Dear Husbands: Mother’s Day is Not About Your Mom

Dear Husbands,

It’s not much of a surprise that relationships between married women and their mothers-in-law can be… well, complicated. And perhaps the holiday that encompasses that the most is Mother’s Day. And guys, we know: You’re really, really caught in the middle. Your mother expects you to do something for her. Your wife wants to feel special, too. And you probably just want to make everyone happy. But here’s something, from all of us wives out there, that you really, really need to know: Guys, Mother’s Day is not about your mom. Not anymore, anyway.

We get it, you spent your entire life doing something special for her on Mother’s Day. You love her. You’re grateful for the sacrifices she made for you. These are all good things. But now you’re married, and your wife has given you children of your own. That means your focus, your priority, needs to shift from your mother, to the mother of your children. She takes precedence now. (Sorry, mothers-in-law.)

Right now, your wife is in the trenches. She’s going through the most difficult part of motherhood. She’s dealing with tons of stress and frustration every single day, whether it be crying babies and dirty diapers, toddler temper tantrums and potty training, or insane loads of homework, bullies, and adolescence. Being a mom means being selfless, pretty much every moment of every day. She’s always worrying about someone else, fixing everyone else’s problems, and rarely takes time for herself. Guys, your mom did all of this, too — but those days, for her, are over. So on Mother’s Day, you need to make the day special for your wife first and foremost.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean forget your mom altogether. By all means, send your mom flowers. Get her a lovely gift. But ask your wife what she wants to do on Mother’s Day first, and if the answer is not “go to my mother-in-law’s house,” then don’t drag everyone to go see your mother. After all, it’s not Grandparent’s Day (and yes, that’s a real day, guys). There are other days you can devote to showering your mom with attention and gifts and pampering. On Mother’s Day, you need to focus on the woman who is currently in the throes of motherhood.

Let’s say that you really want to spend time with your mom on Mother’s Day — well, have no fear, because there are still ways to make this a win-win situation. There are a couple of options here: First, you can see your mom the Saturday before Mother’s Day. The second, and likely better, option? Pack up your kids, and take them to your mom’s house… without your wife. Plan a special day for her that she can have all to herself — a nice brunch, a mini shopping spree, the chance to see that movie she’s been wanting to see, a day at a spa, or heck, even just the ability to enjoy her empty house where she can read and nap without getting interrupted a million times by tiny people who always need something. Moms rarely get time alone, and this can give her the opportunity to get a much-needed break for rest and relaxation, while you still get to spend time with your mom.

Of course, there might be the chance that your wife says she wants to spend the day together, as a family — no mother-in-law’s house. And in that case, then sorry, guys, but you’re going to have to cut the apron strings and put your wife first. She should be the main woman in your life now. You should be treating her like that every day, but especially on Mother’s Day.

One last note: Us moms, we’re not saying you shouldn’t do anything for your mom on Mother’s Day. Again, get a gift for her! Do something special for her. But just remember who the main mom in your life is now. And for the love of all that is holy, do not make your wife responsible for your mom’s Mother’s Day. Your wife should not be worrying about making sure your mom has a fantastic Mother’s Day while her special day is all but forgotten. Your wife doesn’t need to be picking out your mom’s gift or planning a visit to her house or arranging a Mother’s Day brunch for your mother. You need to take on the responsibility of doing something nice for your mom, but especially something nice for your wife. It’s a lot, we know. But trust us, feeling special and loved and valued, and being put first for one day out of the year… it goes a long way for us moms, especially as we’re battling the everyday stresses of motherhood. We’re not saying not to remember your mom; we’re just saying, don’t forget us, either. Because, sorry guys, but a day dedicated to making your mom feel honored doesn’t make us feel that great. So for today, put us first.

Love,
Wives and Moms Everywhere

Cassy Fiano-Chesser
Cassy Fiano-Chesser is a Jacksonville native and mom to six kids. Her husband is a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient. She works from home as a blogger and a freelance writer, and they currently live in the Argyle area of Jacksonville. Benjamin is their oldest, born in 2011, and he loves being a big brother. Wyatt was born in 2012, and he has Down syndrome. Ivy came next, in 2013, followed by Clara, born in 2015, who is a diva-with-a-capital-D. Rounding out the brood is Felicity, born in 2017, and Lilly, born in 2007. They love discovering things to do on the First Coast and going on family adventures, as well as cheering on the Jumbo Shrimp and the Icemen.

99 COMMENTS

  1. AMEN!! My husband is nothing like this. His mom flat out reminds me of the movie “monster-in-law”. Yesterday was mother’s day. My kids were at their fathers this weekend so they weren’t here. Sad for me but he’s a good dad. My husband took off for his mom to go eat lunch. So I’m stuck here alone.. When he came home we went to grocery store then just say here so he could watch hockey.. That was my mother’s day. He says I’m not his mom he shouldn’t have to do anything for me. But I’m the one taking care of him making his lunches for work. I’m a stay at home mom so I do it all. Do I deserve something?? Very hurt.

    • I was too in that situation this year and I honestly don’t know what happened. The words … You are not my mother …was also said to me. But the previous years I was always acknowledged one way or another. Of course he is to celebrate his mother just like I celebrate my own. But out of all men in the world I could have married, I chose him and decided to give him children and made him a father. I’m also raising his children….not his mother. I work full time. We also went through child loss with our second son and it was a struggle in those heart wrenching months ….year….to raise and attend our other son. Like many moms…..Im also behind our son with homework etc and he’s doing an awesome job with good grades. But this year…. Not even a verbal happy mother’s day. Yes.. I received it from our son instead and forever will cherish his crafts and lovings. But not to hear it from my husband…. Or offer to do a chore….plan a family picnic for another day or at the beach…… Just nothing as if it was just another day and mother’s day didn’t exist. Just pure coldness. No I’m not his mother, but his wife who took over to take care of him and the mother of his son. Every mother in my family was celebrated by their husbands but mine……very hurt 💔

    • For guys to put this in prospective when trying to decide where to put their energy I would say: If you think it is inconsiderate for your wife to take off for a whole day on Father’s Day serving your Father-in-law’s every wim while you take care of small children, then don’t do that to your wife. When I was young my father stopped by his moms real quick but taught/helped us with how we wanted to show his wife our love. He helped us make cards or cook. That’s the kind of man I want my son’s to be.

  2. I had this discussion with my family… men, women, young, old. We all agreed that the wife in the trenches of motherhood comes first. Yes, you should do something nice for your mom and make her feel special, but why can’t it be the day before? Is that such a horrible compromise? All moms should be celebrated, but trying to do it all on one day can become stressful and make the day not special at all.

  3. I shld have my husbnd read this article. Hubby canceled his plan for taking me out coz his mom was planning a dinner at her house. It hurts but i just didnt say anything to him and now im still upset and just waiting for this feeling to go away. It sucks

  4. Wow, it looks like so many women missed the point of this article or didn’t get past the title. You deserve to be first. If you let “mommy” be first, it will ruin your marriage eventually. Let your hubs send her flowers or a spa coupon. MIL has her birthday to look forward to in most cases and as long as she’s in good standing with the wife, she probably also gets to see the grandkids and her son 2-3 times a year or more depending on how close she lives.

    My MIL is so selfabsorbed and rude that Mother’s Day isn’t even a thing she gets a card for anymore. She’s made it perfectly clear that she thinks she should be the only woman in the world and we’re not dealing with that. 🙃

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