Mother's Day - Good, Bad and Very Ugly

Filed under: Holidays

bouquet of flowers in vase

You know what says Happy Mother's Day? Flowers. Not a guinea pig. Photo courtesy of

Guys, here's a tip: Graciously "giving" the mother of your children time alone with the kids is probably not the best way to tell her how much you appreciate all she does for you and your family.

"Every year so far, my Mother's Day 'gift' has been to be given the whole day to spend with my daughter, all by myself, while my husband spends the day attached to his computer," says one ParentDish reader. "Because, you know, that's not what I do every day of the year!"

But wait! There's more! "Oh, and if I'm really lucky?" she adds. "He'll stop on his way home from work on Friday night, and buy me a movie I have no interest in, refuse to watch it with me, and then [complain] for a year that I haven't watched it."

Oy to the vey, people. I'm hoping that poor lady at least gets a bunch of dandelions picked from the yard this year. Because frankly, that would be a much better gift. Turns out a lot of the dads out there are a little, um, clueless when it comes to celebrating Mother's Day. Our informal poll of ParentDish readers revealed that even just a card would warm the cockles of mom's heart, because that would be a lot better than a bag of Twizzlers.

Yes, a half-pound bag of strawberry Twizzlers. That's what my friend Jenny got one year. That, and a car ride to the in-laws with her preschooler in the back seat. Personally, I can't believe they're still married, because my husband would be dead by the side of the road and I would be in prison. "But," says Jenny, "he made up for it later with a really gorgeous ring."

Good save, dude, good save. But not all the menfolk out there are as savvy as my pal's mate. Just ask this poor ParentDish reader, who has to endure Mother's Day gift envy every year: "I have three teen sons and a husband who just don't get that a woman likes to be made to feel special," she writes. "I am so blessed to have them, but would it kill them to get me a [darn] card!?"

Even worse, when her sister-in-law comes over, she shows off her Mother's Day haul. "She shows off the jewels that her husband gave her and the lovely purse her daughter bought her, and blah blah blah," she says. "Bitter? Just a bit, I guess."

Lady, I'd be bitter, too. My husband is a champion gift-giver, so I can't complain too much. He does, however, have a knack for picking fights on holidays, and we've had some doozies on Mother's Day. Then there was the year he had to go do his statistics homework. On Mother's Day. And no, he never did that again.

Husbands aren't the only culprits when it comes to whacked-out Mother's Day "gifts." One of our male readers 'fessed up to giving his mom a less than appropriate present one year.

"I bought my mom a guinea pig, and was hiding in the basement," he recalls. "Returning home one afternoon, I heard a ruckus in the basement. My mother was swearing (not unusual). When I went down the stairs, I saw her wielding a broom, trying to kill something that was running along the walls. Immediately, I realized the guinea pig had escaped and was being pursued by mom."

He adds that he was able to "stop the slaughter," but did have to go get her a more "suitable" gift. Because nothings says "I love you, Mom," like yet another creature that poops. Am I right, ladies? Or how about a "Happy Mother's Day" phone call from your ex-husband? Or maybe a visit to the emergency room with a sick kid?

After reading all the funny stories you all were generous enough to share with us, I could only come to one conclusion: Every day is Mother's Day. Every day moms field ridiculous requests, laugh at their husbands' ideas, get mad, give hugs, clean up messes, ooh and ahh over handmade gifts, and generally take care of business.

But seriously, guys, would it kill you to pick up the phone and order a bunch of flowers? Go, now! Dial that cellphone, and save yourselves a lot of grief.

And make the special mother in your life feel really, really good. Happy Mother's Day, y'all.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.