People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Nothing is NOT Acceptable

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Nothing is NOT Acceptable


Last week I was trying to think of a Mother's Day present for my mom. I'm 42 years old now and a macaroni necklace just doesn't have the same impact it used to 36 years ago. I felt like every gift I was thinking of was a crappy gift, so I asked my readers on Facebook to tell me the worst Mother's Day gift they ever received just to make sure those weren't the ones I was considering. I got the usual responses of Dustbusters, brooms, step stools, tools, and irons. However, as I scrolled through the hundreds of answers, I noticed the same gift popping up over and over again.


It was: NOTHING.

Nothing?



At first I felt sad when I saw this. Sure, there have been years here and there where the Hubs and I have agreed not to get each other anything for the holidays so we can spend more on the kids or buy a washer and dryer or something like that. But even then I started thinking. If we didn't have money for a gift, the Hubs would ask the kids to draw a card or make me a booklet of coupons good for hugs and kisses. That was something at least.

This made me angry, then I felt pissed off, and then I got mad.

Nothing is not acceptable. No, no, no, no!

Why did these moms get nothing? Why didn't their children get them a card or buy them a terrible gift like a scale? I'll tell you why: because they never learned.

I blame the dads on this one. Yup, save your breath, dads, but this is your fault. Sure there are a lot of grown up asshole children who don't buy their mother's gifts, but they're also your fault. See, you were supposed to teach them to honor their mother on her one damn day of the year. Your kids grew up to be jerks, because when they were little it was your job to take them to the store and help them pick out a card or a gift for Mommy. If you didn't have the money, it was your job to have them draw her a picture or make her a pipe cleaner bracelet or write her a heartfelt letter. Something! Anything! Not nothing!

I can't believe how many women said their husbands used the super lame excuse: "I didn't buy you a gift because you're not my mother."

Oh. My. Gah. Someone hold my purse, because shit just got real.

You're not my mother? Oh that's some complete and total bullshit right there, gentlemen. You're not our father, but guess who takes the kids to the store and gives them money to buy you a new golf club every year?

"You're not my mother." Ugh.

If my husband ever said that to me, my response would be: "You're right, Hubs. I'm not your mother, but I am the mother of your children! I am the one who carried them for nine long months and then ruined my vagina squeezing them out. I am the one who gets up in the night when they're sick, while you pretend to sleep. I am the one who kisses boo boos, because blood makes you woozy. I am the one who reads out loud to them, because you claim to be illiterate. I am the one who plays endless rounds of Uno with them, because you make them cry when you hit them with Draw Four cards every round. These kids are your offspring too and you're responsible for teaching them about Mother's Day. Now go to the store and buy me a freaking Dustbuster, you son of a bitch!"

What is wrong with the rest of you fellas? I bet you all buy flowers and cards for your mothers. Well, who taught you to do that? Duh. Get off your lazy asses and get out there and give you wife exactly what she wants and deserves for Mother's Day: time away from you.

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Buy your wife/mom I Just Want to Be Alone and I Just Want to Pee Alone for Mother's Day.

53 comments:

Paula said...

I would also argue that we are, in fact, mothers to our husbands. I inherited picking up after him like he's a 4 year old. Taking care of him when HE is sick (man colds. Like honest to god. If you're not puking up blood or have a protruding bone, and you're above the age of 18, you're fine. Walk it off). And ensuring he makes it out the door every day with matching clothes (OK. OK. Not evvvveryday. Sometimes its funny to let him walk out with his colour-blind combo on).

So. I damn well better be getting a mothers day present from my infant. Because in spite of the fact that HIS mom didn't squeeze me out of her vagina, I am still the one who picked out her card and gift (for HIM!)

Amy Kane said...

Ugh, I'm not married, and I don't have kids, but I'll be honest, one of my best memories from my crappy horrible relationship with my ex was a mother's day where he got me a card from the cats. It was a simple, appreciative thing that made me feel loved for a little bit.

I have friends and family that have gotten nothing as a gift on mother's day, birthdays, valentine's day, and that whole "you're not MY mother" or some other lame-ass excuse has happened to pop up from the men in their lives. None of these women are asking for the commerical, ridiculous jewelry commerica type of holiday, but it's not too much to ask to spend a few bucks at the grocery store, get some flowers and put them on a vase on the kitchen table.

and could the reverse work? Like look at your husband who shy away from the gift giving and say "Damn right i'm not your mother, how about you do the laundry and clean up after yourself."

