little bigger. Opera ticket for my MIL, and Broadway ticket for my mom. Not sure yet what I am getting from husband/baby.

  6. I contributed to the rant about this yesterday (which made me feel slightly better – so thanks!)

    We are “blessed” that both sets of grandparents are in our city. So major holidays like this are usually split up. We will spend the morning with my parents (for which I’ll buy my mom a gift) and stick around their house for breakfast/brunch until the kids are ready for their nap. After their nap, we’ll head to my in-laws’ house for snacks and dinner so they can see the kids (and I’ll probably have to buy something for my mother-in-law because my husband will forget or just want to give her cash…he’s too pragmatic). Then we’ll come home and my husband and I will have to cram a day’s worth of laundry into a few hours.

    I’ve given up on having a nice mothers’ day. I don’t want the stress of hosting everyone at our house, either. So I just let this Sunday happen and then tell my husband that next Saturday, I’ll be taking time for a pedicure and a massage.

  7. hoola hoopa says:

    6th Mother’s Day for me. My primary goal is spend time with my family and to avoid crowds. Generally my husband gets up with kids and makes a nice breakfast, then he and the kids plant flowers in the outdoor pots while I relax. After the big patio pot reveal (big moment for the kids, even if I’ve been sitting out there with them, lol), we do something as a family (ie, swimming pool), then we get take-out or have a simple but favorite meal at home. (My husband is the primary cook, so I don’t need a ‘day off’ in that department, but I prefer to have the day be as low-stress as possible). The kids usually have some sort of craft or gift from school/daycare that’s presented with much-ado, which I think it the sweetest, cutest thing. My husband often gives me something small, like a chocolate bar, which is enough.

    We don’t try to see our own mothers. My MIL lives too far, so I send kid artwork/cards and remind my husband (he likes to send flowers and call her). My mother is close enough and I always tried to see her on MD before I had kids, but once I had my first she told me to just keep it to myself. I call her and send her kid artwork/cards, too. She sends me a card. My dad takes her out for a day activity.

    It’s pretty similar to the MD’s I remember as a child, although honestly I’d have to ask my mom.

  8. Pigpen's Mama says:

    We always celebrated Mother’s Day growing up, but it was never anything elaborate — usually we got Mom something she probably really didn’t need or want and took her out for dinner. I think we tried breakfast in bed a few times, but my Mom always got up before us and really isn’t a breakfast person (and probably didn’t want to clean up our mess!).

    I had grand plans to send my mom a nice framed photo of my little one (cop out gift for the win!), but I couldn’t manage to get a decent frame-worthy picture of her. So I’m sending her flowers like I usually do.

    For me, I just really want my husband to take charge and plan the day. And by plan I mean think about what to do more than 15 minutes before we go do it and look up any necessary information and make any needed reservations for brunch.

  9. PregLawyer says:

    Clarification: I’m 32 weeks pregnant. I do not consider myself a mother yet. A couple people have asked me what I’m doing to celebrate mother’s day, and I got confused. My husband is now unsure if he’s supposed to get me a gift (I said ‘no’.) I’m right, aren’t I?

    Note – I don’t think this is actually a right or wrong sort of thing, just curious what most people do.

    Annnnnd, edited because I originally included way too many unnecessary quotes.

    • Katarina says:

      When I was pregnant we half celebrated. My husband got me flowers, and cooked a nice dinner (nothing out of the ordinary). I would have been fine with no celebration, because I did not feel like a mother yet. I was about 6 months pregnant.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      I wasn’t expecting anything (heh), but my husband brought me some simple flowers and we went out for brunch (which we normally do on Sundays, but it was a ‘special’ brunch).

    • Newly pregnant says:

      I’m 38 weeks pregnant and I don’t feel like a mother yet. We had my in-laws and my mom in for a brunch last weekend and at the end my MIL wished me a happy mother’s day, and it just felt really weird. So I don’t have plans to celebrate.

    • due in june says:

      I’ll be 36 weeks on mother’s day and I am not expecting nor do I want anything on mother’s day.

      I went to tour a lovely daycare today (for fun, I’m like 100th on the waitlist after signing up four months ago for care in October 2015 hahahaha) and looked at the tiny babies and realized omg I’m going to have one of those soon ackkkkkkkkkk. I don’t feel like a mother yet either.

      DD will arrive by father’s day though, so I should probably think of something in advance for that because I doubt I’ll be capable of cobbling together a father’s day present a few weeks after giving birth.

    • PregAnon says:

      Good timing! I will be 5.5 months pregnant on Mother’s Day, and hadn’t really given it much thought until I found out MIL was coming down to stay with us for the weekend, and I was told we would be going to a bakery that I like for a quick coffee / pastry run for breakfast, but is NOT a real breakfast place and will be an absolute horrid madhouse on Mother’s Day (it always is, I try to stay far away). They want to go to this bakery and sit down and eat, which will entail being crammed into a tiny table and getting elbows to the head while people fight for tables around us.

      What I really wanted this weekend was to sleep, and sleep some more, and I kind of hinted at that…”maybe you guys can go and bring me something back?” That went over well. Then I found out, instead of flying home mid-day Sunday, MIL is with us until 6pm. WHAT? We’ve been talking about dropping off at the airport and then having a beach day…so that’s shot. I didn’t pull the “I’m almost a mom” thing until that happened.

      Now I’m a little put out that husband didn’t even consider how awful I’ve been feeling before booking my weekend solid between Friday night and Sunday night.

  10. NewMomAnon says:

    I’m a newly single mom. Soon-to-be-ex forgot about MD last year (my first) and I was really upset. So this year I bought myself a ring with my kiddo’s birthstone, and decided that I will allow kiddo to watch as much TV as she wants while I make a breakfast that is more elaborate than cold cereal and yogurt. I will also buy myself a bunch of flowers that I like without balking at the price. And we are going to my brother’s house for brunch with my parents, so I need to get a card and a last minute gift for my mom too….but the world won’t end if it’s just a hand-made card from kiddo and the “gift” is something simple like home made cookies or nice candy from the grocery store.

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  12. I request a picnic lunch as my celebration each year. Hubby buys yummy cheeses and meats and crackers, we go to a park so little boys can run and be crazy (year 1 was brunch, not doing that again til they are both double-digit). It’s simple but special, and everyone enjoys it.

  13. Twin Joy says:

    This is my first Mother’s Day (9 month old girls), and I’m honestly kind of ambivalent about the whole thing. I’m so used to celebrating for the other mothers in my life that it hadn’t even occurred to me that we’d be celebrating ME on Mother’s Day until my assistant asked me earlier this week what my husband was planning for my “very first Mother’s Day!” I was lost for a good 10 seconds. I’m not entirely sure it had occurred to my husband either.

    What would I like for Mother’s Day? I lovely brunch with my husband would be nice, I guess. He’s a stay-at-home dad and I’m full time lawyer so we’re both burning at both ends. Unfortunately, the MIL who usually comes over on the weekends is out of town celebrating – well, Mother’s Day. So it’s just us and the girls this weekend. Which is fine since, as sleep deprived as I am, I cherish the weekends and the time I get to spend with my family. I like the idea of a picnic lunch as someone mentioned earlier. Maybe we’ll do that?