As my first Mother’s Day approaches with my one-year-old baby, I’m reflecting on the healing journey our family has gone through since her traumatic birth. I’ve finally been able to enjoy the good times and not be consumed by postpartum anxiety and depression.
However, Mother’s Day is a tough time for me because of my estranged relationship with my own mother. For the past 13 years, I’ve celebrated my MIL on this day. But this year, I want to redefine what Mother’s Day means to me and set new expectations that the day is no longer just about her.
To help make our plans easier, I asked my husband to take me and our baby to an event on the Saturday before and requested that we do brunch or lunch on Sunday with his mother at a neutral location. However, my MIL and I have had a rough relationship since the start. She was supposed to support us with childcare, but that fell through when she couldn’t handle the basic needs of our baby. She refused to follow our rules and eventually had a breakdown, crying for about two hours straight during the middle of the workday.
After booking a reservation at a nice, reasonably priced restaurant halfway between our houses, my step-FIL suggested we come to their house instead so that my MIL can spend more time with her grandchild. I was upset because I was looking forward to going out to eat and our baby loves eating at restaurants.
I understand that it will be an extra special Mother’s Day for my MIL, but what about me? I’m the one who’s worked so hard for myself and my baby over the last year. Why can’t this Mother’s Day focus on me, at least just this one?
I’m not sure what to do, but I’m tired of pushing my feelings and needs aside to accommodate my MIL. I want to put my foot down this time and say restaurant or we don’t see you. Is that an overreaction? Is that a selfish thing to do? I don’t know, but I want to defend my truth.