During my marriage I hated Mother’s Day. I would wake up feeling stressed and sad.
But I had no reason to be sad. My boys were happy and healthy. And even before my boys were born my step daughter tried to make me feel important.
But stressed? I had a reason to feel stressed. I knew it would be a day of constant arguing and I would end up crying at some point.
My mom says she has pictures from many Mother’s days in which it is very obvious that I had been crying.
Mother’s Day 2013 would end up being the day I started thinking about divorce. I knew I couldn’t spend one more day, let alone another Mother’s Day, like I had that day.
Every year it started the same way. We would get up. There would be a small argument about where to go for breakfast. We would be running late so of course my restaurant of choice was packed. We would drive around to a few other places find one that had an acceptable wait time. At some point during breakfast he would ask me what I wanted for Mother’s day. I would mumble something like “anything” because in my head I am pissed that it is “the day” and he hasn’t even given a single thought about what to give me. I would settle for hanging flower baskets for my porch. Because, again in my head, I am picturing him and my babies wandering around stores or the mall looking for what he thought was the perfect gift. He wanted to make sure that I knew he had picked the greatest gift ever and that it was really expensive. (9 out of 10 times, I had given him the money to purchase said gift so I was well aware of the cost) I didn’t want my kids to go through that. I wanted him to give each boy $20 (heck $5 would have been plenty!) and let them pick out something they wanted to give me. I knew whatever they would pick I would love, because it would have come from their heart.
So I would suggest the flowers. They could go to the market down the road, pick out 2 beautiful baskets and call it a day. I am sure it still required his approval and it probably took twice as long as necessary.
Then after breakfast for the last 7 years a bunch of us would walk in a Mother’s Day walk to raise money for Breast Cancer. My mom being a survivor of breast cancer, this event is very near and dear to me. And of course this is when the real fighting would occur. My ex would have a huge problem with me going. I am not sure why. I mean the kids came with me, so it wasn’t like I was spending the day without my kids. And his mom is also a breast cancer survivor. So I never really understood why it was so horrible for me to do this.
The day would end with dinner with my sister and her family. Somewhere between the end of the walk and dinner is when I would end up crying, showing up to my sisters house late and miserable.
And the last 2 years I had to work half a day on Mother’s Day. Of course this was a huge fight as well. He couldn’t understand why my assistant (who was also a mother) couldn’t just work the whole day, why had I offered to split the day with her.
Mother’s day 2013. Started the same as every year. Breakfast, then the walk, lunch with my family, then off to work for 4 hours.
I had high hopes for the day. At breakfast he didn’t ask what I wanted for a gift. Maybe this was the year he actually did it on his own.
Getting ready for the walk he doesn’t speak to me. I know he is angry. High hopes, not any longer.
He doesn’t say a word as the boys and I load up in my mom’s car and head off to the walk.
The walk of course is wonderful. It always is and it reminds me how lucky we are that my mom is a survivor.
Home from the walk, I dress for work so I can go right after lunch. We head to the restaurant where we are meeting my family. It’s then in the car he asks me what I want. I say nothing for a minute. He asks again, insisting I answer him. The tears have already begun, through clenched teeth, I whisper nothing. He just doesn’t get it. He would never understand. He is angry now and yelling. It’s all my fault. I work too much. So?? I guess I don’t deserve anything for Mother’s day?? And honestly, telling me you didn’t have time or money would be perfectly acceptable. But asking me the day of made me feel two things: 1. He didn’t even think of me, the mother of his children until that day, and 2. He doesn’t even know me, after 11 years of marriage, enough to know what to get me.
He is yelling, I am crying, the boys are crying. It was horrible, the whole car ride he belittled me, mocked me, called me a bad mother because I had to go to work.
We get to the restaurant and both my mom and sister give me “the look”. The “OMG you were just crying, not again” look. I keep it together through lunch, but once the meal is done I realize he hasn’t even spoken to anyone. He has been on his phone. The. Entire. Meal. He never said one word. He never even pulled out his wallet to offer to contribute to the bill.
I knew right then and there that I had to get out. I knew this relationship was not going to make it. I wouldn’t even think about counseling. I just knew I had to get out. I knew I could not spend one more Mother’s Day like this. We were married still on Mother’s Day 2014 but by then the divorce was pending and I just made the most of the day I had with my boys. I ignored him.
And in case you are wondering this past Mother’s Day, he asked me the day before what I wanted. And took the boys out that night. But he didn’t have to. My mom had already taken them out and let them pick out something for me. And she didn’t even have to ask me what I wanted.