Friday, May 15, 2009

Should I just be grateful?

There is this little thing that's been bothering me.  It has basically bothered me ever since I became a mother.   Hmm, could this issue have to do with Mother's Day?  Why yes, yes it does.  

You see the problem is in the matter of presents.  My children are little, they cannot go out and buy me anything so that would be up to hubby to pay for should he choose to do so.  My children make me things, which is lovely in sentiment but ugly (let's be honest here) in reality. 

Here's the question:  Do you think that you as a mother should expect to receive an actual bought present or should you just really be thankful that your kids made you something?  

Now you all know that mother's day wasn't all that it could have been for me because I had to show my house on Sunday but I have to say I was little disappointed.  You see, first I had to actually negotiate with hubby how long I would get to stay in bed in the morning.  Partly because of the whole house cleaning thing but really, I wanted to stay in bed until 9.  He made me get up at 8.  I hinted at maybe I'd get breakfast in bed and he scoffed at the idea.  (One year they actually did that for me)  He made a lovely breakfast which we all enjoyed.  I was then presented with handmade pasta shell necklaces lovingly painted and strung by my girls.  It was very sweet all in all but that was it.  There wasn't any flowers, no card, nothing.  Not even a card made by the kids.  

Now I appreciate the fact that my kids lovingly worked on these necklaces but it's not like I can really do anything with them.  They were so bulky and sticky I couldn't even stand to wear them around my neck for very long.  It has been mentioned that they might make nice wind chimes cause they jangle a lot.  

I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed.  Especially since on Friday, hubby made me switch cars with him when I went to work so he could take the kids out.  I learned he had taken them to the mall.  Well, why else would he take them out but to get me a mother's day present.  I was right, only he took them to the dollar store.  To buy pasta, paint, and glitter.  All of which we already had in the house but being a man who doesn't normally do crafts, had no clue where to find it all.  If he was going to go to all the trouble to go to the dollar store, why couldn't he have bought some pretty beads and had them make me a necklace out of that?  Something I'd actually be prepared to wear all the time.  I know, I know.  I'm a bad mommy cause I really don't want to wear those shell necklaces out in public.  Did I mention how bulky, sticky and glittery they are? He used penne.  Long ones.  

Can I tell you I felt a little gypped.  I wasn't expecting anything expensive.  I know we can't afford much but at least a small plant or something would have been nice.  I have been hinting for some time now that I'd really like my own "mom" mug.  It should be noted that he has a "Dad" mug, which I love to use. 

This has happened in the past.  One year he makes an effort, the next year nothing.  The first time it happened it took me months to actually say something to him.  So the next year, he remembered.  He took us out for a picnic lunch at the camp spot we booked for the season and bought me one of those garden lanterns you can put a candle in.  Last year they bought me a little boy and girl statue that can go in the garden.  It was like $6.00.  I loved it.  They are actually so cute I never did put them in the garden.  They are in my china cabinet. 

And yet, we always buy my mom a small gift.  This year I did home made cards on the computer for both our mothers and got my mother something to plant in her garden.  We didn't buy his mom anything cause they don't "do" gifts.  

He seems to think the big thing is making breakfast.  Well, if that was the only time a year he actually made breakfast maybe I'd think it was more than it is but really pancakes are just as much for the kids as they are for me.   But the again, his parents are like this.  They haven't exchanged gifts for years.  When K and I got married that was the year they announced they were no longer doing gifts for anybody except for the grandchildren now that they've come along. 

Am I being silly or unreasonable to expect more?  Do I just let it go and say nothing?  Do I get him absolutely NOTHING for Father's Day?  Cause I tell you I'm thinking the bare minimum here, colour a card and that's it.  Why should I bother doing something special for him when he obviously doesn't think it's important? 

I can't help but feel that I AM being silly and unreasonable, that I probably wouldn't be happy no matter what they did because unless you organize it yourself, they never really seem to get you what you want. Like the "mom" mug.  With my luck, they'd probably pick the ugliest one in the store.  

For example:   My husband takes E out to buy me an Xmas gift, she picked out this lovely gold, purple, brown scarf and toque with matching purple gloves.  It really was quite lovely, very earth toned etc.  But you see, I'm into feminine pink things, not earthy purple gold things.  So while I appreciate my daughter's unique taste and could see the beauty in what she picked, I was a wee bit disappointed that I now have this scarf set that I'm not all that crazy about wearing. Oh, I wear it.  She loves to ask me how much I love the set and am I happy she bought it for me. But had I  been my husband, I would have steered her more in the direction of something that I know mommy would like.  When my kids are picking out presents for their cousins, we don't just buy the first thing they see.  We think about whether they'd like it, whether it was appropriate etc.  

