Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Mother's Day can be a tricky thing for some families, and maybe even be a little disappointing for some mamas too. I have a clear memory of celebrating my own mum's Mother's Day years ago, it turned into one of those disappointing Mother's Day celebrations. We didn't have much planned for the day because we were thoughtless teenagers, so we ended up having a not-so-great lunch at the local airport cafe. Seriously. I'm sure it was a monstrous let down for her and not really much of a celebration at all. I'm sure she was like, 'What? This is it?'.

This will be the third year that I get to celebrate Mother's Day as a mum and I've gained a different perspective of this annual celebration of motherhood. The first year was very memorable and included me being shipped off to a hotel for a good nights sleep, it couldn't have been more perfect! Last year was pretty sweet too, so I don't have any disappointing tales to tell you yet. There are gift guides floating all over the Internet and reminders at every shop, in case someone were one to forget.


Lovely flowers sent to me from my parents on my first Mother's Day. Such a sweet touch!


The thing is, and tell me if you feel the same way, Mother's Day should be a day for mums to do what they want to do. If you need to have a day off to do your own thing, then put that request out there. If you want to hang out with your family, go for it! Fellow local blogger Amber Strocel, of www.Strocel.com, buys her own gift each Mother's Day. This way she can get what she wants and there is never a hint of disappointment. I love the idea of taking control of your own satisfaction.

For the most part, mum's spend time with our children on a daily (hourly!) basis. We eat meals together, play together, and share in joyous (and not so joyous!) moments together. What I want for Mother's Day is the choice to do what I want to do. I might want a mix of hanging out with my family, but I'd also like to be able to do a few things for myself guilt free. Spa time anyone? Maybe I'd choose to do some quiet browsing at a nice bookshop, while sipping a cappuccino?

What is your perfect Mother's Day celebration? Are you all about the macaroni necklaces or the adult only champagne pedicure? Do you think you would speak up if you end up feeling disappointed?

23 comments:

Dianne said...

I too remember many bad Mother's Days that my own mom got. I just didn't know and my dad and brothers weren't in to making it that special. She might get breakfast in bed with some soggy eggs and burnt toast. A handmade card and that was it. I feel SO bad now that I am an adult. I don't have my own kids but I can totally see where we went so wrong in celebrating her.

May 5, 2011 at 9:32 PM  
Heather Connell said...

Great post topic. Hmm...Well, part of me wishes that my husband just KNEW what I wanted for a celebration...but he doesn't. He gets it wrong and it leaves me feeling sad. I sort of like the idea of just planning my own fun. How can it go wrong that way? Great advice.

May 5, 2011 at 9:34 PM  

I'm the kind that totally plans my Mother's Day. It's my third one too! I'm also the kind that plans my own birthday and bakes my own birthday cake so big surprise:) This year, I bought myself a KitchenAid stand mixer. On Sunday, we will be hosting high tea at my place for us and my sister and her family. I really don't mind the work. I really just want to mark the occasion with something special, no matter who provides it. I'd rather be tired and do something rather than relaxing and having nothing done.

Happy Mother's Day to you! Hope you have a great one ;)

May 5, 2011 at 9:47 PM  
Nancy_Kindley said...

Well, I've been secretly disappointed a few times. My kids are older than yours, and they would be devestated if I didn't participate in their totally kidcentric celebrations. At the same time, I would settle for half kid celebration and then duck out for my own afternoon tea or something.

May 5, 2011 at 10:08 PM  
Amanda said...

I want it ALL - a macaroni necklace, a casual brunch with hubby and kids, and then some spa time. Yeah, dream big!

May 5, 2011 at 10:09 PM  

I agree! I want it all too! A little bit of everything would be my perfect day.

May 5, 2011 at 10:58 PM  

I like your approach...and your energy! I think a high tea is a great way to celebrate with all the lovely ladies in your life, and I bet they are so going to appreciate your efforts. Hope you bake some yummy scones (my favourite on the tea tray).

