Mother’s Day Will Always Be About My Kids, Not My Mom

Mother’s Day Will Always Be About My Kids, Not My Mom

I’ll never forget the Mother’s Day when I was a young adult, still living at home but in college and working a fairly substantial job. I arranged with my coworkers to be off on Mother’s Day as a surprise to my mom, and I was excited! I knew she wouldn’t expect it, and since I was young and fairly inexperienced at planning, it hadn’t occurred to me that my changing plans would be anything other than a delight. You might think that my mom was irritated or felt inconvenienced. No. She was angry. She had made plans with her mother (my grandmother) and made it clear to me (though I had not asked her to) that she would not alter them to accommodate my surprise appearance one bit. Looking back, I don’t recall if I initially didn’t want to be included in her original plans or if I was too hurt by her outburst to even consider what a compromise would be. All I remember was her yelling “It’s Mother’s Day, and I’m going to be with MY mother!”

The first thought I had was “What am I?”

I am not an only child, and I don’t recall her making special considerations for my siblings, but I also don’t remember them being as devastated by the interaction as I was. After the dust settled, I took my bruised feelings along to my grandmother’s with my mom. My mom is also not an only child, but her siblings were at their homes, with their children. I sulked the entire day, still of the age where I was determined to hide my hurt by showing animosity.

I think of that day every Mother’s Day, and it’s one of the reasons why making plans that day is not as tough of a decision for me now.

I know what you are thinking. I could lose my mother at any time, and then I’d be sorry … right? Well, my children could lose me, and that would make me more sorry. Time is precious for every one of us. In the meantime, while we are all here, I will do my damndest to make sure I never make them feel like I felt that morning. And it doesn’t even have to be about that fight or my hurt feelings. When I became a mother, it was much more important for me to spend the day with my children than my mom. They are the people who I was charged with raising, loving, and preparing for the world, not my parents. They are part of the family I created, in love and through hard work, day after day, with my spouse.

You may disagree, and that’s ok, of course. But if you have been struggling with guilt over this feeling, I wanted you to know that you’re not alone. You don’t have to give up your day with your children to accommodate your mom, unless you want to. Ideally, it would be just one big, happy celebration, but that’s not in the cards for everyone. The day should be about your family, whatever that means to you.

I am not a mother because my mom gave birth to me. I am a mother because of my kids.


  1. I’ve never heard this point of view, but I view Mother’s Day a little different. I’m alive because of my mother, and she raised me to be the person I am today. It does sound like you are still very hurt by that situation with your mother. Maybe that’s why your point of view is different.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here