Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Negotiating Mother's Day...

So, as most of you know, I'm a big believer in Mother's Day. And gifts. Mostly gifts.

I was, after all, the one who tried to convince The Fiance that I was a Mother while I was four months pregnant, so deserved a Mother's Day gift, even if, at the point, I didn't actually have a baby in my arms as proof yet.

(And yes I still believe that. So all you pregger women out there, get your partners to at least acknowledge Mother's doing something nice for you!)

Anyway, we had a couple couple friends over for dinner a few nights ago. There were three of us mothers, and three fathers and I literally started a debate about Mother's Day. It turned nasty. Well, not really. But I do want you to see how important this is.

It all started because I casually suggested that mothers should receive two gifts on Mother's Day - one from the father of the child, and one from the child (bought by the father on their behalf.)

So, because The Dictator is only three, I can't expect her to buy me a gift because she doesn't understand the concept of Mother's Day and I can't expect her to understand it either. Plus, when you ask her where "money comes from?" she answers, "The money store."

Also, yesterday I told her it was my birthday on Friday and she said, "No, mommy. It's not your birthday. It's my birthday on Friday." (Her birthday is in October.)

So, needless to say, she doesn't understand the concept of birthdays or Mother's Day.

And, as a side note, I'm like the person who is born on Christmas.

It kind of blows to be born around Mother's Day, because people think they can just wrap both your birthday and Mother's Day into one present. And that's just not right.

And that's where the negotiating gets even worse.

I also expect a present from the fiance for my birthday and one from the Dictator (bought on her behalf by the fiance.) I'm turning 33 for godssake. It's a huge year for me, even though I'm totally lying and turning 34.

Anyway, all the fathers (ahem, men!) at our dinner party were like, "No, you gals get one gift from the child. We have our own mothers to buy gifts for!"

And all the gals (Ahem, women) were like, "No, you have to get us two gifts for Mother's Day!"

Women just like getting gifts. Okay? Deal.

So, I have basically had to negotiate the terms of my birthday/Mother's Day gifts. I used to be all over the surprise gift and put a lot of faith (a.k.a high expectations) in The Fiance picking out something he knew I'd just love. And, you know, he was pretty good at it. He never dissapointed.

Most men, unless you say, "I want that bag that is on the third shelf at this specific store and ask for the saleslady named Sally who has been told what I want," don't really get the hint. So I'm very lucky.

But, this year, I couldn't really think of anything I really wanted so simply said, "Well, I'll just go to Neiman Marcus (I'll be in Arizona for a couple days as of tomorrow) and pick out a couple of things for my birthday and Mother's Day from you and Rowan."

This, of course, turned into me having to argue my point about how many gifts I could buy myself, based on my belief that Mother's Day and birthdays are two seperate celebrations and that I should be getting gifts from both The Fiance and The Dictator for both.

And maybe a gift for myself from myself...for both my birthday and Mother's Day.

Anyway, I don't really expect anything huge or expensive. That's not the point. A homemade card or a roll of toilet paper from The Dictator would be just fine for my birthday/Mother's Day. A gift certificate for a massage would be great.

The real point is, it's too hard to negotiate anything with the fiance, who is a lawyer - a trained negotiator.

All I have on my side is tears - I can cry on cue - and trying to argue about the number of gifts by stamping my feet and hope The fiance will somehow see my side of things.

Which will never happen. Or it might. Stay tuned.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommies out there!!!

At the very least, you should do something nice for yourself.....I can guarantee I'll be getting at least one gift, even if I have to buy it for myself....from myself.


Blogger Keltie said...

My friend and I know EXACTLY how you feel. Our birthdays are May 9th and 11th, so our celebrations tend to get combined with Mothers' Day too.

I agree about the two gifts too!

9:22 PM

Blogger Icecoldcranberry said...

I can feel your pain – my birthday is two days after Valentine’s Day. One guy once gave me a present on the 15th with a card that read “Happy in between Valentine’s Day and Birthday” – he actually thought that he was a genius for coming up with the concept!

While I don’t have children yet, your posting did get me thinking…do you spend part of Mother’s Day with your Fiancé’s parents?

I know that I wouldn’t want to share Mother’s Day with my in-laws or my parents once I do have kids – I would want to keep the day for myself and my ‘immediate’ family. Is this too selfish of me? In my defence, there is a separate Grandparents’ Day…

On a side note – I just finished reading your second book and loved it! I am a bit scared to let my husband read it though – your honesty re how tiring it is to be a parent of a young child might scare him to the point of his never wanting to procreate…

7:46 AM

Anonymous Sarah said...

Happy birthday Rebecca! My birthday was on Tuesday, and some years it actually falls ON Mother's Day - and I agree, it bites. My first Mother's Day, when my daughter was 7 months old, hubbie didn't even get me a card!! When I complained he said "what? you're not my mother" So count your blessings with the fiance and I hope you get something nice.

8:15 AM

Blogger Laural said...

So first of all, Happy Birthday!
And, I'm soooo with you on the gifts. My birthday falls a week after Mother's Day, so I have clarified that these are two very specific events.
I love the gifts that Matt makes at daycare. I'll cherish those.
But, I do fully expect a "real" gift from my husband (and my parents). But, I also do the same for others. I always get my sister a gift because she's an amazing mom.
I'm also big on the cards. I really like a wife card from my husband and a mommy card from my son.

8:51 AM

Blogger Karen said...

At my house, there is NO gifts on Mothers Day(not even a lously, stinkin' card)-at leat that is what happened last year,they claim they"forgot", and Daddy says that I'm not his mother, so we shall see what the gift fairly brings this year. I have four Dictators, so one should be able to glue some macaroni onto a card and put thier names on it!!
Birthdays are a different story, While I don't get one gift ON my bithday(June 15), I do get a gift everyday the week leading up to my birthday-my hasband calls it "birthday week". "birthday week"rock!!
And, lets be honest, I don't want a phyical gift, I just want them to behave and be quiet, for most of the day!!! Outragous, I know, however a Mom can dream........

6:41 AM

Anonymous crunchycarpets said...

Getting past 35 must mean I don't get it anymore..I really couldn't care less...about birthdays OR Mothers Day

I like that my son makes me cards.
I appreciate the flowers...I did tell my dh that I LOVED this $280 bag online..but that is too much and so really....

It just isn't that big a deal.

1:19 PM

Anonymous Leanne said...

I have always loved getting gifts but God has a funny sense of humour and I married a guy who doesn't do gifts - claims he gives me gifts all year long - I think I got flowers once - the very first year we dated - after that - nadda. My two little Dictators - well - one is a 3 year old boy who gave me a big kiss for mommy's day - that was cool and my 5 year old daughter made my DH buy me flowers this year!

6:48 AM

Blogger Joanne said...

I was my very 1st Mother's Day. My gift was having our 3 month old son and our adopted son who arrived from Africa 1 week before Mother's Day (that's right 2 kids in 3 months!) It was, to say the least, a great day but I couldn't help but mention to the hubby I didn't get a card!

9:27 PM

Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Yeah, well. Ditto.

My birthday is the weekend after Mother's Day, and the husband ABSOLUTELY feels that it is his prerogative to roll them together. But then this year, he ended up flying away to the fucking arctic to shoot a commercial and missing BOTH.

WonderBaby and I moved to a hotel to order room service and feel sorry for ourselves. It helped, a bit.

9:20 AM


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