One Mom's Mother's Day Rant Highlights Just How Little Weight Even Good Dads Can Pull in Parenting
Her husband forgot to plan anything special for the holiday, and the extra emotional labor of comforting him left this mom feeling completely fed up—and other moms feel the same.
May 13, 2019
After Mother's Day left her feeling disappointed and exhausted, one Reddit user with the profile name SnozberryWallpaper, took to the platform's Parenting forum to rant about her experience.
“Mother's Day, for mothers married to otherwise good men who don't know how to perform basic emotional labor, is one of the worst days of the year,” she wrote. “They plan nothing, then feel badly about it, and we're left with extra emotional labor to help them feel better for having dropped the ball...again.”
This mom went on to say that her husband had vague ideas of what could be a nice Mother’s Day plan in the days leading up to the holiday, but on the day itself, there was no time left for him to put these hypotheticals into action.
“The day arrives with nothing arranged and he looks to me with the usual, "Uh, what do you want to do today?" and I reiterate for the bazillionth time that I just wanted a day where I'm not the one who has to figure everything out. He then has the realization that he's done it again, and he feels like absolute crap,” she wrote.
“And now I'm left holding a much heavier emotional bag because instead of one day of being free from the burden of being everyone's cheerleader and pepper-upper, I'm either carrying the added weight of helping him feel better about screwing it up again or stuck co-existing with a sad, guilty shameburger of a man…Today just feels too freaking heavy and I'm tired.”
Her self-described rant hit a chord with other moms on Reddit and they chimed in with support and to share their own stories.
TheVillageOxymoron wrote, “This is so damn relatable. My husband has been in a terrible mood all day because I really wanted to sleep in and not have to cook. He was upset because he wanted me to get up with the kids so he could run to the grocery store and make me breakfast. Well, it negates the whole “not cooking” thing if I have to wake up early and watch the kids! I would rather have milk and cereal after a luxurious morning of sleeping in. So that issue this morning combined with the fact that he does the exact same thing as your husband has him just totally pissy.”
Redditer ieatcottoncandy chimed in after her holiday turned out to be a letdown.
“Same boat here today," she wrote. "I got my hopes up yesterday when he asked if I wanted to be woken for breakfast in bed. I said no, don't wake me up for any reason. But that I'd love breakfast an hour or so after getting up. 3 hours after getting up I finally just made my own breakfast and now in bed, sad and disappointed by him and my teenagers that also did nothing. What a shitty day.”
User Citruslatifolia also responded, writing that she took a different tactic this year after experiencing this pattern before and the outcome was that “the emotional labor was back on his court!”
She wrote, “I told him the day before (when I knew I'd be disappointed the next day), that it's his fault he didn't plan in advance, and the sad and disappointed person here is me, not him. Saved me a day of trying to make him feel better while feeling unappreciated.”
The OG poster, SnozberryWallpaper, started her post with praise and empathy for her partner, saying she adores her husband—a “good, kind man and a devoted father and husband—but also wrote that she thinks even the thought of organizing a celebration for her or their kids overwhelms him.
“I get it, I really do! It's intimidating AF to know that the weight of making someone's day special falls on your shoulders,” she wrote. “But I do it anyway because I know that it's part of what makes relationships work and that any effort is better than no effort when it comes to showing someone you care.”
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Other commenters also had a message for partners preparing for special days.
TheVillageOxymoron wrote, “Also, to all the dads or others who say “just tell him what you want”: WE DO. We tell them we don’t want to have to make all the plans for ONE DAY. I make our plans for every single holiday, every weekend that we do something, the weekdays, kids’ birthdays. I should not have to do that, but I do. Therefore, it should be simple for me to have one day where I don’t have to plan everything out.”
One dad responded to the post with a request for advice—identifying himself as a father with a similar track record.
SnozberryWallpaper responded, “If you know you're not great at making the wife feel appreciated and you want to do better at that then it's time to put on that thinking cap and spend some time considering what would make her feel appreciated… Again, there's no shame in not knowing how to do something that you've never learned how to do... but if it really matters to you, you will find a way to learn it.”