Anne said...

I have one disagreement with this. The sentence "See, you were supposed to teach them to honor their mother on her one damn day of the year." A good dad teaches the child/ren to honor their mother every day of the year and a good mom does the same for dad.
I rarely get a gift on Mother's Day and I'm ok with that, I don't need a gift, I have 2 great sons who are rarely in trouble (and it's never been serious problems) who love me and don't hesitate to say it and show it. Daily, not just one day a year. Do I recognize I'm fortunate? You bet your damn booty I recognize it and I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for a husband who loves me and teaches our sons to honor me every day, not just once a year.
Also, if this sounds preachy or snotty, I'm sorry. I honestly don't mean it to, it's just the way I feel.

Rebecca said...

i am a single mom to 2 young kids (one with special needs)...so I don't get presents on holidays, but its ok because I know they love me...and they are my gift. Nothing is ok!

abbyhasissues.com said...

I always make sure to get my mom something because a) it's her favorite day of the year and b) I'm always on top of these things. However, I do have to say that it's not getting her "something" that matters. It's letting her know she is being thought of and appreciated. Cards can suck. People can't always afford gifts, and honestly, those rarely mean as much as an honest sentiment. It doesn't have to be a "thing" that you give her other than a little bit of your time!

snick67 said...

This goes for step kids too....I get the excuse from my wicked step daughter that I'm not her mom, yet, I've been there for her, treated her equally as my son, bent over backwards for her, etc. and I'm also the one she calls when she is in trouble....go figure. On the flip side, the person that gave birth to me is by no means a mother. A woman can give birth, but it takes a special person to be a mom, which I never had. Ever see the movie "Mommie Dearest"? She looks like an angel and a Godsend compared to the person that gave birth to me. Sorry I feel this way, but a lifetime of hell and being an outcast because I wasn't dependent on her made me a better mother...of things NOT to do as a mom.

snick67 said...

And no, I'm not a wicked step mom.......

Raquel Somatra said...

Sure, those dads totally suck, but women have been taught (likely by their mothers) that they don't need credit for all the sacrifices they make. They're supposed to do them with love and to never expect anything in return or else they're evil and greedy and selfish.

These ladies obviously put up with nothing and lame-ass excuses because deep down, they think that's what they deserve.

Dads need to step up their game & teach the kids, but women can't just insist they're perfectly fine with nothing, either, or worse, get upset when their loved ones gets them a nice gift.

kristiemarie518 said...

I don't know about this. I'm a mother every day of the year and I get gifts from both my husband and children all the time. I don't get upset on this one day. Maybe I'm weird. But I really don't care. This day was made up to generate money. Seriously. My daughter gave me a wild flower yesterday and hey, that says more to me than remembering a stupid "holiday" once a year.

kristiemarie518 said...

And I always at least get a hug and a "Happy Mother's Day" from everyone so I guess that's something. :)

sherrie lynn said...

I can top the "you're not my mother" excuse. .. my ex used to tell me that I didn't count as being a mom to a baby/toddler because i hadn't been a mom long enough/as long as his mommy had been one...taking care of babies was too easy......

Sol-Natalia Herrington-Catalan said...

My husband gets me nothing for every holiday, anniversary or celebration like that. He forgets very often, and he doesn't help my daughter make something because he forgot in the first place. He remembers that day when I ask "Do you today is.... (insert celebration name here)? and he freaks out and wants to run to the store lol. We go on a date every week (still after 6 years) and I am blessed for that. The only gift I want for mothers day is a day off from being a mom. After all, one day off a year is not much to ask... right?

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

Is it ok when I get nothing on Father's Day?

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

Is it ok when I get nothing on Father's Day?

Stephane said...

And yet we haven't seen you on the news for killing him - you are clearly some higher form of being than the rest of us :-P

jodie buckley said...

I honestly don't mine nothing in terms of cards and gifts as long as I get a hug and an i love u from each of my kids like I do every day of the year then I'm happy, in saying that though me and the kids dad have been apart 4 years now and every birthday/Christmas and Mother's Day he has always made sure I have had both a card and gift for the last 4 years as I have done for him for the last 12 years since our first was born, it's strange he actually remembers every date now we are apart but forgot most of them when we were together x

TroyJMorris said...