I know, I sound like the most ungrateful wretch possible.  It's okay, you can tell me.  


  1. Hi, stopping over from SITS. Wow! I bet you feel a lot better after that vent, huh? The year something similar happened to me, I simply told my husband how I felt. I said, "I don't want you to think this was okay with me. I know you have a lot on your plate right now. Just letting you know, I'm looking at this as a free pass" He said, "Got it."

  2. Oh, by the way. Your blog looks great!

  3. I don't think you're ungrateful. Just tell him point blank how you feel. Everyone needs a little something, whether it's a hug or a figurine, for validation every once in awhile. And it's okay! Just tell your husband point blank... so much easier than being frustrated/disappointed!

  4. We moms work really hard and deserve appreciation!!

    Join me in some baby shower fun today by visiting my blog!

  5. I don't expect gifts on Mother's Day. Just a card and dinner out with my husband and kids, which I got this year. Though a couple days early because my husband had to go to Texas on business.

    It would've been nice to get flowers though. I can't remember the last time I got flowers from my husband.

  6. I don't think you sound ungrateful at all. Here's the deal that I've only come to realize recently...if I don't spell it out exactly the way I want it, my husband will not get a clue and it will only leave me feeling bitter and resentful. He's just not very thoughtful when it comes to special occasions. So this year when he asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day, I said I'd take care of it. I bought myself my OWN mother's necklace on Etsy and I bought myself a hot air popcorn popper that I've been wanting and I told him I'd like the day to be a little more special than the average normal day. He got it...he understood it. But it sucks that I still have to spell it out for him.

    Oh and he never does anything special for his mother too so I know it's nothing personal against me. This year I asked him what he wanted to get her and he said nothing, not even flowers!! So I ordered a mother's bracelet from Etsy, which she loved and gave him total credit for.

    Okay, somehow this has turned into my own vent...but I just wanted to tell you that I totally get what you're saying. You know, we see all these lovely Mother's Day commercials on tv and we expect to be treated like that on our special day and then when it turns out to be just another day, we're disappointed. I don't think there's anything wrong with that!

  7. We have to go out for drinks some time. Want to know what I got from my family? Zip. Nothing. My husband decided to drive home on Mother's Day so he could spend Sat with his best friend. And my boys are too little to be in school, so there was nothing for me. Which is weird because my husband does well on gifts. My mom got me 2 dozen carnations. Why I'm a bit disappionted in my husband, I also have figured out he really doesn't appreciate what I do. So I prepared myself for this, and I just enjoyed the day as it came.
    Not that our situations are the same. You had to get a house ready for some strangers and that just sucks.

  8. Hey, didn't we all agree the breakfast was for you as much as your kids? Or do you REALLY LOVE pancakes? Because I know I REALLY LOVE french toast, so then that would make one breakfast a week really special. So how special was that breakfast?

  9. "He used penne" - LOL!

    Don't feel bad. It's gotten to the point now that I buy MY OWN gift or I tell him EXACTLY what I want. No confusion. It's better this way. I get what I want and my husband doesn't stress over my reaction.

    He gets to pick out the card. ;-)

  10. Phew, I'm not the only one! Listen, give your Husband "hints" of what you would like for Mothers Day and if he doesn't get them, go out and get them yourself. That's what I did and I LOVE my Flip Video Camera! Guys just don't get it. Don't take it personally. My Husband forgot to get me a card and printed one off the computer. Oh yeah, I also had to remind him to stop at the store to get HIS Mother a card before we saw her at brunch! :)

  11. I know how you feel. Everyone says motherhood is a thankless job, and it really is. Many of us don't even get proper recognition on a day that is SUPPOSED to give us that! I totally think you are in the right. I would be upset that hubby didn't let me sleep in. That's a given on Mother's Day, if you ask me. haha
    I think the kids making gift is nice, if it's in addition to something else. That something else doesn't have to be expensive or anything. It would just be nice if there was some thought put into it by dad, too. Just b/c it's mother's day doesn't mean that only the kids should be doing something for you.
    I hope that if you decide to talk to hubby about it, he'll understand where you are coming from and surprise you with something nice! :)

  12. Sounds like their hearts were in the right place, at least. My daughter tore up some construction paper into "special shapes" and put them in a Ziploc bag for Mother's Day, which I admit kind of burst a little bubble in my soul. But she thought better of it before the actual Mother's Day arrived, and instead picked flowers at the florist shop with my husband. So, while I want to say that you might do well to focus on the sentiment instead of the material present, it would be a bit hypocritical of me: I was much happier having received the flowers instead of that crappy bag of ripped paper. :)


Thanks for leaving a comment. I love hearing from you.