May 5, 2011 at 11:00 PM  

you're so right Mother's Day is tricky...for the past 4 years whenever I've mentioned that since it's "my" day I'd like to spend it doing stuff for myself alone without my daughter or husband my husband thinks i'm nuts! And being the mama's boy that he is Mother's Day usually involves visiting his mother during the day. Drives me nuts. This year especially I'd like some free timesince I have a 4 mth old but no dice we're going out for brunnch with both sides of the family

May 6, 2011 at 5:41 AM  

So I already sent my husband an email with several ideas (haha "ideas" - more like wee demands, I'd say) for Mother's Day. Nothing huge, but just totally spelling it out. Like how about you order this waffle maker (with gift cards we already had), we go to Starbucks, you make dinner, and give me some time off to galavant during the day. We'll see how much he follows through with. It's weird, he can be so thoughtful in some ways but SO VERY VERY CLUELESS in others. Even when I spell it out, which I've learned to do after several disappointing holidays & birthdays. He says his family didn't celebrate those things very much growing up and until I came on the scene he didn't even send presents for things. I say that his mom probably would have wanted something or some recognition at least, but he, his dad and his sister didn't do anything.


I will tell you that he gets kind of irritated when I spell it out for him, but I think it's better in the end for both of us. Oh, why is it all so complex sometimes?

May 6, 2011 at 5:43 AM  

So I already sent my husband an email with several ideas (haha "ideas" -
more like wee demands, I'd say) for Mother's Day. Nothing huge, but
just totally spelling it out. Like how about you order this waffle maker
(with gift cards we already had), we go to Starbucks, you make dinner,
and give me some time off to galavant during the day. We'll see how
much he follows through with. It's weird, he can be so thoughtful in
some ways but SO VERY VERY CLUELESS in others. Even when I spell it out,
which I've learned to do after several disappointing holidays &
birthdays. He says his family didn't celebrate those things very much
growing up and until I came on the scene he didn't even send presents
for things. I say that his mom probably would have wanted something or
some recognition at least, but he, his dad and his sister didn't do
anything.








I will tell you that he gets kind of irritated when I spell it out for
him, but I think it's better in the end for both of us. Oh, why is it
all so complex sometimes?

May 6, 2011 at 5:45 AM  
H Fancott said...

It's true. It's always a bit of a dream to have someone come up with an amazing idea for you but when you come right down to it, I don't like surprises. Plus as you mentioned they are bound to be half-baked and a letdown especially on a super busy day around the city. I'm with you on just carving out a little time to do something I love. I my case, a hike in the woods and brunch with a friend who does not have kids would do it. The rest of the day, I'd be happy to spend with my family.

May 6, 2011 at 5:56 AM  
Ashley said...

I'm working on Mother's day #5 and there have been good moments and bad. While I don't expect major gifts, because I'm not really an expector of anything, I do hope not to be forgotten. Last year, with two little girls my husband completely forgot - me. He remember to send a card to the monster-in-law but didn't even remember to get the girls to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. It was disappointing. He did remember when I called my own parents and spent the majority of the day feeling like an ass...I may have let him.

Anyways, this year I know he remembered at least a little, his "helpers' have yet to figure out a secret and I'm glad he didn't forget. All I really want is for my family to know I love them. That for me this day isn't gifts/cards/events (although I love them all), but a time to celebrate how wicked awesome my kids are, to celebrate this journey we're on together and for them to understand that while my every breath is for them, this is seriously the hardest gig I've ever had and sometimes a thank you is nice!

Happy Mother's Day!

May 6, 2011 at 7:53 AM  
Marisa said...

Happy Mothers Day, Mama in the City & readers!


I was so wrapped up last year in being a new mama (to a then 2 month old) that I realize now I was a bit selfish in my plans and made it all about ME and my new little family, inadvertently sort of excluding my mum and neglecting to celebrate HER as much as I should have. Now that I have a whole year+ of being a mama, I have a totally different perspective on Mother's Day this year. Beyond celebrating this weekend, I've made a conscious effort to tell her all year long how much I appreciate her and appreciate what a wonder mother she was/is to me and my brother. I love seeing her face glow when I tell her these things. :)


As far as our own plans go, my hubby suggested we have a special date night on Saturday to celebrate (yay!) and then take Sunday to spend with our mums. Perfect! Although I do LOVE the idea of picking out my own gift and having a couple hours to myself to indulge in some self-pampering, whatever that may be. I'll put forth that suggestion next year. ;)

May 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Sarah said...

