It’s Mother’s Day, not Grandmother’s day. What’s up with that?

Mother's Day not Grandmother's day via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I do love Mother’s Day, don’t you? I love Father’s Day now that we have kids for the same reasons really, I love to celebrate that we are parents and the boys get so excited about giving us something!

One thing I’ve never understood, and it’s an area that me and Adam differed on a lot when we were younger, is gift or card giving to Grandparents on those special days. So I want to know, do you do it?

When I first had Reuben I was so ill that I ended up back in hospital for quite a time, and I had only just come back out when it was Mother’s Day. I was recovering from septicaemia that had developed from an infection in my c-section wound. I was so very ill, I could hardly get off the sofa so of course Adam had to go up and see his Mum on his own on Mother’s Day. With Reuben being bottle fed due to the illness (which devastated me enough), that meant Adam could leave me to sleep while he took Roo to have a visit with Grandma. All pretty normal Mother’s Day stuff, until he came home to tell me not to worry, he’d bought a Grandmother’s card from the shop on the way, and handed my mum a card too!

I was hormonal and, to be blunt, pretty depressed having had all my expectations of new motherhood trollied by this illness. I remember looking at Adam and just bursting into tears. How dare he take my baby up to his mother and gift her with a card, it’s my day god damn it and I was struggling enough to enjoy it as it was. I wasn’t the only one surprised because my mum was equally confused to receive a card “from Reuben” and wasn’t really sure what to do with hers!

Pretty silly of me to melt down, I know. But hey, hormones and after everything I had been through I was going to be damned if anyone else was sharing the Mother’s Day vibe with my son.

After my initial upset and the replacing of the dummy to my mouth, we had a chat and it turns out that this “grandparent” card giving is the norm for Adam, and millions of other people, whereas I had never had that experience. In my family, Mother’s Day was and is for my mum not for my Grandmother or anyone else, yet Adam always bought his Grandma a card.

I find the whole thing odd, it is Mother’s Day and despite having a fundamental role with my children, my mother and mother in law are not their Mother, nor would either of them want to be or try to be. I also know that there is Grandparents day, but this seems to have been ditched of late in favour of gift giving on the respective gender day (mother or father).

Is it something that you do in your family? If not do you remember it being done when you were younger or is this a new commercialisation that is merited purely by its ability to grab a few extra quid from the consumer when they are already spending.

Since talking about it with Adam we came to the conclusion that we wouldn’t give gifts to our parents from our children on Mother’s/Father’s day, so that has become our norm for our boys, though we do make sure that our Mother’s always get a card from us.

H x


  1. Avatar
    October 19, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    Wow I am glad I’m not the only one who is aggravated with this. Mothers day seems to always be about making sure to go see my mom and MIL. Otherwise there is hell to pay it we dont take time for them! I doubt I ever get a mothers day that is about me as long as they are alive. I love them and all I just wish I could just celebrate it with my kids and husband alone.

    • Avatar
      March 17, 2019 / 4:11 pm

      Accidently book a holiday for that weekend!!

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      May 8, 2019 / 4:14 am

      Im feeling same way

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      May 12, 2019 / 11:00 am

      Sounds like you’re a shelfish cow…without your mother, would there be a ‘you’…definitely not…just because you have had a child, does it now mean your mother has to miss out!!!

      • Avatar
        May 5, 2020 / 7:30 am

        Her mother is not missing out. She is receiving a card from HER daughter. Why should the granddaughter give grandma a card on Mother’s Day?

      • Avatar
        August 28, 2020 / 9:12 pm

        Could you be any more of a cow yourself for saying that?

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    Grace Lovell
    June 11, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    One day most of these young mothers will be grandmothers sitting at home alone on Mother’s Day. There is enough love to go around surely. Enough joy to celebrate as a family. Raise a glass to your mother, your mother in law, and have one raised to you. Your children will learn the value of family, the love and respect from one generation to the next, how to honor the women in their family. Why this need to hoard the day? Why not bring the mothers together who loved and nurtured the children and grandchildren at the table? We are still mothers, not just grandmothers.

