Mother's Day

Help! It’s nearly Mother’s Day and I don’t know what to do. 

My mother makes it obvious that she doesn’t like me and that whatever I do is wrong.  I don’t want to buy her flowers, chocolates or send a loving card.  If I do past experience tells me she will say something like:  ‘surely you didn’t waste your money on this? You know full well that I think cut flowers need too much looking after,’ or ‘chocolates make me fat, especially this brand.’   

But if I don’t mark it in some way she’s likely to say: ‘Everyone else’s daughter is buying their mother something nice.  I’ve always known you were a disappointment.’  Or compare me unfavourably with my brother who in her eyes does everything right.  Last year she said rather menacingly: ‘ I had a beautiful card from your brother…now I know who really loves me’.  The fact is that it is true.   I don’t love her and he does.  The problem is I’d feel so guilty if I didn’t get her something. 

Be prepared that whatever you do is likely to be wrong and your mother can seize it as an opportunity to criticise you.  Choosing to ignore the day, which after all, is over commercialised, can trigger a row and may be used by your mother for years to come as an example of how thoughtless and ungrateful you are. 

 

 Even choosing the right card is fraught with problems.  For some difficult mothers a card decorated with hearts and flowers and addressed to ‘the best mother in the word’ is the least you can do.  If they have shown you little love or support during and beyond your childhood buying a card like that may stick in your throat.  In which case it’s best to buy a card with simple words that are not too effusive.  However you decide to handle the day do remember that you don’t have to do what you have always done.  You can change both your mind and your behaviour and you don’t need to justify it.   Don’t visit and make a fuss of her if you don’t want to and don't feel guilty about your decision.  But do remember to steel yourself for her to react unpleasantly.  Check out the Coping page on our website for some tips on how to protect yourself.

Even choosing the right card is fraught with problems.  For some difficult mothers a card decorated with hearts and flowers and addressed to ‘the best mother in the word’ is the least you can do.

If they have shown you little love or support during and beyond your childhood buying a card like that may stick in your throat.  In which case it’s best to buy a card with simple words that are not too effusive.

However you decide to handle the day do remember that you don’t have to do what you have always done.  You can change both your mind and your behaviour and you don’t need to justify it.   Don’t visit and make a fuss of her if you don’t want to and don't feel guilty about your decision.  But do remember to steel yourself for her to react unpleasantly.  Check out the Coping page on our website for some tips on how to protect yourself.