You can thank me later

I have some fairly well-entrenched views when it comes to Mother’s Day, as in it should be celebrated, and let’s please be polite about it.

And I know we’re months away from the 2013 edition — May 12, take note! — but I want to give readers ample time to consider the handy-dandy flowchart I’ve compiled, which neatly answers the question: Should you buy the mother of your child/ren a Mother’s Day present?


This post brought to you in honour of all mothers everywhere, and this week’s writing challenge, image vs. text.


  1. Heidi Fluegel says:

    Oh so true!!! I need to forward this anonymously to my husband. (And I didn’t use emoticons! Just lots of apostrophes!)

  2. Oh, you must have overheard my husband. His favourite saying at this time of year is “You’re not my mother!”

  3. Absolutely YES! Now whether she deserves it or not is another story, :-)

  4. This is awesome!

  5. Every day at Grumpa’s House is MOTHER’S DAY!!!!!! As it should be !!!! GRUMPA

  6. Awesome! Love the flow chart!

  7. Haha–love this flow chart. :) I think every mother should give this chart to her husband /. older children. (If the children are too young, then the husband can interpret it for them! lol)….Congrats on being FP!… This gets your message out WAY in advance of Mother’s Day! ;)

  8. This clears everything up. Thanks!!

  9. Reblogged this on Aisuka Susumu and commented:
    Its so complicated.

  10. Loved this! My hubby tried to pull the “you’re not my mother” on me foru first Mother’s Day. Luckily, he worked with all women and they shamed him into buying a gift. He hasn’t missed since – even if it means handing his credit card to his now-adult children!

  11. This is great!

  12. It was great! I was a single dad raising my son alone back in the eighties when it was a rarity and I always got mothers day gifts. Even from my in-laws! No I’,m not gay.

    • Wow! Good job, in-laws! Single parents really do do it all — I’m so happy to know there are families who “get” that.

  13. That was cute, funny and true. Celebrating mothers day is also about thanking the woman for choosing you to father her children. Too many possibilities out there not the be thankful and show it. Do you plan on one of these for fathers day?

    • I’ve thought about it, but I’m not sure there’s much more to say beyond just switching “mother” to “father” throughout. Both parenting roles are challenging and BOTH deserve thanks (and not just one day a year, but if we need Hallmark to prod us into gratitude, so be it!).

  14. Love it!!! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Trevor Karr says:

    Love the flow chart, love the message. My mom is my best friend.

  16. Very funny! I’ll try to remember this. I know my mother definitely ascribes to this view!

  17. Brilliant!

  18. I love the chart though I’d say it would be best for valentines. I think it’s for children to buy something to their mother, and you buy something for your mother ^^

    • Well, my bias is showing. My kids are presently 3.5 and 20 months, with no gainful employment (and therefore no money), so it falls on their papá to follow through (also, they can’t read yet so this flowchart is totally lost on them, haha).

      I do think that Mother’s/Father’s Day should also be an opportunity for the parents to acknowledge each other’s hard work, though. I wouldn’t have the extraordinary privilege of parenting these two little weirdos if it wasn’t for their dad. And goodness knows I give him enough grief throughout the rest of the year; the least I can do is offer up an annual thanks. Usually in the form of steak.

      • hum I don’t know how I’d see that, gifts are welcome ANY time of course but then the “I’m not your mother” might come to mind too. It might be an anglo saxon thing because in France no guy will offer a gift on mother’s day to his wife I don’t even think we’d like that actually ^^
        did I say that a gift was welcome any time though? Just in case my bf is also reading.

  19. Perfect timing for us in the UK – mothers day coming up soon.
    It’s a great post – what a diplomat you are!

    • I know — yours is right around the corner! I suspect most gifts are actually purchased in the 12-24 hours preceding, but you can’t go wrong with a longer lead time.

  20. This is brilliant flowchart, with a humor :)
    out of curiosity! how did this come up to your mind?

    • I really like charts and graphs and other infographics (like my goofy series called Graphakery) and remembered how many of my mama friends were disappointed last year. Seemed like a natural combination!

  21. Love it! If I’m not his mother, then why does he expect me to pick up his dirty socks?

  22. I love your flow chart! Very creative and insightful!

  23. Reblogged this on susanne287 and commented:
    This is hilarious! Short read and excellent for read for everyone!

  24. healthyspiritmindbody says:

    Ooh so true lol my other half gave me the “your not my Mother comment last year” we do not have children together yet I still help care for his children every other weekend! Answer should always be Yes :-)

    • Mothering is in no way limited to biobabies, as you well know! Feel free to casually leave this post open on a shared computer …

  25. Can you create a flow-chart about “Should you buy the mother of your stepchildren a gift even though last time you sent her a card she threatened to sue you for emotional damages?” Still wondering despite all ^^^ that.

    • I’m thinking that anyone that has that strong a reaction to gratitude probably needs more of it. But maybe just in the form of invisible good wishes and not those designed-to-intimidate flowery cards. (And sorry you got such a stinky reaction.)

