Ask Amy: He Says “You’re Not My Mother” on Mother’s Day – Chicago Tribune

Dear Amy: I’ve started to look at Mother’s Day more and more with sadness.

Another day has passed, and my husband firmly believes he doesn’t even need to say, “Happy Mother’s Day” to me.


He also doesn’t remind our kids to acknowledge me, so they haven’t said anything to me for years.

It’s not that he forgets. Usually we spend the day visiting our own mothers. But when it comes to me, when I’ve asked him about his lack of acknowledgment, he just shrugs and says, “You’re not my mother.”


Our friends have pointed out, “She is the mother of your children!” but he just wipes that off.

I’m not looking for candy or flowers, but just hearing some words from him like, “Thank you for being such a great mom to our kids,” would make my heart skip a beat. But it never happens.

Even his mother usually sends me a card and a gift, so she doesn’t subscribe to his philosophy.

Am I egocentric? Should I just focus on my mother and mother-in-law on Mother’s Day and stop whining?

– Sad mother

Dear Sad: Mother’s Day is meant to be a day of appreciation and celebration, but also seems to bring a lot of sadness and confusion.

Sure, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are the most awkward days of the year.

The structure of these days is confusing and leads to many questions:


If we are parents, should we only celebrate our own parents? What about grandparents?

What is expected of stepchildren who have multiple parents?

Is it OK to spend Mother’s Day crying in your car, mourning the loss of a child – or your own mother?

Should women who aren’t parents correct store clerks who wish them a “Happy Mother’s Day,” or should they just quietly accept their carnation and try to avoid all human and online contact on that day?

Are bumbling partners who can’t be bothered to utter a three-word sentence really considered getting a pass for hiding behind this whole “You’re not my mom” nonsense?

If children don’t contact their parents on this day, how bad should parents feel, and if you do feel bad, should you dismiss your own feelings as embarrassing, unimportant, and “self-centered”?


In my opinion, your husband is a lost cause in this regard. He deliberately gives you something that he knows will make you feel bad. Nice.

You need to ask your kids, “Hey, pay attention. You might think it’s stupid or unimportant, but a text or a call on Mother’s Day would make me really happy.”

Dear Amy: As retirees who eat out regularly, my wife and I always tip between 20 and 25 percent for good service.

However, if we order something that we simply can’t eat or really don’t enjoy (e.g. tough meat, too spicy, too salty, etc.), we send it back and ask for something else.

Although the returned meal will be taken off the bill, we always make it a point to include its price as part of the total tip.

To my surprise, several family members are appalled that we would ever return a meal, and think we should keep quiet and just pay for what we order, even if it’s almost inedible or tastes awful.


In general, they state that it is unfair to the restaurant and kitchen staff if something is returned and taken off the bill.

In any case, since this has become a topic of contention between some of us, I would be interested in your input on this matter.

– Resistance in restaurants

Best Resistance: This is a matter of degree. If the food is not prepared properly or contains ingredients that are not safe to eat, you must return it. It sounds like this is what you’re doing. Restaurants want their customers to enjoy their food. It’s good for business.

But if you order chicken parmesan and upon receipt decide, “Hmm, I just remembered.” I don’t really like chicken parmesan. I’d like a steak’, then you don’t have a drumstick to stand on.

Dear Amy: I see people continue to use the outdated term “giving up a child” for adoption.


We adopted our daughter over 30 years ago, and even then the process was encouraged to “put a child up for adoption,” not “give up.”

Could you please bring this to the attention of the public in your column?

– D

Dear D: Please. Thank you.

(You can email Amy Dickinson ataskamy@amydickinson.comor send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter@askingamyorFacebook.)

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