Mother’s Day – Whose day is it anyway?

I’ve been meaning to get a post up for Mother’s Day for some time now, but I’ve been procrastinating, thinking that I had lots of time! I had also intended for this post to be light, airy and fun. Until I received the email this morning from my ex refusing to let my little one spend any part of the day with me. Apparently he has arbitrarily decided that I will only spend every second Mother’s Day with MY OWN CHILD so that my little one can spend it with his new wife. Awesome.

Every Mother’s Day, my children adamantly refuse to let me out of bed early, they carry up breakfast with the elder carrying the tray of food and the little one bringing up my drink. They then shower me with all the presents they have made at school and purchased with my sister. They excitedly jump on my bed as I open them and once I declare they are the best presents a mom has ever had, we end up in a big snuggle pile. Apparently not this year.

This year my eldest will make two trips up the stairs, one to bring me my breakfast tray and the second to carry my drink without spilling. The affair will be quiet and solemn. (My eldest is the quiet one, my baby – not so much.) He will hand me my food and presents and then sit quietly while I open them. I will proclaim them the best presents ever and he will give me a hug and then go downstairs to play video games. While he is in my room, we will both feel the large hole (and the intense silence) that our baby’s absence makes, he may even mention it to me – but as usual, if he does, he will then cry and I will be at a loss to comfort him. I can’t tell him why his brother can’t be there, I’m not allowed to cry about it in front of him (an almost impossibility). So I have to paste on a smile and pretend that I am okay. Which I’m not.

Every time he sends me an email introducing one of his new rules or laws I can feel the smugness that the Judge has granted him. Every new rule is a twist of a knife in my heart knowing that it not only affects me, but BOTH of my children. As I sit here and cry (hoping that will keep the tears at bay tomorrow), I wonder how anyone can be so insensitive to other human beings – and then I remember who he is and what he has done.

I have learned through the years that Mother’s Day truly is less about me and more about my children. It is the one day of the year that the kidlets get to celebrate their mom and thank her for love, patience and guidance. Children relish this. On Father’s Day the same can be said – each of my children can celebrate their Fathers and do or make something to show them how special they are. I know (especially when he gets older) that my baby will understand this and that he will start to feel some guilt over this – even though it is out of his control. And this makes me more sad.

I will hopefully cry out all of my tears today in private (my eldest is still sleeping) and I will mourn for the day that used to be mine. Tomorrow I will pretend that a big part of my heart is indeed not missing, and go on as if nothing was wrong, like I do every day of every second week. Happy Mother’s Day to me.

(Pity – party of one!)

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  1. sucks so bad felicia. thinking of you as I’ve been there. xoxo

  2. In my court order, it states that our son will spend 9 am – 5 pm on Father’s Day with his Father and the same for Mother’s Day with his Mom (so it’s fair). Does your court order not address this? :-(

    • No, I wasn’t allowed to review the court order before the judge signs it, despite my objection. Therefore the opposing lawyer (I was unrepresented) wrote whatever she wanted and that was left unaddressed.

      • You weren’t allowed to review it? Yikes! I have no idea why that would be considered fair :-( So sorry Felicia!

  3. canadianglen says:

    My heart goes out to you, Felicia. This situation is not right. Perhaps there is ample cause to petition to alter the order. I understand this requires time and cost, but surely that option exists. I wish you as much of a great Mothers Day as possible, for you surely deserve it.

  4. canadianglen says:

    My heart goes out to you, Felicia. This situation is not right. Perhaps this is cause to petition to change the order. I understand this requires time and cost, but surely the circumstances are valid. Have you looked ahead to where your baby will be for Fathers Day? It does not help, but turnabout is fair play. I wish you the most wonderful Mothers Day possible.

  5. I am so sorry to hear this … also sorry to hear that you weren’t able to read your court order ….. I am not sure what I can say to comfort you but please know you have mine (and I am sure many others) support. xx

  6. Linda L. says:

    Have you thought about maybe changing your traditions to fit your new circumstances? We celebrated Easter and Christmas on the Orthodox dates so that I could have everyone together in my home. (It also has the bonus of being able to shop the sales!!) There’s no Orthodox Mother’s Day but you could pick your own date. Unless your ex is prepared to change his extended family’s schedule to stop you, you are in the drivers seat here.
    Please don’t follow the earlier suggestion of doing turnabout on him for Father’s Day – you don’t want to stoop to his level. That makes you no better than him. Your kids will figure it out soon enough and you always have to be able to look them in the eye and say “I did what I could” with integrity. Eventually, he’ll have to explain himself but not to you. You also don’t want to give him any possible ammunition to use against you in the future.
    If you only found out this week that you wouldn’t have your child with you, you need to get your hands on that court order and spend an hour with a lawyer to find out what it really means. If you can’t get that hour for free through the Law Society or a legal clinic, you should find the $$ somewhere to pay for it. Otherwise, you will be at the mercy of his interpretations forever. You should also tell the lawyer that you were unrepresented and didn’t see the order until after it was signed.
    Once the order has been in place for a while, you can go back to court and apply to have it amended so that it is fairer to you. You need to be documenting everything as you go along – even the things that don’t seem important at the time. Even if you can’t afford a lawyer to go to court with you, you need to spend the money to get some tips on what your rights and your kids rights are and how to get them honoured.

    In the meantime, you have to celebrate Mother’s Day every day with both of your kids. Because that’s the one gift that your ex gave you that he can’t take away unless you let him!

    • Are you saying that you consider sharing holidays 50/50 to be “stooping to a level”? This is what courts consider to be fair – and I’m sure most parties would agree. In my situation, the father of my child wanted 50% of all Christian holidays and 100% of all Jewish holidays as well. When I told my Lawyer that I didn’t considered that to be fair, he told me I would have a hard time convicing a Judge it wasn’t fair. Luckily, when I told his Father he could celebrate Jewish holidays on the days he also happened to have access, he settled.

  7. I agree with LInda – you are entitled to a copy of the court orde (which I hope you’ve been given) take it for an opinion. And Mother’s Day is a day picked by Hallmark. You and your boys can pick a special day just for them to call Mother’s Day. ONe that has meaning only to you three. Celebrate with all three of you together another time. Maybe not tomorrow, as your oldest will be wanting to share it with you, but nothing says you can’t do it again next week. Linda also shared good advice. No matter how much you want to stick it back to him (and that’s normal to want him to feel what you feel so he’d understand) if you can look your son in the eye as he grows, he’ll always know how you did the right thing. One day (and it’s not so long from now) he’ll be able to tell the judge what he wants and make some choices your ex can’t change.

  8. I’m sorry you had to spend Mother’s Day like this. I got to pick up my girls from their Father’s house at 9:30 that day as it is in our agreement that Mother’s Day shall be spent with me (and Father’s Day with him). No breakfast in bed for me but I tried not to dwell on it. I hope you have the chance to make some changes to your court order. It is not right that he should just be able to declare things!

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