    I was alone on Mothers Day this year. My son lied to me, making excuses about soccer games, etc on that Sunday. The grandchildren told me later that Mothers Day was not for grandmothers and that they stayed at home all day just hanging out. I am saddened not just for myself but for my grandchildren who are learning to exclude loved ones in such a selfish way. My son went every Mothers Day to his grandmother’s house with a card and the anticipation of a family meal where we told stories and celebrated. We saw it as an opportunity to be together, to honor our mother, our grandmothers, our aunts.. It wasn’t a day about ME. It was a day about the women in our family who mothered us.

    • Harriet June 11, 2018 / 6:29 pm

      I’m sorry that happened to you, how sad! I think you misunderstood the post though – WE celebrate our mums. I celebrate mine, Adam his. We visited my MIL this year and would always do so if we could. Our children celebrate me. Not my mother or Adam’s. They celebrate their MOTHER on mother’s day, as we do ours, but there is no need for them to gift women who are not their mothers.

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    Tara Gauvreau
    May 13, 2018 / 7:47 pm

    I just found this thread while searching in my upset. My MIL came over today. Mother’s Day. This is my first Mother’s Day as a mom of two and my last Mother’s Day EVER as a new mom. She said probably 10x that it was nanas day. I was too taken aback to say anything. So we quickly ushered them out. We talked about it and from her on foreword we will not be having them over the weekend of mother’s day. This is for me and my kids. I’m glad I’m not alone!!! My hubs will get her a card from him and me. Not the kids!! Save that for grandparents day.

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    Melinda Rogers
    May 11, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    I am a young mom of three kiddos. Every year I stress over what to buy my mother in law because my husband won’t buy her anything and it puts alot of burden on me. I have become to the point where I hate this holiday because we have to spend so much time praising my mother in law that I feel left out. Example, this year I had made brunch reservations for myself, husband and kids to enjoy a relaxing brunch alone and mother in law decides that the entire family needs to have an early lunch on Mother’s day. We have to invite every grandma and my sister in laws mother in law and it has just become such a ridiculous spectacle. I am, of course, in charge of the reservations. Go figure. I am just sick of having to cater to everyone else. I want my day! I want to be recognized and just be lazy if I want. I work by ass off for my family and extended family and I don’t even get this one day. I vote keep Mother’s day for Mother’s only. Grandma’s had their turn already.

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    Jake Gates
    May 11, 2018 / 7:55 am

    Your celebrating all mothers grandmas are mothers to its a holiday to celebrate and thank all mothers not just your own. You wouldn’t be like I don’t thank you because your not my mother, you don’t just not take your children to see grandma because it’s your mothers day only you take them to thank her for being a mother To you allowing you to have a chance to have your own children you don’t understand mothers day at all if you thinks it’s just about yourself celebrating your own mother

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      May 13, 2018 / 9:09 am

      Yah but regardless my grandmother isn’t my mother and never treated or acted the way my mother does. So I celebrate my mom, cause she’s my mother. My grandmother isn’t my mother, I didn’t grow up with her. No one can replace your mom, don’t see why you should praise other people for being Mother’s to other people. I celebrate the one lady who impacted my life. Not saying I won’t wish them happy Mother’s Day, just won’t go out of my way to buy a present for my grandmother or aunt etc.

      • Avatar April 29, 2020 / 5:37 am

        Actually I love my grandma more.

      • Avatar April 29, 2020 / 5:39 am

        Actually I love my grandma more, but I still love the both of them!

      • Avatar April 29, 2020 / 5:40 am

        Actually I love my grandma more, but I still love the both of them! And I also grew up with both of them.

      • Avatar April 29, 2020 / 5:40 am

        but I still love the both of them! And I also grew up with both of them.