  26. Buy the gift. Got it!

  27. ohtallulah says:

    I’ve made so many decisions with these kinds of charts ;)
    Thanks for the great post!


  28. Bahaha! This made my day. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  29. Lol nice

  30. Reblogged this on

  31. This is awesome! Very clever. I’m not a mom yet, but I know I’ll feel the same way when I am. Great post.

    • Hey, if I can get folks to understand this simple process even before they have official titles like “mom” and “dad,” more the better!

  32. That was awesome!

  33. Brilliant!

  34. siobhanthinks says:

    My question is, should you buy your step child or your child’s step mother a Mothers day present. My son’s step mother gets me something every year, and while I think its nice of her I haven’t gotten her anything back. I guess I am just not comfortable with it.

    • Fair question. My personal take on it is that it’s the act of parenting that should be celebrated, more than anything else. That said, the single best thing any of us can do as parents is to model respectful relationships for our kids, so if you’ve got that going on, you’re doing well. Gifts are just an add-on.

  35. Need to send this to my husband

  36. Why is this a question? It’s a simple gesture of appreciation for having and raising YOUR children, dads! Haha great chart!

    And congrats on being Freshly Pressed :)

  37. Love it! Will definitely share it with my mother and father. My mom is one of the one’s who always insists on not receiving anything from my dad. He’s been following through with your method for years anyway, without even knowing it.

  38. How about thanking you NOW?

  39. I established with my husband a zillion years ago when the kids were little, his job is to teach the kids to treat me right (always) on Mother’s Day. So be the spirit guide in the making of the heart-shaped pancakes served in bed and presented with a lovely gift to honor me… and when they are a bit older make sure they are delivering such treatment on their own – just like I do for him on Father’s Day.

    • Exactly. It’s a lot easier for kids to understand if that kind of behaviour is an everyday thing, and not just the kind of gratitude that comes out on special occasions.

  40. The moral of this flowchart is…. all women ( not just mums either ) want gifts. I’m betting that most of us would say ‘No, really, don’t bother’, but would tell the whole neighbourhood if we didn’t get a birthday/valentine’s day/Xmas day/mother’s day etc etc gift. And woe betide the person that chooses the wrong gift for us!

    • Oh, don’t you know it. I think the one that really get under my skin is when partners make a genuine effort to get a decent gift — one that the recipient might actually want and use — and they get blasted for it. That’s not cool.

      • I felt let down when a friend gave me foot cream one Xmas, and a teddy bear the next ( I’m 49 years old ). But I kept my mouth shut, because
        1. I’m lucky to have friends and
        2. A present is always nice to get, no matter what it is.

  41. Reblogged this on almond meal.

  42. PERFECT- and so freshly press able. Congratulations

  43. thegamingblackboard says:

    Lol now that’s funny!

  44. twotwolife says:

    So true, one to forward!

  45. I enjoyed it and agree. I think I’ll buy my wife a gift on Mother’s Day this year.

    • In all seriousness, I know it’s hard to know what to do, especially if someone keeps saying, “No, no, I don’t need anything.” But I really think everyone loves that little bit of self-celebration.

  46. VictoriaJoDean says:

    Love it!

  47. umm, how about, if you say you don’t want or need a gift, your not getting one. Get your head together, men don’t want to geuss. Be straight forward, being aloof and mysterious, will just end in your hubby getting a fishing buddy who is less of a pain in the ass.

    • Well, this chart pretty much removes the guesswork.

      For a lot of women, it’s not about being “aloof or mysterious,” it’s about feeling like they genuinely don’t deserve to be treated well. I suspect a woman who has a man in her life who thinks of her as “a pain in the ass” might well fall into that category.

  48. Haha! This is great! So simple, and fool-proof! ;)

  49. Reblogged this on Longhorn Web Design.

  50. Very very clever!!!

  51. donofalltrades says:

    Thanks lady. So, now if you’ll just tell me what to get, order it for me, wrap it for me and write a nice card “from the kids” and send it to her for me, I’ll be set!

    • I’m also gonna tell you you should eat breakfast, but the menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking, consumption and cleanup? That’s on you.

      • donofalltrades says:

        Well poop. Can you make a chart for that breakfast situation too? I’m actually better at gift giving on behalf of others than I am about eating breakfast. My wife likes your chart though…ironically, she’s eating cereal over my shoulder as she reads it. lol.

        • I actually hate — HATE — shopping. I’d rather eat soggy toast and underdone bacon, and I’m a vegetarian, so that’s saying something! Glad your wife approved, though.

  52. You’re so clever. Love it! Congrats on FP!

  53. Terrific!

  54. So much truth in there. When in doubt always partake in gifting. If nothing else it always brightens someones day…unless the gift goes horribly wrong. I learned this after gifting some live plants: I would buy them, the plants instantly got sad. I gifted them, the plants slowly died, and the person I gave them to felt like a failure. Now I am a strong supporter of edible gifts.

    Congratulations on being FP!

