Dear Mother Of My Children:
Years ago you gave me two wonderful gifts that have brought joy, pain, love, pride, and much more into my life. For this, I thank you and wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.
On this Mother’s Day I wish a gift for you. It’s one that I have wished for you in the past, but you have repeatedly refused to receive it. Please, trust me, if you accept the gift you will have children that love you more. The gift is is the ability to respect; specifically your children. Trust me, this is the gift you need.
Although you feel you deserve to be respected more than you currently are, you do not. You will not be respected more simply because you “care” so much and try so hard to ensure everyone follows the “right” way — your way. You will be respected more if you begin to respect others. Even if you can respect just a little, it would be a start.
Years ago you gave me the gift of being able to raise our children without you for several years. You chose not to see them through some formative times. You missed watching your daughter cross from pre-teen to young-adult, and missed your son entering his pre-teen era. You missed when they left elementary school and all your daughter’s Middle School years. They are 17 and 14, but you still treat them as if they were 11 and 8; the ages when you left. You missed it as they transitioned into young people, learning to form their own opinions, thoughts, and feelings. Young people that are smart, that you should respect, because they deserve it, because they are people.
So this is my gift to you. To help you see how you missed the simplest opportunities to show that they actually matter to you, and that you respect them, so that they may respect you in return.
- Just 3 days ago you decided to ask if the kids could be with you today, Mother’s Day. Although this is my Sunday, of course I said yes. The kids were confused though; if you wanted to spend the day with them, you waited until Thursday night to ask? Didn’t you know Mother’s Day was coming?
For future reference: Please refer to the calendar you received from them today as a gift. Sarcasm is a gift I gave my children years ago.
- When you asked if you could get them Saturday night I politely said no. The kids and I already had plans for the evening; pizza and movie night. You said that it’s more important that you get them, rather than they watch a movie with me. When I inquired as to why — perhaps you were planning to travel out of town overnight to visit your family –you let me know simply that it’s “because Sunday is Mother’s Day”. Sorry, no, the kids wanted the night with me and the movie. When you called the kids directly, had the same conversation with them, and told them that they shouldn’t put the plans with me before coming to stay at your house you were given the same response; we have plans with Dad already. Maybe if you had asked for them further in advance, before our plans were made, before the movie they chose to see arrived in the mail, perhaps then… Alas though, you didn’t.
For future reference: Plan ahead, don’t make them feel like an afterthought, don’t make them feel bad for choosing to stick with plans they had already made.
- In lieu of Saturday night, I said to let me know how early you want the kids on Mother’s Day. I’ll get them up. I’ll feed them. I’ll bring them over. I’ll make sure you can spend the whole day with them. “Eight o’clock. Have them ready to go at eight o’clock.” You will come and get them. Though the kids weren’t happy with the thought of getting up so early on a Sunday they knew they should; it’s Mother’s Day and their mom should get to spend the day with her kids if she desires. Sigh…
For future reference: The next time you have them get up early for you I suggest that you try to be less than an hour late to come get them.
- They thought that since you wanted to pick them up rather than me dropping them off that you would all be going somewhere right away. They expected you to be coming to get them. They did not expect only their step-father to pick them up…because you were still in bed.
For future reference: If you say you want to be with them at a certain time, you should actually try to be with them at that time. Actions speak louder than words.
- The kids asked if I would make breakfast today and I told them no. When I told you I would have them fed by 8:00 you said not to feed them; you were going to have breakfast with them. This was the plan the kids knew about and were excited. They thought they would be going out to breakfast with you to one of the local cafe’s. The cold cereal they had as you were still in bed was less than they expected. File under text messages I don’t like to receive.
For future reference: Do what you say you’re going to do.
You may have discovered by now the gift I truly wish to give is not for you, but it is for our children. I wish for them to receive respect from someone they don’t feel they get it from; from you. I wish for them to not feel like your possessions; like trophies that you hold up to the world to make yourself look better.
Actually, I simply wish you still lived out of state.
I hope I’m done with this for the day.