Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it’s the time of the year again to debate with your spouse if you should spend Mother’s Day with your mother-in-law. It doesn’t have to be a debate, really.
From the standpoint of each and every person, the Mother is the most important person to spend time with on Mother’s Day. Regardless of which role you’re in (the husband, or the wife, or as the mother in the family), understanding this would form the basis to having the empathy necessary to begin a meaningful discussion with your better half to hopefully reach a compromise that works for both.
The Importance of Mother’s Day for Every Person
Often, when we focus too much on our own wants and how much we’re missing out when we don’t get what we want, the feeling can be overpowering and play havoc with our emotions which then shows up in our actions.
On Mother’s Day, spending time with one’s own mother is a very natural desire to have and should be acknowledged. In this case, the husband and the wife would each want to spend time with their mother and it’s a standpoint that’s entirely understandable.
Or, when you’re the mother yourself, wanting to spend the day celebrating with your own children should be fully respected as well!
The needs and wants of each person in a couple cannot and shouldn’t be ignored. A comprise – without trivializing the importance of you and your spouse’s desire – would be the better and happier way forward.
Talk, discuss and reach an acceptable compromise – that’s what it means to be husband and wife.
Should I Have to Spend Mother’s Day with My Mother-in-law?
It is not an easy situation to be in when you’re wanting to spend Mother’s Day with your Mom, but at the same time, feeling that there’s a responsibility to spend some time with your mom-in-law.
As each situation is different, let’s break down and understand the roles that you could be in before moving on from there.
As the Husband
Some men dread (apologies for the lack of a better word) spending time with the in-law. Of course, there are husbands who feel entirely comfortable spending time with his wife’s side of the family.
Men, by nature, have in them a protective nature. A man, who was once a boy, grew up with being or feeling like being the protector of his mother. It’s especially true if he’s the only child.
It’s a nature that follows the man into adulthood and that then includes protecting his own family, but without losing the initial bond to his mother.
As the Wife
The bond between a mother and a daughter is something special. As the saying goes, “A mother’s and daughter’s love is never separated”, or that “A mother is a daughter’s best friend.”
No matter the physical distance apart, or which stage of life she’s at, her mother will always hold a special place in her heart!
Celebrating this unique bond is akin to imparting the message to the children that they should never forget their mother’s love when they grow up.
As the Mother In the Family
Most crucially – Mother’s Day is for celebrating mothers. And there’s no mother more immediate to acknowledge than the mother in the family!
Without happiness in the core family, there will be no prosperity in the wider community.
Regardless of whose in-law the family decides to spend Mother’s Day with, celebrating the day with the mother in the family should always feature as the priority.
With all that said, all perspectives are important and it is with these considerations that you should try to talk to your spouse to reach a plan or a compromise of sorts that work for all.
The need to put oneself in someone’s shoes can never be more accurate in this situation!
Compromises are never easy, but nonetheless it’s the way to go for a married couple.
Spending Mother’s Day with Your Mother-in-law when She’s Far Away
The above works more easily when all the locations that you have to get to are close by. However, it takes a bit of maneuvering – physically and in planning – when the in-law lives far away from you.
The distance is an unknown factor for each situation – it could be (i) a matter of a couple of hours of driving, or it could mean (ii) having to take a flight translating into many hours in between locations.
For the sake of clarity, let’s also divide the entire Mother’s Day into two “primetime” – the lunch and the dinner!
Your Mom-in-law Isn’t Far Away
In a celebratory day that is made up of two halves it will be inconsiderate to demand taking both primetime slots for one side of the family – the lunch and the dinner.
Meaning, overstaying at one place would be indelicate or insensitive towards your spouse.
Reaching a compromise of taking one slot each would mean both in the couple get to celebrate the day with their respective mothers.
Your Mom-in-law Is Far Away
Mother’s Day celebrations do not necessarily have to strictly be confined to the day itself, technically.
Considering the need to travel long distances between locations, perhaps one side of the celebration can be arranged for the eve of Mother’s Day.
As Mother’s Day will always fall on the second Sunday of May (well, for most countries at least), the Saturday before it is still the same weekend and should not stop everyone from having a good time!
Although getting a Mother’s Day gift for your mom-in-law is another matter to consider, being able to spend at least part of the day with your in-laws would mean a lot for your spouse.
National Grandparents Day
Not everybody is aware of the National Grandparents Day (source).
Although it is only a secular holiday in some countries – celebrated on various days of the year – others celebrate it separately as Grandmothers’ Day and Grandfathers’ Day.
For example, Grandparents Day is in September in the States while it’s in October in the UK (see the source above for other countries).
It is a day dedicated for grandparents, so it’s the perfect day to celebrate them although showing them love on Mother’s Day shouldn’t be ignored altogether.
Everybody grows old. Parents will eventually become grandparents.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Mother’s Day is really a time for family bonding and for celebrating mothers who form the core of families.
Not working out how to spend the day with your family and the in-laws, if that’s what both of you want, thereby causing unease or unhappiness simply goes against the very spirit that the Mother’s Day celebration is all about.
Pick out some Mother’s Day gifts, and let’s look forward to each get-together and make the most of the time spent with the family!