Wow.

Reading this, and some of the comments, makes it seem as though some folks are really bad making significant life choices, like who they're going to start a family with.

jtwizz said...

I don't totally agree with you here. I've actually told my husband that I don't expect anything from him on mother's day because i'm not his mother. I've also told him I don't expect or necessarily want anything on my birthday, our anniversary, valentine's day, or even christmas. Amazingly, I don't feel underappreciated or neglected when I don't receive gifts/cards/flowers/etc. on those days, because my husband and children know how to make my day nearly every day. The best ever is when I come home from work to a sink that's empty of dishes and the living room that's been picked up because hubby told the kids that they needed to "make mommy happy." I feel sorry for those that feel they NEED to receive something special on an arbitrary day just to feel appreciated. And what's more, then when the hubs does decide to splurge and randomly buy me something extra, it feels even that much MORE special, specifically because I've told him I don't need it.

Rory Bore said...

My birthday is always the same weekend as Mother's Day. So that should mean at least 2 gifts, right?
Nope.
Poor hubby. So unfair. To be hit - all surprise like! - by these 2 holidays. every year. for 10 years.
Although, he did buy me a laptop for Christmas one year. Which I am told was also considered to be my birthday and mother's day gift too.
I feel special. *audible eyeroll*

Cassandra M. Overton said...

I think it's a bit ridiculous that anyone DEMAND or expect gifts for ANY holiday. Makes people sound like spoiled rotten children. Be glad you're alive and well. Ugh.

Susan Maccarelli said...

This is my 4th Mother's Day and my standing gift from my husband is an entire day to do whatever I want WITHOUT him or the kids. Best. Gift. Ever. When they get older, he will probably go through the charade of having them give me stuff and I will probably want to escape less when they are older (will i?), but I really love the day alone now :o)

Amy Negvesky said...

I love you and your writing! You make me laugh when I need it most! Hold my purse .... Hilarious!

Michele said...

I totally agree

steven phillips said...

I did get my mom nothing last year for mother's day, I would always ask her what she wanted and she kept saying nothing so I got her a nothing jar.. :) we laugh about it and she has passed this on to others!

Shilzad said...

Nothing is appropriate when your mother has never behaved like your mother. She drags her child thru one abusive, drug riddled relarionship after another. There are people out there that should never be parents, my mother being one of them. She will get nothing from me because she was never truly a Mother.

getting healthy said...

yes!!!!!!! Exactly! My husband has had good years and bad years on the gift giving, but your description of "husband" is what most of us live with day to day. We aren't perfect wives and mothers, but we try and it is absolutely necessary for HIS health that he TRY also!

karelia said...

This. This. A thousand times this!!

TooMuchCoffee said...

I'm in that same boat with you. Most people don't understand why my life is better without my mother in it. Unless by some miracle she were to get sober and stop tearing me down and treating my adopted children like they're...adopted...she is getting nothing. Anyone can give birth, she doesn't deserve an award for that.

asllady717 said...

Good for you. That means you married well and raised then right. Mothers day is commercial but it doesn't hurt to feel special one day, mothers day or not.

prideandparentage said...

The SOMETHING that most of us want isn't tangible. We most just want time. Time with our children where they aren't screaming and fighting. And if they start, time alone in a quiet place while Dad plays referee for once. Time with them where you can focus on THEM instead of making dinner and cleaning up the juice they just spilled. Time to poop without hands coming under the bathroom door and Suzy screaming through it that Johnny is dying the cat and also looked at her with his left leg raised and one eye closed.

What? You didn't ask for poop time?

Sara said...

My two are 10 and 8 and I have gotten gifts from them on mothers day...bc my mom helped them. Not my ex dh who indeed even on my very first mothers day 10 years ago said...why would I get you anything you arent my mother. Jerk. Reason hes the ex dh.

Round Peg in Square Hole said...

I... What? No...Can't Even... Your EX you say? Thank heavens your free of that!!

Round Peg in Square Hole said...