Mother's Day carries more weight for me and I expect a fuss. I really feel like this day is a big deal - much more so than my birthday. When it comes to my bday, I expect love and special treatment, but I don't mind cooking myself dinner or dessert and I certainly don't fear disappointment. But Mumma's day? It's the perfect opposite. I want to be pampered. I want time to myself. I want to served my meals and I want some material gifts. It's a little silly, right? Though I'm not apologizing for it. :o) I expect hubby and daughter will deliver in a way that is perfect for me.


Have a fabulous Mumma's day! Cheers to you!

May 6, 2011 at 10:37 PM  
Kristin said...

Ok, so I have been thinking about this for a bit now.
So I would not be disappointed...well, wait...As I left daycare with my little gal today I noticed that there was no "handmade" gift in her bag for me. So actually I do think I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't getting a special handmade surprise from my wee gal. Its these things that I hold on to and treasure.
I have not asked for anything. I am taking Amber's advice and using the joint credit card for a small "shopping spree" when I am in Van for school next week! But on the day, I'll take some time spent with my girls and maybe the chance to sit and actually finish a cup of coffee. But if someone forced me to enjoy a day with my mom friends and some spa treatment I certainly would not object.

May 6, 2011 at 11:24 PM  
Ncrang said...

I wouldn't dare spend the day at the spa on mother's day. My 5 year old has been so excited for the past weeks to celebrate mother's day with me. She even let it slip about her and my husbands "breakfast in bed" plans. I have even given strict instructions for no bought gifts. To me, just to see the excitement and pride on her face as I open the handmade cards and recipe book she made at Sparks is what mother's day is about for me. Maybe a spa day would have been nice in past years when she was younger, but now spending the day all together is the perfect mother's day for me!

May 6, 2011 at 11:47 PM  
Amanda Brown said...

When asked what I wanted this year, I replied, "A nap. And some cash." I am going to be in Vancouver in a couple weeks to write my real estate exam and want some money to spend on a new dress for an upcoming wedding. :)

May 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM  
Lulumum said...

This will be my third mothers day and I also have been secretly disappointed with my mothers days. My children are too little (1 and 3) to have much part in the planning so it's not at all them that disappoint. I will love mothers day when I can have a cute craft made by them with a card and breakfast in bed and something thoughtful to show that they appreciate me. My husband on the other hand really puts the focus on celebrating his mom on mothers day and my day is really an afterthought with him running out to get me a card and a plant after I've pouted a bit. This is the 3rd year this has happened so it's getting rather annoying. I think I may bail on his moms brunch tomorrow and either leave him with the kids to do my own thing or bring my girls with me and leave him to celebrate with his mom.

May 7, 2011 at 9:52 PM  

This is my second Mother's Day. First year was pearl earrings - very thoughtful and unexpected.

This year we are calling my recent purchase of a Kindle as my Mother's Day gift. We're working on debt reduction and buying less so I hashed out the purchase for a while with my DH. It's a big gift but I'm going to get a tonne of use out of it.

As for the celebration: we are having a family potluck at my place. It's really a celebration of my mom. And this evening we are having a dinner with my in-laws to celebrate my MIL. I guess I need to pop out a few more kids to get celebrated myself?

What I would like: I go to Spa Utopia at the Pan Pacific once a year on my birthday. I'd like to make that twice a year. I could live there. Best lounge ever. Helps that Costco sells gift cards so you can basically get 20% off services.

May 8, 2011 at 7:48 AM  
Heidi said...

I decided to speak up and tell my hubby and girls what I wanted this year. Paul generously gave me 2 good choices - a nice breakfast out together or a massage. But I had recently found a dress I really liked. So in the end I told him that breakfast or a massage are nice, but they also are gone when they're done. A dress, on the other hand, lasts a long time - it's like a never-ending Mother's Day present. So that's what I got! And yesterday there was lots of Mother's Day sales at Guilford too, so even got a good deal! Happy Mother's Day to me!!!

May 9, 2011 at 7:23 AM  
Swank Mama said...

Cute pic! Hope you had a Happy Mother's Day :) Love your blog...sorry it took me so long to visit it!

May 9, 2011 at 3:13 PM  

Oh I am so happy that you were able to do what YOU wanted. So important and I can't wait to hear about this lovely dress!!

May 10, 2011 at 5:14 PM  

I like the idea of a date night celebration with your hubby. I might have to use that one next year.

May 10, 2011 at 5:15 PM  

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