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    May 2, 2018 / 3:49 am

    I have bought a present for my mum from my baby but explained that we will see mum on thr Saturday. I love my mum and want to celebrate with her, but on mothers day i want it to be about my husband, baby and me spending the day together. I have been made to feel like the worst person in the world becaise of not seeing my mum on mothers day… we are seeing her the day before. my baby has two naps a day and I dont want to rush arpund seeing grandparents on my first mothers day… I feel terrible but its the first time im doing something for me. Is this so bad?

  7. Avatar
    May 4, 2016 / 5:20 am

    My hubby and I agree with you on this one! It is Mother’s Day not Grandmother’s Day (and Father’s Day etc.). My mom and her mom seem to forget this (although I love them dearly…this year I finally put my foot down…it took four years but…lol). My MIL seems to forget it is my day now since all of her kids are out of the house but after last year (the only year we’ve actually lived near my in-laws) I think she got the message so my hubby will drop her gift off before the weekend…that I made him buy…and then we’re moving again so shouldn’t be a problem. 🙂

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      May 4, 2016 / 5:29 am

      However I do see why people do it but to be frank I think all of these are Hallmark holidays and are totally aimed at making money. I do participate though so they get my money lol! I’m trying to make it meaningful though now that I have littles…a good way to celebrate generations by doing a “Girls weekend” with Grandma, daughters, granddaughters, great grands, etc. or getaway with my little family. Something so it’s not just about me…I like my family to enjoy it too and that’s a perfect gift for everyone or for me at least!!! ?

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      May 13, 2018 / 9:16 am

      Sorry to disagree with you, just wanted to point something out. Regardless if you have children, it doesn’t change the fact that you have a mom. Your parents are only grandparents to your children not yourself. I can understand your husband treating you to supper or something, but just because you’re now a mother I don’t see how that cancels your mom out. Mother’s Day is about your mother, your husbands mom is not you, though you are the mother of his children and he will treat you. But don’t forget you have a Mother.think of it this way, 20 years down the line your children don’t come have lunch with you on mother’s day instead they spending it indoors all day with their husband/wife and one kid. How much of a mother would you feel then ?

  8. Avatar February 27, 2016 / 11:22 pm

    It’s only since having Sophie that on Mother’s Day/Father’s Day we buy grandparents’ a little gift from her. I know not all people do, but I still think it’s a sweet idea 🙂 xx

    • Harriet February 28, 2016 / 1:00 pm

      Oh lovely Emma, see we’re not doing it… purely because I’m not good at sharing, but I do think it’s sweet if you want to! H 🙂 x

  9. Avatar February 27, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    It’s not something that either myself or my husband do but I can see why people would do it. xo

    • Harriet February 28, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      Me too Harriet 🙂 H x

  10. Avatar February 27, 2016 / 9:59 am

    I’ve never really thought about it to be honest. If I see a Nan card for mother’s day I might send one, but I don’t feel bad if I don’t. Now I’m a mother I do think it’s important that I’m treated specially but unfortunately hubby isn’t os great at that!

    • Harriet February 28, 2016 / 1:07 pm

      Oh no Alex – get him sorted!! I do think it’s massively important, I just believe that you should be treat special by your children and you treat your parent special etc etc, not your kids to your mother… I can’t share haha! H x

  11. Avatar February 26, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    I think it is a kind gesture, including the grannies in. After all, they were and continue to be mothers too, even after we have our own children.

    • Harriet February 26, 2016 / 9:13 pm

      Oh we buy for our own Mums Oana – I get for mine, Adam for his, but they aren’t my kiddies mums so I don’t get FROM the kids to them, if that makes sense. It is a kind gesture… I’m just not good at sharing haha! H x

  12. Avatar February 26, 2016 / 11:35 am

    My husband is useless at mother’s day and his mum wouldn’t get anything if it wasn’t for me, so in that way, we do give to her as a grandparent. I’ve kind of decided i kill two birds with one stone if i give the grandma’s one gift from the kids (usually) something handmade. sorry your time in hospital was so pants 🙁 xx

    • Harriet February 26, 2016 / 12:12 pm

      Awh thanks Amanda, couldn’t be helped I’m afraid *sigh*. I love your handmade ideas they are wonderful – you (and the kids) are super talented! H x