^^^^ :) This. Yes. I don't worry about Mother's Day much. I just feel like its an excuse to celebrate Mom one day - and forget it the rest of the time. Much like Valentines Day, or Christmas. Gifts are nice, but I would rather have kids, ect who remember and think I am wonderful and show it all the time with all the little things (homemade pictures!). If I ever got anything for Mother's Day I would want that day off to just... well... only think of myself for a bit.
I have friends who don't understand that. They think its a day to spend with your kids while they tell you how much they love you (and make more messes for you to clean). I may want that when they are older (and not living here), but for now, a day to sit and read or watch tv alone...

Unknown said...

You will want to hear this one. How about when mothers day is sunday, your anniversary is Wednesday and your birthday is sat all in the same week? Then your husband plans his annual spring bear hunting trip with his brother every year during that week? I went last year on my birthday hunting and it was fun but I feel I'm getting the short end of the stick every year. Who wants to go bear hunting with a bunch of men every year on their mothers day, anniversary, birthday week? I feel nothing is about me and how hard I work and raise kids!!

Periwinkle Paisley said...

Wow. That is a whole new level of douche-baggery, like World Class Olympic Team douche-baggery. I'm with Stephanie, how were you not on the news for beating him to death?

Periwinkle Paisley said...

All the people that are bent out of shape saying it's ridiculous to demand a gift or expect a gift -- it's NOT about the gift! Jen is saying that husbands and fathers need to point it out to the kids that Mom is a pretty awesome lady and she does a lot of great stuff for us so let's show her how much we appreciate and love her. Whether that be with expensive jewelry and flowers or pasta/yarn necklace and a magic-markered piece of paper egg carton with one lowly begonia in it is beside the point. Kids love that stuff, they love traditions and they get excited about surprises and giving presents.

Jennifer Selman said...

You my dear, are very lucky. But unfortunately not everyone has been blessed as u have. Some of us mommies get to get up, go to work, run our asses off just to go home to find the house a mess, kids r hungry, bc mommy had to work over and dinner is late, daddy complains about having a hectic day w the kids and goes to bed, so mommy, with her achy feet, starts to work again. Cleaning cooking bathing and getting everyone to bed. Then mommy gets a quick shower and crawls in bed to start all over again the next day. So for those mommies "nothing" is a big deal. Just a simple happy mother's day and maybe a cup of coffee in bed would be enough. But a lot of mommies get "nothing" all yr long. And those mommies r usually the ones that make a big deal out of father's day and daddy's birthday. And every yr are disappointed bc the daddy can't be considerate enough bring mommy a simple cup of coffee, but every yr mommy lets it go and reminds herself she is a good mommy and that is all that matters.

Pam B said...

My birthday is the week before Mother's Day. My anniversary is the end of May. I don't want flowers 3 weeks out of four. They are pretty as long as I remember to change the water (who remembers?) and then they die and shed leaves all over the floor.
I'm always dieting, so I don't want chocolate and a fancy meal (a nice bottle of wine is fine). I work in retail, so it would kill me to receive an expensive item of clothing or jewelry not bought at a discount.

So count me as one of the moms who get nothing for Mother's Day and are fine with it. As long as I get a card and a kiss from my kids, I'm good.

Pam B said...

I feel you… my birthday is the beginning of May, and for 4 years my daughter's dad & daughters YMCA group campout was over my birthday.Nothing like celebrating your birthday at a campsite! This year my husband went on a guy's 50th b day weekend, missing both my birthday and my son's birthday. Good times ;)

Kelly Fleck said...

I totally relate. While I still have contact with my mom, its on my terms not hers. I don't call her everyday like she wants me too. She hasn't figured out I'm 43 and have a life. She does not have a motherly bone in her body.

Becks said...

I'm a single mom too. This year I gave my mother a few bucks and told her to take my daughter to the store to pick something out for my birthday. I did this because LAST year, my daughter was in tears, feeling awful that she didn't have a present for me. I told get the card was enough, it was no consolation.

Emelie said...

Who the hell doesn't get their mother something?? Assholes. That's who.

Kristen Mae said...

Yeah, I just wanna sleep in without anyone asking me if I'm "awake yet." Last year I told my husband, all I want is to sleep in. I JUST. WANT. TO SLEEP. So they woke me up with breakfast in bed at 8:30 in the morning. It was really hard to pretend to be grateful.

