Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why I Hate Mother's Day...



I've said it before...I dread Mother's Day every year. For one simple reason - my mother is not normal. Trust me. She's so not normal that my brother and sister bailed years ago, moving 3,000 and 400 miles away, leaving me alone to fend for myself with our mom. Sure, every once in awhile they'll call me and thank me for taking it for the team, but it could never make up for the insanity that living in such close proximity to my mom brings into my life.

One of the problems with my mom is that she gauges how much I love her by how much I do for her, buy for her, spend on her, etc. on holidays and birthdays. I've been a mom myself for 18 years, but she manages to make Mother's Day all about her every year and never even mentions that I'm also a mom and may want to spend the day celebrating MY family. I always have to make plans that she thinks sufficiently spoil her, and she never even offers to pick up the tab even though I'm a mom too and deserve it once a year. Mother's Day every year entails brunch AND dinner at nice restaurants.

Last year, she was out of town for Mother's Day and my girls and I had the best day we'd had in a long time. We went to L.A. and window shopped on Rodeo Drive and then had a great lunch at one of the restaurants there. No pressure, no stress, no mom. The girls could feel the difference too and commented on how relaxing this Mother's Day actually was. The woman even drives them nuts. My mom got home about a week later and on the way home from the airport asked me what we were going to do for Mother's Day. Mother's Day was over! The not so thinly veiled message was, "I wasn't here for you to do anything for me on Mother's Day, so how are you going to make it up to me?" I had been laid off from my job two months before, money was tight, and did I mention - Mother's Day was over!! So I said, "You know Mom, the girls and I had a really quiet Mother's Day this year and since money is really tight, we didn't even go out to dinner. I know I usually take you out to dinner each year, but this year I can't really afford to, so if you want to (still) celebrate Mother's Day - a week later! - you're going to have to pick up the check for dinner." Her response? "NO! It's Mother's Day! If you can't afford to take me to dinner, you can just make me dinner." The fact that my mom has more money than God notwithstanding, her response just pissed me off. For me to say no would put into motion a chain of events that would be absolutely intolerable. It would be a relationship ending scenario. I've tried, not caring that I would finally have the albatross off my neck, but she gets weird by doing things like showing up to the girls schools to see them as if she's been banned from their lives, representing herself as the abandoned grandmother. Drama overflows during situations like that.

Yesterday, I ran into her while I was out running errands - shitty luck, I mean this isn't frickin' Mayberry! - and she asked about Mother's Day. It just reminded me again that every year I am stuck with dealing with this woman's expectations. I said, "Mom, this year is going to be different. I can't afford dinner, I can't afford anything. Sorry, that's just the way it is right now. So I decided for Mother's Day this year, you can come over in the morning and I'll make something small for brunch and we'll just be really low key at home." The beginning of her response gave me hope..."Well, Steph, you've always gone way out of your way for Mother's Day for me. You've always made great plans and taken me to really nice places and I can tell you've put a lot of thought into it in the past..." I'm thinking there's hope here... "So if all you can do this year is make brunch at home, I guess I would be OK with that." Argghhh..

Any suggestions? Do you know a guy who knows a guy? I know I need to grow a pair and just be honest. But really, if she just got a wild hair and decided to move to the east coast to be closer to my brother and his daughter, that would be OK, too.

The only thing that made me smile about this today, is of course, John. I texted him my frustration and he replied, "I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that you're the one left holding the bag on Mother's Day...no pun intended." HA! Love that guy!

6 comments:

John said...

What I don't understand, Steph, is how did the apple fall so far from the tree?

I mean, you are an excellent mom to your girls. You'd do ANYthing for them! I know that you love their attention, but that's because you love their hearts...it's not about you getting attention, it's about an interaction with love at the center. She just doesn't seem to get that. Her M.O. seems to be pure manipulation.

It's sad, really. You deserve more.

In the mean time, I know dis guy, Guido... :)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well, I feel terrible saying this, nut your Mom sounds like a nightmare of Self-Involvement!
AMAZING that you haven't blown up and told her to take a hike! I know it is not easy...And I hope you get through this Mother's Day without actually KILLING Her! (lol)
Good to see you back in the Blogesphere....!

Jenni said...

Oh my, Steph.

She makes mama from "Throw Mama"like a freaking saint.

If I were you, I'd make a batch of ex-lax brownies, drop them off at her doorstep and take your girls to the beach for the weekend!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like she has a narcissistic personality disorder (just like my mother).

sticky toffee pudd said...

"Ex-lax" brownies? I am lovin' it! "Ex-lax and hash brownies," now consider that one. Ah love ya, sistas!

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