Author Topic: not counted as contact?  (Read 6459 times)

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amylouky

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2013, 10:58:28 AM »
I have to agree with pps, I don't think an email card for Mother's Day is enough. I know all families and mother/daughter relationships are different, but there's no way that would fly with either my mom or MIL. Actually, since they both live in town, there's no way I could get away with even just mailing a card/gift, they would both be very hurt if we didn't go see them and spend time with them on MD.

Hmmmmm

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 11:02:46 AM »
I'm fine with e-cards from my sister's or friends for bdays as I don't expect much acknowledgement of my bday's from them. To me an e-card equals a text or voicemail saying "Happy Birthday"; minimal effort and doesn't offer much opportunity for interaction. Actually a text or email has more opportunity for interaction since I'd have the opportunity to respond and hopefully get another response back.

As a mom, I would be dissapointed with an e-card "Happy Mother's Day". Though I'm not big into MDay presents, I would hope they'd have time at some point to pick up a phone and try and call me for some type of interaction.

But if you have minimal interaction with your mom, then I guess it would be appropriate in your family.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 11:07:24 AM »
LilacGirl, aren't you the poster who has a difficult relationship with your mother?  If I remember correctly, nothing you do will make her happy.  So I think you just stop feeling guilty and live your life without pandering to your mother.

TootsNYC

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2013, 11:10:52 AM »
I wouldn't call it "contact," no.
Especially not for Mother's Day.

It's one-sided, and it's impersonal. I don't care if you did pick it out. I would far prefer to you to spend all that "time you spent picking it out" calling me on the phone and saying word to me about your life.

I don't want to a vague theory in my children's and grandchildren's lives.

Would I berate them? No. But honestly, a phone call is better.

(I also place a very low value on a written thank-you note, especially if it's not also a letter, and a very high value on a phone call.)

Shoo

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2013, 12:34:10 PM »
LilacGirl, aren't you the poster who has a difficult relationship with your mother?  If I remember correctly, nothing you do will make her happy.  So I think you just stop feeling guilty and live your life without pandering to your mother.

You think it's pandering to give her mother more than an ecard on Mother's Day?  If she has such a difficult relationship to start with, I would think this would only add to that.  It takes two, you know.

JoieGirl7

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2013, 12:47:18 PM »
I don't think it "counts" either.

I didn't get a card from any of my three sons.  But, each one of them called me to chat and wish me a happy mother's day.

My oldest, who works in restaurants pulled a 12+ hours shift that day but called me as soon as he got home.

I would have been disappointed to receive an email card i.l.o. a phone call.

Tea Drinker

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2013, 12:52:48 PM »
There are no right answers to the wrong questions. Unless we're discussing an explicit no-contact request or restraining order (which is what I expected from the subject line), it's not "is that contact?"

The problem is that your mother wants one of two things--a physical card or a phone call--and didn't get them. Someone else would be happy with an ecard or an emailed note; yet another person wouldn't be satisfied unless she got flowers and/or an in-person visit.

If it comes up again, the best approach might be to say "Sorry, Mom, I didn't realize it mattered to have a physical card instead of an electronic one. I'll remember for next time." Then change the subject; if she were to harp on this for months, that would be a different shape of problem.

(As a side note, I could mail a hand-written card for mother's day or a birthday without leaving my apartment building: I have blank cards, I have stamps, and I can mail a letter in the building lobby, so no need to put on a coat or go much further than I would to take out the trash. That doesn't mean the people I write to are being short-changed compared to if I had to go to the store and buy the card first.)
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

GSNW

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2013, 12:53:50 PM »
I agree with PPs who say the e-card is not what *I* would deem a sufficient effort for Mother's Day.  Someone said that you need to consider the generation, and I think that is probably why I'm leaning this way.  I check my email every ten minutes, my mom, who is not yet 60, checks hers maybe every three or four days.  My grandma, don't even bother contacting her on email, by the time she finds it the email will be a month or two old.  YMMV.

I still think sending a card over snail mail indicates some forethought and interest in the occasion, far more than an e-card.  Even picking up the phone is preferable.  I think this can be compared to an email thank you versus an actual card. 

You can always bring it up with your mom again.  "Mom, I didn't realize sending an ecard would hurt your feelings, and I'm sorry they were hurt.  What can I do in the future to show my appreciation?"  If she says send a card, send a card.  If she says call, call.  If she says send a marching band and give her a pony ride, well, I'm afraid that won't be possible.  But if your goal is to show her you care, then ask her how you can best send that message within your abilities.

JoieGirl7

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2013, 01:42:02 PM »
I think the reason that an ecard seems insufficient is because its not really real.

A real card is a real thing that can be displayed on a bed table. An ecard is only there on you computer screen.

When my husband gives me a card, I might even carry it around in my purse for a while or put it on my nightstand to remind me  of his  thoughtfulness.  I love seeing his signed name on it...

A mother's day card that my middle son made for me two or three years ago is still on the fridge!  It's really funny!  He took a piture of one of our dogs and labeled all of his parts with funny names like "pully tail," "fold up arm," "juicy leg" and indicated the full length of the dog as "storage."

The names of the parts were all pet names the kids would use when petting the dogs--kind of a fun thing.  Sometimes they would incorporate them into a song!