  13. Avatar February 26, 2016 / 8:09 am

    It’s a strange concept isn’t it. I don’t get anything for grandparents from the kids but I do get my nan some flowers because her daughter (my mum) and her son both emigrated to Australia about 8 years ago. She’s been like my mum since then. I don’t go ott just get her a token bunch x

    • Harriet February 26, 2016 / 9:37 am

      Yes, I’ve always thought so Kerry – yet to Adam (and loads of others according to social) it is the norm. I wonder if its a generation thing or maybe a postcode code thing? I think it’s lovely that you do that for your Nan, so sweet 🙂 xx

    • Harriet February 26, 2016 / 9:39 am

      It’s crazy how different people are Jemma – I had genuinely never heard of it! When I asked the question on Facebook it was literally a 50/50 divide of people like yourself who found it weird not to and people like me who think its weird to do it! So funny! I’ll count you in #TeamAdam haha 🙂

  14. Avatar February 26, 2016 / 7:51 am

    No it’s Mother’s Day, so I get a card from Toby, my mum gets a card from me and Phil’s mum from him! My mum looks after Toby a lot for us, but that’s something that I thank her for as she’s helping me out. Totally with you and I’d have cried too!xx

    • Harriet February 26, 2016 / 9:40 am

      See this is my thinking Hannah! My mum does an awful lot for the children, but she’s my Mum so she doesn’t get anything from them on Mother’s Day. By the same token, my MIL used to have the boys an afternoon once or twice a week which was a huge help – we genuinely appreciate/d everything they both do, but they still aren’t their mother and don’t get cards from them!! Good to know I’m not the only crier bahaha!! x

  15. Avatar February 26, 2016 / 7:37 am

    I think when I was little I gave a card to my man as well as my mum. I only buy cards my our mums and then sin them from all of us. Although the this year I found some cute mugs for nan and grandma which will go with their presents we give them.

    • Harriet February 26, 2016 / 9:42 am

      That is exactly like Adam! This post has been really funny for us because it’s been so 50/50 with people – every time someone agrees with one of us we’ve said to the other “See! It’s not just me” or “See, they think it’s weird too!” Haha! It’s one of those things that everyone does differently I guess! I do love the Nana/Grandma mugs though 🙂

  16. Avatar
    February 16, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    I’ve always found this strange too and the same as you, my husband and I had different experiences. I get my Mum a present from me and he gets one for his mum from him. Then we get his mum a card from the children as his sister does the same with her children and we don’t want our children to be the ones that don’t but my mum doesn’t get one from them as my sister doesn’t and we don’t want her children to be the ones that don’t. My Mum is fine with this as she doesn’t want one from them as long as she has one from me. xx

  17. Avatar February 15, 2016 / 10:25 pm

    This is also something that Tim and I differ on too… We always gave cards and gifts to each grandparent on the respective days, but Tim didn’t. It does seem to have become more prevalent, with cards specifically for grandparents, aunts, even people “like a mother” which is different to when we were younger and had to find a generic one. But I actually like it…

    I have a very inclusive idea of family (I even called my housemates at uni my family!) and I send cards and gifts for all manner of occasions, so I guess for me it’s not so unusual. I can see how it could seem odd to others though!

    Interestingly Tim and I don’t always give each other cards and gifts on special occasions. I think we’ve just mutually decided to go with whatever works for us at the time 😉 but I have to say Tim and I often find ourselves doing things totally differently to most other people (I can’t count the number of times someone has asked Tim “but doesn’t your wife mind?” and he’s then thought to ask me and I’ve replied with “why would I mind?” only to be told “all the women at work said they would!” haha) so my answer to your question probably sounds a bit odd!!

  18. Avatar February 15, 2016 / 9:03 am

    On Mother’s Day, I give my mother a gift and my husband gives his mother a gift and my kids give me a present. If you are in the U.S., there is a separate grandparents day on September 11 (that is kind of a horrible day to try to celebrate anything on after 9/11).

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