Mom feels lonely and re­jected

The Mercury News Weekend - - MOVIE GUIDE - Amy Dick­in­son Con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email at askamy@ amy­dick­in­son.com.

DEARAMY » My hus­band’s fam­ily never hon­ored any hol­i­day or mile­stones such as Mother’s Day or birth­days or any­thing like that. My fam­ily, though of mod­est means, cel­e­brated all of that. I thought I had raised my four chil­dren to honor those tra­di­tions.

This past Mother’s Day broke my heart. My four kids, though well-mean­ing, put forth the ab­so­lute least amount of ef­fort. And my hus­band, whom I dearly love, de­fended them.

When Mother’s Day ar­rived, noth­ing hap­pened. Late in the day, one of my kids said, “Hey, Mom, how about I take you to din­ner?” At 4 o’clock in the af­ter­noon I’m re­ally not in the mood.

One of my other kids calledme; hey, she was so tired but — oh, my good­ness — she wished me a happy Mother’s Day! And my son who is liv­ing out of state called to wish me happy Mother’s Day. Big deal.

Am I wrong to be hurt? My hus­band is de­fend­ing the kids: “Oh, they care, they did this, they did that...”

But re­ally? I have made 100,000 din­ners for all of them in cel­e­bra­tion. And none of them could take the time to do that for me?

A per­fec­tMother’s Day to me would re­quire very lit­tle plan­ning. Very lit­tle. If one of my adult chil­dren had said to the oth­ers, “Let’s do a potluck bar­be­cue at Mom’s for Mother’s Day,” it would have been great.

To me, in­vest­ing time is much more im­por­tant than mail­ing a card that ar­rives a day late, or re­ceiv­ing a box on my doorstep. I felt ig­nored and un­ap­pre­ci­ated.

Yet they, (and, frankly, me too), would de­scribe all of our re­la­tion­ships as good — and even close.

I don’t want to be self­ish, and I hate be­ing so hurt, but I am very up­set that my hus­band does not have my back. I just want to run away. I don’t know what to do. — Sad Mom/Grandma

DEARSADMOM » Mother’s Day is sur­pris­ingly com­pli­cated. Let me start not by de­fend­ing, but per­haps ex­plain­ing your hus­band’s re­ac­tion to your up­set. He was not nec­es­sar­ily de­fend­ing the kids’ fee­ble ef­forts, but try­ing to de­flect you from fo­cus­ing on their ef­forts by re­mind­ing you that they care about you and love you very much.

He did the wrong thing for you in this mo­ment, how­ever. In this con­text, “hav­ing your back” would mean that he would have been as fu­ri­ous and up­set as you are. He went another way.

I hope you will reach out to your adult chil­dren, as a group, and be com­pletely trans­par­ent with them (copy your hus­band on this email): “Guys, I’ve made 100,000 spe­cial din­ners for you over the years. I don’t have high ex­pec­ta­tions for gifts, etc., but I do want to see you (if pos­si­ble) on Mother’s Day. It’s the one day when I am highly con­scious of my role in your lives, and mak­ing a mod­est plan to get to­gether would make me very happy and ap­pre­ci­ated. I feel like a baby reach­ing out to you in this way, but, well, I’m be­ing hon­est with you, and I hope you’ll take this in the spirit it is in­tended.”

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