Some of Us Won’t Be Remembered on Mother’s Day

Question: Dear Luise: What advice do you have for those of us who won’t be remembered on Mother’s Day? I know that one of my son’s wives will do the job and remember me but the other one won’t. They both married and obviously needed very controlling women. I know they needed them but the deal doesn’t include me. I wish the day didn’t exist. The DIL who won’t allow it is very tight-waddish with money. A card is too much but really, she doesn’t like anyone to be acknowledged except her. I overheard two young married’s talking and one of them said, “yes, we’re going to have to spend time with ‘her’ but I resent it! My husband thinks it’s only right since she’s his mother. She’s HIS mother, not mine!” Any advice for the heart, Luise? D.

Answer: Dear D. Well, when that happens I guess we are pretty much left with what we want to create in the “Mother’s Day Vacuum.” We can have a horrible day with every justification regarding whose fault that is. Really…how hard is it to get a card into the mail or pick up the phone and order flowers or fire out an e-card?

That’s all true. And we can fortify that with what we did for our own MILs over the years out of respect and common decency. There are a lot of places we can go to get agreement that an empty Mother’s Day is the pits…because it certainly can be.

teddy-bear-dozen-roses-1Beyond that, we have our memories of how great it was “back then” and how wonderful it felt to express love so easily and have it returned so bountifully. That’s something no one can take from us…our wonderful and successful parenting. No matter what has happened to our hopes and dreams of an extended family after our precious children became adults, I think it may be possible, without becoming a quintessential Pollyanna, to look back and smile if we let ourselves.

Now that you have brought the subject up, I think I will alter my own history and buy myself some flowers on Mother’s Day from my elder, (deceased,) son (who eventually found me to be the bane of his existence with the able help of my daughter in law.) I think I will talk with my husband about how I read to him until he was able to read and sang with him until we were singing two-part harmony. I am going to recall Halloween costumes I put together, programs I attended and problems I listened to and helped solve. I’m going to pass on sadness because I am at choice and I’m going to wallow in my remembrances of the heartfelt and sincere warmth and caring we exchanged on a daily basis for so many years. Yup, I’m going to pat myself on the back.

He grew up to be a wonderful man but he also made choices that I didn’t understand or sometimes respect. However, that doesn’t cancel out my excellent mothering or my right to have a nice Mother’s Day. Thanks for sending in your question. I think my life is going to be very different on Sunday, as a result.

Blessings, Luise

Excellent advice, Mom. Since I’m your webmaster on this blog as well as your youngest son, and since it’s Mother’s Day, I just added a fun “teddy bear with a dozen roses” image to your encouraging words above. I trust the wisdom you’ve shared will inspire mothers around the globe toward remembering that the foundation of being able to love, care for, and support others begins with self-love. Kirk

To Everyone: Kirk’s Mother’s Day gift to me was my own (check it out) Web Forum: www.motherinlawsunite.com

Beautiful reply, Luise! The amount of care you put out into the world through your web site really shows. I am so lucky to have a mother-in-law in my life to love and be loved by. And that is YOU! Thank you for being exactly the person you are. If you hadn’t been you, perhaps I wouldn’t have the love of my life. Sandy

Dear Luise: Loved your response to the question! I was caught by surprise at my own thoughts as I first read the question, What Advice Do You Have for Those of Us Who Won’t Be Remembered on Mother’s Day? And naturally I took off on the train of thought of my NOT being a mother and being surrounded by women who were being celebrated, until I read on to the next sentences! My attitude was much like yours…I’ll make it special! This year has been quite a turnaround for me regarding Mother’s Day.  Historically, it tended to have a hint of melancholy as I remembered Mother who died when I was 14 years old, but 43 yrs of that is enough!  A woman at my church, told me last year that she was gonna be my “mom” and take me to the Mother-Daughter banquet at church this year since her daughter in law doesn’t like to go. Last Sun, a 91 year-old friend was bemoaning to her that her daughter was outta town this week, so she wouldn’t be attending the banquet.  So the woman who adopted me for the evening was adopted, too. I bought some baby roses for $7 and played with making corsages for about 3 hrs!  Since I’m so slow at it, I guess that’s not lucrative for me to consider as a business, eh?!  And of course skill is another matter worth questioning!  I broke 2 of the roses trying to make the first corsage, so there were only 2 roses in one corsage instead of 3.  But the 2nd one I made actually LOOKED like a corsage!  I made both of them “Certificates of Adoption” on parchment paper, stuck a little gold seal on ‘em and we all signed ‘em before we went in the door at church.  When we checked in, we presented our “papers” to declare that we were Grandma, Mom & Daughter for the night. Everybody got a big chuckle out of it, and you would have thought I’d spent the full $25 for 2 corsages the way they acted!  They even wore them to church this morning!  As we left last night, we were wishing we had thought to adopt my friend from China as my daughter so we could have had 4 generations! A.

Dear A. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons! What a wonderful, creative, loving and fun way to turn around what could have been an empty time for all concerned. I think next Mother’s Day I will focus on those women who for one reason or another didn’t have children.  Many have do a lot of mothering along the way! Blessings, Luise

6 Responses to Some of Us Won’t Be Remembered on Mother’s Day

  1. Kirk May 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    Excellent advice, Mom. Since I’m your webmaster on this blog as well as your son, and since it’s Mother’s Day, I just added a fun “teddy bear with a dozen roses” image to your encouraging words above. I trust the wisdom you’ve shared will inspire mothers around the globe toward remembering that the foundation of being able to love, care for, and support others begins with self-love. Kirk

  2. Sandy May 11, 2009 at 2:40 am #

    Beautiful reply, Luise! The amount of care your put out into the world through your web site really shows. I am so lucky to have a mother-in-law in my life to love and be loved by. And that is YOU! Thank you for being exactly the person you are. If you hadn’t been you, perhaps I wouldn’t have the love of my life. Sandy

  3. M. May 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    Luise – you are a lucky woman that your son and DIL think so much of you. Your son is right re self love – but sometimes when your child and his wife are cruel all of your self esteem goes out the window. So you obviously have done something right – especially with your DIL – because she has it right- we are the ones who gave their husbands the qualities that the DILs love – how ironic that they turn on us.

    Thanks again for all of your help.
    M.

    • Luise May 13, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

      Dear M.: Thank you. They have never sent comments before and I thought it would be nice to publish them just this once. And there is a lot of luck involved! I wrote about my elder son in my response to the Mother’s Day question. It’s always been a mystery why one son and his wife would see me as “evil personified” while my other son and his wife would see me as their primary source of love and inspiration. I’m the same person. I didn’t wear two parenting hats. And I totally agree that it’s hard to get that self-love is not dependent on external events and circumstances. Blessings, Luise

  4. J. May 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Glad I found this. My daughter is very self absorbed I guess. I wonder lately if she is missing a piece of her soul. She’s had her challenges in life. I rarely hear from her and this mother’s day it really hurt. It’s like a survival test for me it hurts so much. I was alone today so I drove out to the local park. The sun was shining and everything was beautiful so I parked for awhile, enjoyed some take out food and thought about my own mother. The good memories filled me up more than anything I could do for myself. So many of us have to bear up under being ignored by others. Like that old saying “Plant your own garden”. I went home and opened up my mailbox to find some flower seeds I had been waiting for. I planted then all that afternoon. Don’t count upon others, no matter how much you love them, to fill up that void on Mother’s Day or any other day. J.

    • Luise May 13, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      Good for you! Please consider coming over to my Web-forum that focuses on issues with adult chidren and extended families. We are at: http://www.WiseWomenUnite.com Blessings, Luise

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