2woman_holdinglittleboyIn theory, having two moms on Mother’s Day means twice the fun! One mom more to celebrate, and a day off in June when everyone else is hustling around at the last minute selecting ties or trying to figure out what Dad would like besides a weekend away from the family.

That applies to Moms, too; I’m not being biased. Let’s just say it tops my wish list.

In reality, the two-mom household thing can get awkward on Mother’s Day. First, in all likelihood, you’re both daughters and have your moms and step-moms to think of. Then there is the question of the in-laws—how long do you have to be together before you send your mother-in-law a Mother’s Day card? And then there are the two of you.

Who sneaks off with the kids to ensure they do the right thing? Because they won’t work on their own, no matter how much they love you. They’re children, forgetful, lazy and self-centred—that’s their job; it becomes someone’s job to teach them that flowers and candy or bubble bath and the day off or a football jersey and a six-pack of beer are what you do for mom.

And do you coordinate so that the kids get a consistent message about what mothers deserve, so no one feels slighted? Or does each mother need to be considered separately to tailor their Mother’s Day experience to their specific tastes?

That’s a lot of coordinating.

One option is to give the Boy-Mom (if there is one) Father’s Day so that there is the time between events to recover and recoup funds if gifts come out of allowances or for the flowers to re-grow if they’ve been ripped from the ground to make bouquets. In a two-Boy-Mom family, this could make Father’s Day messy but Mother’s Day a breeze; the moms could focus on their moms without being fed breakfast in bed or taken out to brunch.

Admittedly, we’ve kind of failed in this area. Some years we’ve just said screw it, and if the kids come up with cards or a doughnut on their own, so be it. Some years I’ve been the recipient of beautiful gardening books, and last year, a mini-laptop (my wife had to be out of town for the weekend, so I think she was racking up points for later). Other years I drew portraits of the latest baby for my wife or cooked her favourite meal.

The kids have presented homemade coupons for “good behaviour” or “hugs”. Maybe we should start cashing them in since two of them are teens and might not otherwise be willing to give good behaviour or hugs…

And failing isn’t entirely wrong, I mean, we wanted to discourage consumerism and receiving stuff we didn’t need, and they didn’t need to give to say “I love you.” We didn’t want to set some high standard for expectations that would put pressure on innocent children for the rest of our lives. That’s a lose-lose for everyone.

Fortunately, the school takes care of this in the elementary years by providing art projects for kids to take home, and they’ve always let our kids make two. And I guess if the kids are talking to us in middle school and high school years, we can count ourselves lucky. A coupon or a doughnut will do just fine; we can make breakfast ourselves.