"Sorry Mother-in-Law but Mother's Day is NOT about you anymore."

Am I the only one who feels like this?

I’ve had it. I am at the end of my tether. Every year it is the same and I want to scream “Back Off”.

This is what I want to tell my husband. This is what I want to shout to the world.

Mother’s Day is not about mother-in-laws, it’s not about grandmothers. You had your time. This year it is about me.

I know I sound selfish. I know it sounds ungrateful but I just want to spend Mother’s Day with my kids.

We love you.. but I just don't want to have to see you.

It’s not a chance for my husband’s mother to spend time with her grandchildren. It’s not a time for us to drive two hours one way then an hour another way to see various relatives.

It is not Christmas or her birthday.

It is Mother’s Day. It might sound selfish but heck, I don’t care I am going to say it.

It is about me.

Every Mother's Day for the last few years, our family has catered to what my mother-in-law wants to do.

Every Mother's Day the family gathers for a celebration of her. It’s a festival of grandchildren and uncles and aunts and small plates of cheese, dips still in the plastic packets and spicy crackers. It is not relaxing or enjoyable. It is not even slightly pleasant. And it is all about the grandmother.

I have been secretly seething about it for years. We have argued about it. I have even suggested to my husband that if he wants to go and see his mother then I am not going to stop him but I want to spend Mother's Day with my children. It didn't go down well.

The problem is he is still so loyal to her. And I then feel that if his mother gets all the attention on Mother's Day then my mother needs a look in too and the day suddenly becomes like Christmas.

My mother is happy with a phone call and a card, but my husband is fixated with making sure his mother is happy, and it affects the entire family.


We travel from one end of the city to the other with brightly wrapped gifts. We end up having two meals, two series of families to negotiate. We bicker and fight and we end up exhausted.

And I have had enough. Am I being unreasonable?

Grandmothers have had years and years of Mother’s Days. I have had five. I just think it is my turn.

There are other days of the year we can see the grandmothers. There are other celebrations we can spend together. We can call and send cards. It isn't that we don't love them.

I just want it, for once, to be about me.

I just want it to be about me...

I know I'm not alone in this.

I have had extensive chats to friends who all say they face the same thing... and I am forever seeing it pop up on Facebook.

Many, many of us struggle with finding the right balance for the day, we struggle with how to not offend, we struggle with how to make out partner's value us over their mothers. We struggle with the fact that just for once we want to be put first by our families.

Some of my friends firmly put their feet down saying no. Mother’s Day is for me. One friend says she tried but it backfired when she wound up stuck alone with her kids all Mother’s Day cleaning, cooking, mediating disputes and as her husband took off to spend the day with his mum. (And then, of course she cooked him lunch and cleaned up after him while he put his feet up.)

I am not sure what the answer is. I am not sure how to delicately balance the needs of a modern family. But it is time grandmothers get the message - Mother's Day is not about you anymore.

How does your family negotiate Mother's Day?

This writer is known to iVillage but has requested to remain anonymous.

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