CraftyGardenMom - Tanesha said...

I think what she was saying in her post still applies to stepmoms - their Dad should make them "step up" and acknowledge what you do for them and that you care for them with at least a card!

CraftyGardenMom - Tanesha said...

LOL, this sounds exactly like my Mother's Day last year. My kids (and I suspect my DH, the dirty dog) could only "hold out" on waking me up until 7:30 am vs. the usual 6 am. I WOULD have been grateful for that extra 90 minutes if it hadn't been filled with me being able to hear them bickering about who was making me what for breakfast, DH slamming every cabinet in the kitchen closed, and other general "SHHHHHHH Mommy's sleeping" right outside my door. I'm thinking of booking myself into a hotel Saturday night.

Tritachion said...

Wow.. that was an entertaining read, you had me nodding all the way down to the second to last sentence. That last sentence is ruining the whole article.
"Get off your lazy asses and get out there and give you wife exactly what she wants and deserves for Mother's Day: time away from you."
Now, I do not want to say this is 100% wrong, but the way you wrote it up there, it reads as if *every* wife wants their husband to be away for the duration of at least mothers day, the longer, the better. And that's just bitter.

Jane Abbott said...

I ne er fail to please my Mom on Mother's day without spending much money but spending a significant amount of TIME. My efforts include homemade truffles and an original poem. I have been a gifted writer since grade school and Mom has been my biggest fan. The chocolates and poems are more appreciated than any other gift available.

Frugalista Blog said...

I am milking the shit out of Mother's day. I want gifts. I want chores done for me. I am training the whole family this way. It's taken 14 years, but I'm getting there.

savvygurl said...


I absolutely love this writer, my dear, you are hilarious, also enjoying those who have responded to the post as well. I have to say, my hubby never misses a stroke when it comes to my birthday and holidays. He always has something for me, even if it is one of the fragrances of the week that an entertainer has endorsed--pushed on him by some overbearing department store "spray-girl". I totally agree with the idea that a mom/wife should be honored on her "special days". Birthdays, and Mother's day is not too much to ask. A women is always the partner who will sacrifice her time and energy by coming home to a second shift. She picks up behind the kids and hubby cooks, prepares lunches for the next day. Checks to ensure that there is enough milk, bread, peanut butter, and every darn thing else. Meanwhile what is "he" doing, taking it easy, watching the poor mom/wife run around like a cat shot in the ass. Yeah you could delegate some things but, by the time he asks where is this or that "I don't see it, he'll say from the other room, "Why do you hide everything--only you know where these things are" mine has a tendency to say, each and every time he is given a chore or two. I really hate to stop what I am working on, to go and find something that is right in front of him so close, it would slap him if only it could, So I usually do whatever it is myself to keep my systolic BP from sky rocketing. So, I deserve that lovely cologne, negligee with the matching robe, Pandora bracelet, or whatever it is that he never forgets to buy on Mother's day Birthday's and even Christmas, as does every hard working wife and mom.

savvygurl said...

Love it, good for you, and why the hell not. Training is the key word here!!!

M. Edward said...

NO, it's not okay. I got nothing this year and it really sucked. Makes a guy feel unappreciated.

Janelle Taggart said...

Getting nothing does suck. Been there with my kids. The next suckiest nothing is a $2 dumb-ass colored glass angel pin, chosen by the hubs on behalf of the kids, while he stood at the cash register paying for his new golf club. Later, at some random moment, he handed me the tiny store's paper bag to "open". What a f*ckup my ex was.

Kristie Pennington said...

We had donuts for breakfast (I thought my family was making me breakfast, but they know I like donuts), so hubs and I went to D & D, then at home, youngest gives me this sweet card she drew and wrote for me at school (teacher made them), and my teenager, whom I have a very close relationship gave me a card I could tell was drawn while at D & D that read Happy Mother's Day. My hubs replied "I wrote your card in the donuts".

Needless to say, it's Monday, my feelings are hurt and I spent the day running errands by myself to get away and did laundry and cried a lot.

I couldn't even make him understand that a heartfelt, handwritten note letting me know how he feels about me as the mother of his children would have been nice. He works out of state, so I am the only parent all week every week at home.

Sometimes men are really clueless.