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.
Wives and Moms Everywhere