My 16yo son ignored Mother's Day.

I didn’t realize Mother’s Day had become part of the gay agenda. I hope Father’s Day is still safe.

“I will get revenge against my mother’s for denying me a dad by being a high achieving and successful son in almost all endeavors, but on Mother’s Day… NO CARD! Then they shall know my censure and fury at their lifestyle choices.”

Oh yeah I can totally see that happening. Just like that.

Or both mothers do it sort-of-independently of each other for the same year (pretending they don’t know the other is doing it - that it’s not part of single plan).

I have to prompt and cajole my teenage kids to observe mothers day and my wife has to prompt them to observe fathers day - we each do this ‘secretly’ - and it’s never discussed, but we both know it’s happening.

That might have been unclear. I mean that this could perhaps be tackled by Mom1 taking the offspring aside and saying “Look, it doesn’t matter about me, but I really think it would be nice if you showed Mom2 some appreciation on mothers day - let’s go get a card and some chocolates”.

And at a different moment in the week, Mom2, adopting a conspiratorial tone, takes offspring aside and does something similar, but in reverse.

I came in to say something like this - I hate these manufactured holidays where you’re suppose to perform your love on demand like a trained monkey. If I care for you, I’ll show it every day (well, at least every day I see you) genuinely and spontaneously, rather than being forced to cough up a rote declaration on society’s appointed day.

To me, the expectation and kind-of-demanding nature of these specified days (Valentine’s, Mother’s Day etc) cheapens the sentiment. Are you giving me a card & flowers because you love me, or because it’s expected of you?

Maybe your son is going through a phase where he feels like this too. And maybe one day he’ll come home with a box of both your favourite donuts/cakes/flowers and say, oh, these are for you Moms, just because. And that would be more meaningful to me than a mass produced hallmark card.


Have you heard of the Myers-Briggs test? I’m curious of what it would say in your case.

This is just spot on.
When I was a teen, nothing would have made me less likely to acknowledge my mother on subsequent Mother’s Days than to be guilted and embarrassed about not doing anything for mother on that one special Hallmark day when I didn’t. This poor kid’s got TWO mothers doing it to him.

It won’t matter because it will probably be different next Mother’s Day.

I think we men are just lousy in general when it comes to holidays and giving gifts. I think it was Jeff Foxworthy who said on Christmas how many men have said to their wives “honey, did we buy something for my mother?”.

This is really ignorant and non-insightful.

I’m not bringing up the issue as you requested, but only your reaction, which I feel is telling.

Look at your reaction to these lines of well meaning suggestions. It had a automatic and very typical (almost textbook IMHO) defensive reaction, which to me suggest a block of some kind. It is a automatic dismissal, you are sure the problem is not here and everyone who suggest it doesn’t understand etc.

I also say this in the sense that you can not change other people (even your own son), you can only change yourself, and to me when I have a problem I try to look how I am part of it, what part of me does that issue cling to and how I can change myself for the better. And in that respect the issue to me is why does it make you feel bad and how to overcome that in yourself.

Good Luck

Well, you can’t say he doesn’t have self-awareness.

He’s 16. Let it go.

Whatever you do, don’t give him another round of shamming. If it happens when he becomes a young adult revisit your theory of him being passive-aggressive then.

Goddamn, if there was one surefire way to ensure that the teenage me wouldn’t acknowledge a birthday or birthday it was to tell me I had to do it.

Whats the value in a present when I only bought it because I was told to? And even if I was always intended to buy a present, being told that I had to took my agency away from me. It was no longer a meaningful gift that I presented of my own violation, it was just an obligation and now the recipient thinks I only bought it because I was told to.

You say he’s a smart kid, then he has thought about all this even if he doesn’t really understand why. The minute you sat him down and tried to shame him into doing this crap was the moment it lost any luster for him.

Meh. Forget his birthday.

I’m 57. My mom died two years ago. The last two Mothers Days were the first times I remembered without my SO poking me.
ETA: my kids are 20 and 24. They always remember me on Fathers Day, although my daughter reminds my son and has purchased a card for him to sign and send. They begin dropping hints about their own birthdays a month in advance. Without their reminders I know that my son is a spring BD and my daughter a fall BD.

well, it gave me some insight into why tapu is so defensive about the two-moms thing. Because she is reading people saying “in many families, it’s the dad who buys the card…” and hears echos of that post.

Doesn’t have to be a male friend. Any adult important in his life who he isn’t supposed to be honoring on mother’s day would do. An aunt, a neighbor of either sex who is close, whatever. Or maybe enlist one of his friends. Pull the friend aside a day or two before mother’s day (when there’s still time to shop for a card, and not much more time than that) and say, “hey Sam, I know that (my son) Jim is a good kid, but last year we were hurt that he didn’t remember us on mother’s day. Could you please make sure he buys us a card?” That would help with the “give him permission” thing, although possibly hurt from the “it’s embarrassing at that age” perspective. But it might also improve the odds that Sam’s mom gets a card. :slight_smile:

Or, you could decide to drop “mother’s day” from the holiday schedule, or just the two of you celebrate on your own by going out and doing something YOU like to do and leaving your son to fend for himself. Tell him, “this year, your mother’s day present to us is to fix your own supper, we are going to a fancy restaurant. We’d appreciate it if you have cleaned up and done the dishes by the time we get home.” (or whatever you’d like to do together.)

I really don’t see “16 year old doesn’t follow through on mother’s day” as a significant problem. For either sons or daughters.

God, no. Please don’t do that. Every time you bring this up you’re digging the hole a bit deeper. Let it go. You’ve already explained to him that you were hurt by his (in)actions.

Think for a moment how that question will sound to him:

“Honey? Those other boys? Those other wonderful, thoughtful children in your scout troop? What did **they **get for **their **mothers whom **they **love? We’d like to know what it’s like to live in a family where sons remember that their mothers are alive. Ohhhhhhhhh, how shameful it is to live in a house bereft of love and joy! Did I not carry you for nine months!? Have I not fed and clothed and loved you!? Ohhhhhhh the agony of it all!”

Further nagging (and do remember the difference between your intent and his interpretation) will only breed resentment. I promise you this.

I second that. It sounds like passive-aggressive nagging to me. Just try to line up an adult to prod him next year to do something, or drop it completely.

(not that I disagree with your point, but that statistic you made up is waaaay off).

Next year, two weeks before the day, Mom1 asks son what he’s bought for Mom2, offers a suggestion if son hasn’t thought of anything, and gives him some money if needed. A day later, Mom2 asks son what he’s bought for Mom1, offers a suggestion if son hasn’t thoguht of anything, and gives him some money if needed.

A couple of days before the day, Mom1 checks that son has bought something for Mom2, and Mom2 checks that son has brought something for Mom1.

On Mothers Day, each mother feigns delight and surprise at the wonderful gift that son has purchased.

Rinse, repeat, until you have an adult son. I’m guessing that’ll be early twenties… :wink: