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.
Beyond 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.
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