  55. Great chart. I like that it can include divorced parents. My ex would never get me a gift, and when your kid is too small to do anything, it can feel…not great to get nothing on mother’s day. I finally told him that he needs to help her get me something just to teach her.

    • I’m so sorry you had disappointing Mother’s Days. If my group of friends is one to go by, you’re definitely not alone.

  56. Reblogged this on Every Life Tells A Story…. and commented:
    Absolutely correct!

  57. This is great:) even my mamas bday, she kept saying “oh you don’t need to send me anything!” But I want to and she does deserve it.

    • A friend of mine sends her mom flowers on her birthday (as in, on my friend’s birthday, as thanks for birthing her). I’ve never gotten it together to do the same but I always thought it was a fantastic idea.

  58. This has almost boggled my mind. Not entirely boggled it, because it was pretty boggled to start with, but close.

    Er.. isn’t the mother of your children you, by definition? Um… *your*=*theirs* Um, no… I think I’ll just stop now….

    • Ah, I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective! It was written with an audience of non-maternal partners in mind (typically fathers, but families come in all sorts of configurations).

      In other words, you could say I wrote it for the father of my own children … but I’m also duty-bound to note that he’s probably the last guy I know who needs the reminder!

  59. no.
    i could come up with a graph which could/would/of necessity point toward that probability.
    but cute sentiment, anyway.

  60. Reblogged this on cjsmum's Blog.

  61. This is adorable. I wonder though. What would your stance be on a person, who is not in contact with his mother anymore (because she is a bitch) but a sort of second mother takes them under their wing after they are 20 years old. Would you get the second mother a gift?

  62. I really like your blog and would love you to feature on mine, All you have to do is write five suggestions along with a link back to your site. Please check out the blog and see the sort of things people have written about. It wont cost you anything and your post will be on a google ranked 3 site. Many Thanks. David

  63. This made me smile!

  64. Gotta be the best flow chart ever. In the world.

  65. This is cool and funny! and helpful too

  66. Same-sex relationships can have children and still get gifts on Mother’s Day. Doesn’t matter if both partners are male or female. It’s about appreciation for your role as a parent. Of course I feel the same about Father’s Day ;-)

    • I agree 100% (which is why I added in the footnote at the bottom). Doesn’t matter to me if it’s called CoParentingPalooza and it’s celebrated in July — as long as the genuinely hard work of civilizing small humans is celebrated! Preferably with gifts. I like gifts.

  67. I did love the chart though and plan on resharing it!

  68. Reblogged this on The Life and Times of a Single Student Mama and commented:
    Great chart! I did want to point out that same-sex relationships can have children and still get gifts on Mother’s Day. Doesn’t matter if both partners are male or female. It’s about appreciation for your role as a parent. Of course I feel the same about Father’s Day. I should get a gift then too ;-).

  69. bilalmussa says:

    Amazing…! Have you thought of any other scenes like Valentines ?

    • I have, but I figure if someone can’t figure out that Valentine’s gifts are non-optional, they’re beyond any help I can offer here on a little ol’ blog!

  70. I love this! Your writing is brilliant.

    feel free to take a look at my blog!

  71. love it… where does us, the children fit in??? :)

  72. *chortle*

  73. nannypology says:

    Perfect. And way to start reminding everyone early!

  74. Infallible logic and a great laugh–thanks!

  75. Love this!!! Made my day!

  76. Classic thank for this ill pass it onto my partner

  77. Reblogged this on Living life to the fullest! Its short!!! and commented:
    Very funny and those who are not fond of gifting people, you could grab a point or two…

  78. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  79. ~ First, congrats on being FP! What caught my attention was the flowchart since I always do that at work and I made a flowchart of my lovelife (which really sucks, negative one)… but this one, this is a happy flowchart (it made me smile) — a reminder that we should be grateful for our mums and should really, really buy her a gift. Since I was working abroad, the two-day visit to family (my mum and sisters, too) was one of the best experiences of my life. Hope you can also relate. Again, kudos for the nice post. I love it! (-;

  80. This is so true! LOL

  81. This is amazing :)

  82. Agreed – 100%!!

  83. Reblogged this on Kitrin Jeffrey Photography and commented:
    Greetings Everyone,

    After a rough night with Little Man, I’m taking the easy way out today. I’ve wanted to share this little gem of a blog post with you since I read it a couple of weeks ago. “You can thank me later” is written by a lovely gal named Jeni, a Mom I met online. I’ve been following her blog since it’s inception, and let me tell you, she puts my writing skills to shame. Her blog is full of witty, insightful, posts, and she isn’t one to mince words or water down her opinion. This post was published a couple weeks ago about Mother’s Day, which for our Canadian and American readers is just a short two months away. Jeni’s Mother’s Day post was viral, and ended up being featured on Freshly Pressed. Kudos to you Jeni! This message for all you Dad’s out there; take special note of the handy flow chart.

    Happy Thursday Everyone,


  84. Hey Miss Jeni,

    I loved this post so much, I reblogged it. Hope you don’t mind!


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