Mother’s Day is for all mothers, not just your own mother

This upcoming Sunday is Mother's Day in the United States, and I'm reminded of a little story from several years ago.

One day, we asked a colleague how he and his new child were planning to celebrate Mother's Day.

"Yup, I'm all over that. I mailed a gift to my mother earlier this week, and I'll call her on Sunday."

— Um, aren't you forgetting somebody?

"I'm not sure what you're talking about."

— What about your wife Betty?

A beat.

"I should do something for Betty's mother?"

Let this be a cautionary tale for new fathers.

Comments (28)
  1. SM says:

    Heh. Yup, that’s the boat I’m in this year.  I didn’t even think of it at first either — it just dawned on me last week.  Duh.  Last year, of course, she was pregnant for mothers day, so she got a card then.  But this year, it’s the full-fledged gift, I suppose.

    Perhaps I’ll get something in June, then.  I wonder if it will be a tie?

  2. bramster says:

    Raymond:  You’ve got stock in Hallmark’s, right.

    It’s Mothers Day.

    Not Wives Day.

    Just check the signs in the stores after Valentine’s Day.

  3. a sweet thing says:

    Whoever you call mom. It doesn’t have to be your biological mom. As long as it’s not Oprah, she’s probably happy for you.

  4. Xepol says:

    Bah humbug to hallmark holidays.

  5. John says:

    Obviously bramster is not a father.  Every husband gets his wife a card/gift for Mother’s Day (assuming she is, in fact, a mother).  Why do they do it?  Because it’s easier than fighting the establishment.  Sad, but true.

  6. Fred Beiderbecke says:

    Not every husband.  She is my wife, not my mother.

    I can see picking up the slack when the kids are little, but he’s 22 and can figure it out on his own.

  7. Ryan says:

    And don’t miss it if she’s only pregnant with the first… Seems it starts to count the day after the stick turns blue.

  8. Brian says:

    if I don’t get the day off work, it’s not a holiday

  9. A Non E-Mouse says:

    If you have to tell a husband this, he deserves the months of fallout from his mistake.

  10. Bryan says:

    The sad thing is that it’s just a consumer holiday anymore.

  11. Ron says:

    Take it from me. Don’t leave out your wife on Mother’s Day. It’s Mother’s Day, not Your Mother’s Day, and especially not Yo Mama’s Day.

    Months of fallout? I still hear about it today.

  12. Leo Petr says:

    When wasn’t Mother’s Day a consumer holiday? It was invented in 1905, for Frigg’s sake.

  13. Zman says:

    You are all giving into the hallmark marketing system. Mothers days for aunts, grandma’s wives… foooey.

    Sure if you have a little kid get something for them to write their name in and hand to mum that’s nice but YOU don’t need to buy something from YOU.

    Its like valentines… in the UK you get stuff for people you are sleeping with or would like to sleep with. In the USA Hallmark has you buying stuff for pretty much anyone you have ever met. Craaaaazy

  14. chrismcb says:


    Raymond wasn’t suggesting the colleague buy a gift for the colleague’s wife. He was suggesting the colleague buy a gift for the mother of the colleague’s new child.

  15. David says:

    Yep, let’s all show our love and recognition to our own mother, the mother of our children and everyone else we call mom on mother’s day. And then we’re good for the rest of the year, because there is just one mother’s day per year, right?

  16. Mr Cranky says:

    Sure, Dia de las Madres is a "Hallmark Holiday", but at least it honors people who deserve a little recognition.  I believe you should certainly honor your own mom, but also the mothers of your children.  After all, you can’t make them yourself.  

    Doesn’t it seem like girls get a pass on this one, though, mother or not?

  17. GreaseMonkey says:

    Feel free to make your own cards, by the way – that way, Hallmark doesn’t get money from you in their sneakiness.

    And no, it’s not Wife’s Day, but if your wife is a mother, you should still let her have the day off.

  18. Kyralessa says:

    Yipes, thanks for posting this.  I forgot.  My wife may not be *my* mother, but she’s still a mother…and my three-year-old isn’t likely to have the presence of mind to buy Mommy a gift by himself.

  19. Chris Moorhouse says:

    Speaking of having Mother’s Day off, doesn’t it seem at all odd that so many mothers spend Mother’s Day pretending not to be a mother?

  20. Dean Harding says:

    It’s pretty easy to categorise which posters are married and which are not by their stance on Mother’s Day :-)

  21. dbt says:

    Mother’s Day was originally a day for political activism, in the USA, check out:

    there’s an older holiday in Britain with the same name.

    It was not invented by Hallmark.

  22. Bryan says:

    @Leo Petr:  See dbt’s comment above mine.

  23. TY says:

    Jeez guys, is it really that hard to show a little care and/or respect to your partner and/or (step)mothers? It doesn’t hurt, does it?

    I’m married and we have a 16 month old boy, and I spent Mother’s Day happily showing him off to all three (grand)mothersboth but I’ve happily spent   to your wife/spouse/mother

  24. Josh says:

    @dbt: Just because it was originally invented for that purpose doesn’t mean that’s what it is.  The woman who agitated for the holiday in the first place was known to lament the decline of the holiday as early as the 1920s, not 10 years after it was first recognized officially by the state of West Virginia (in 1920).  It may have once held noble purpose, now it’s just a shoddy card giving holiday like all the others (Valentine’s, Father’s, etc.).

  25. Josh says:

    Correction: Recognized by West Virginia in 1910.

  26. Xepol says:

    TY -> Is it really that hard to do more than once a year that you have to wait for a special holiday to show a little care and respect?

  27. Dave Harris says:

    Surely if Mother’s Day was for all mothers, it wouldn’t have the apostrophe there?

    (In a recent episode of the UK Apprentice, the candidates invented a "Singles Day" holiday and accompanying cards. They spent roughly 4 hours arguing about where the apostrophe went.)

  28. John says:

    My wife recently gave birth to our first kid, people who says that mothers (and wives) don’t deserve some special care on mother’s day obviously don’t know the amount of pain they went through during labour.

    Shame on you guys.  Were you guys sleeping at home when she was pushing your kid out?

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