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Mother's Day Times Two

In theory, having two moms at 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 at Mother’s Day. First, in all likelihood, you’re both daughters and have your moms and/or 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 is the two of you.

Who sneaks off with the kids to make sure they do the right thing? Because they won’t on their own, no matter how much they love you. They’re children, they’re forgetful, indolent and self-centered—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 is what you do for mom.

And do you coordinate so that the kids get a uniform message about what mother’s deserve, so no one feels slighted? Or does each mother need to be considered separately so that their Mother’s Day experience is tailored 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 time between events to recover and recoup funds if gifts are coming 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 own 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 donut 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 favorite meal.

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

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

Fortunately 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 donut will do just fine, we can make breakfast ourselves.


Blogger Bio: Beren deMotier is a Carol Brady in Levis/tattooed lesbian mama in a mini-van, obsessed with safety, doing the right thing and the amount of dog hair on her wood floors. She is a regular contributor to both Curve and Black Lamb, and has written for Hip Mama, And Baby, Pride Parenting,, and for her blog, “That Lesbian Mom Next Door.” Her multi-award-winning book, The Brides of March: Memoir of a Same-Sex Marriage, recounts her giddy leap through a legal window, straight onto the barbeque pit of public debate when she and her partner married in Oregon in 2004, their three children along for the raucous ride. (