What to Do When Your Husband Is Terrible at Mother’s Day

So maybe gift-giving and Hallmark holidays AREN’T your husband’s love language – here’s how to keep it from ruining your Mother’s day!

(Editor’s note: the photo in this post is intended to be funny. It is not an accurate depiction of the author’s husband. LOL! We promise!)

After giving birth to my fourth child only weeks before Mother’s Day, I was sure Paul was going to orchestrate my special day with a five-course gourmet breakfast and a Blue Angels fly-over.

When my little Gracie climbed up into my bed on Mother’s Day morning and whispered in my ear, “Daddy didn’t take us to get anything for you,” the fury of an angry postpartum lioness possessed my mom-body.

Minutes later I was magically presented with a half-dead potted plant he ran out and purchased from a guy selling Harley Davidson throw rugs.

No, I never expected him to buy me anything grand or even expensive. But, after delivering him a ten pound son, I was hoping he’d make sure the kids drew me a squiggly picture and maybe served me a couple slices of soggy French Toast with a side of lukewarm orange juice.

None of those dreams came true.

If you’re lucky enough to have an amazing husband that takes your little ones and circles the wagons around you every Mother’s Day —good for you.

But, for someone like me with an incredible husband who lacks wisdom on a day he blames on Hallmark, here’s my three tips for keeping your marriage intact:

  • Mute Button. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Expectations have a way of muddying the marriage waters. Be grateful for whatever your husband does orchestrate with your little ones. Even if that means he’s running out to purchase a bouquet of wilted flowers from a guy at the gas station on his way home from church. Your kids are watching. Hold that tongue. You’ll be happy you did. I promise.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19

  • Order Out. Nothing says “I love you Mom” like Chinese take-out. Remind your husband of the nearest restaurant by leaving the phone number on a sticky-note on his iPhone—or his forehead.

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 3:18

  • Marriage is Forever. You made a vow. You told God and your husband that you would love him for better or worse. That includes pathetic Mother’s Day habits. Remember, marriage is forever—Mother’s Day is only once a year.

When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5

After almost eighteen years of marriage, I’ve finally learned gift-giving is not my husband’s love language, but, acts of service definitely are.

I recently shared with him, “I think I know what I want for Mother’s Day.”

“What?” His voice cracked in fear.

“I’d love it if the kids (you) cleaned out the garage and maybe took a run to the dumps.”

“Okay. Sounds good to me. How about we make you a nice breakfast before we get to work?” He smiled, looking relieved. This was something he could do no problem.

Now, let me share something I know but he doesn’t. Cleaning the garage is going to happen no matter what. We’re moving. It’s a no-brainer. So, why would I ask him to do something like that for me on Mother’s Day?

Because I know it makes him feel good to love me by doing an act of service. Plus, he’s a great dictator and is frighteningly energized after telling the kids what to do for hours. Win. Win.

So, what would I really like for Mother’s Day?

Runny eggs and lumpy pancakes sound good to me.

Joanne Kraft
Joanne Kraft is a mom of four and the author of The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids and Just Too Busy—Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. She’s been a guest on Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and CBN. Joanne and her husband, Paul, recently moved their family from California to Tennessee and happily traded soy milk and arugula for sweet tea and biscuits. Joanne joins her mom-friends over coffee every Saturday morning, sign up and grab your favorite cup—she’d love to have you!

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