So, having that printout on the fridge is a reminder of all of those things including that my son thought of me that mother's day.

Even my other sons who have seen it think its humorous and joke that he "won" that year for bet card.

I love keeping the things my sons give me.  I got a cheesy Christmas card from my oldest son once that had the sweetest message inside.  It was a heartfelt thank you to my husband and me for always being there for him, for encoraging him and an acknowledgement for all that we ever did for him.  I was really nice and I still have it!

An ecard just really isn'the the same.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2013, 02:31:51 PM »
LilacGirl, aren't you the poster who has a difficult relationship with your mother?  If I remember correctly, nothing you do will make her happy.  So I think you just stop feeling guilty and live your life without pandering to your mother.

You think it's pandering to give her mother more than an ecard on Mother's Day?  If she has such a difficult relationship to start with, I would think this would only add to that.  It takes two, you know.

If I am remembering correctly, LilacGirl's mom is the type who would never be happy no matter what she does, and who tramples boundaries all over the place.  In a normal relationship, I would agree that an e-card is not enough.  However, in this particular situation, it may not be that her mom has a problem with an e-card, per se, but that nothing LilacGirl does will ever be good enough.  So this is just another ammunition for her mom to guilt-trip LilacGirl endlessly.  I just don't think the offense is bad enough to justify LilacGirl questioning her boundaries with her mom. 

miranova

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2013, 02:43:18 PM »
I'm surprised this has not been brought up but....what does your mother do for you on your birthday and/or Christmas?

My mother doesn't even call me on my birthday, let alone send a card or gift or visit me. 

So on Mother's Day I surely am not going out of my way for her.  I acknowledge the holiday with a small gift sent in the mail.  Usually some photo gift of her grandkids, with a Happy Mother's Day note attached.  I do not call her. 

Judge me if you want, but I hear from her maybe twice a year on the phone, and we are both adults.  If she is not going to put in effort, then she can't expect it in return.  Adult relationships, even those with family, need to be reciprocal. 

lowspark

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2013, 02:46:52 PM »
Yeah but, in this case at least, most of us feel that the mother was not out of line to be unhappy with what LilacGirl did. Now, if the situation is that LG feels that no matter what she does it isn't enough, and therefore chooses to do the least possible because, after all, why bother, well, then, that's her choice and it could very well be the right choice for her.

However, that's not how the question was put. There was no mention of a toxic re-lationship. Just the question of whether or not an ecard was sufficient for Mother's Day and most of us say it's not.

ETA: In other words, based on how the question was worded I assumed a normal parent-child re-lationship. If it is otherwise and LG wants us to base our responses on her specific situation, then all that should probably be put into the OP.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 02:49:27 PM by lowspark »

snowdragon

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2013, 03:00:40 PM »
I agree with the PP's not really a good thing for Mom's day.

What I would suggest is having your daughter make a card with you next year and send it off.  Not much more effort, and a LOT more personal :)

miranova

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2013, 03:03:42 PM »
Well, that's why I asked.  I agree an e-card is not enough for a normal mother-child relationship.

My dh does not have a warm, loving relationship with his mother but I wouldn't call it toxic exactly either.  He calls her on Mother's Day 100% out of obligation.  He called this last Mother's Day and got voicemail. He left a nice message.  His phone was nearby in case she called back.  She called several days later and said she had just gotten his message and felt a little "cheated" out of her Mother's Day call.  Apparently, he should have kept trying?  This is when things stop being gifts and start feeling like work, when they are not appreciated as the gifts that they are.  I know that if this happens over time, it tends to make people want to do less and less.  (By the way we also sent her a small gift in addition to the phone call).  I don't blame the mother in the OP for being a little hurt, assuming no toxicity, but the best way to make sure you don't get much in the future is to not thank the giver for the gift that they DID give.  I think she should have thanked the OP sincerely for the thoughtful card, instead of saying it "didn't count".  When someone appreciates what I give them, I am more inclined in the future to give even more.

This past Mother's Day I actually spent time with my youngish children explaining to them that once they had wives and young children, the Mother's Day focus should shift to their wives who are doing the "in the trenches" work of mothering young children.  I told them I'd be happy to hear from them but their real job at that point is honoring the mothers who still have young ones and probably don't get much of a break. 

I don't get it when people who haven't had young children to care for in years expect the day to be ALL about them.  A card, phone call, yes all appropriate assuming no toxicity.  But most of the day should be spent, in my opinion, honoring mothers with children still in the home.  Just my opinion I know, and getting slightly off topic.

TootsNYC

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Re: not counted as contact?
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2013, 03:08:28 PM »
I'm surprised this has not been brought up but....what does your mother do for you on your birthday and/or Christmas?

My mother doesn't even call me on my birthday, let alone send a card or gift or visit me. 

So on Mother's Day I surely am not going out of my way for her.  I acknowledge the holiday with a small gift sent in the mail.  Usually some photo gift of her grandkids, with a Happy Mother's Day note attached.  I do not call her. 

Judge me if you want, but I hear from her maybe twice a year on the phone, and we are both adults.  If she is not going to put in effort, then she can't expect it in return.  Adult relationships, even those with family, need to be reciprocal.

Yes, but your mother isn't complaining to you--is she?

Your MIL is not acting appropriately if she is complaining in the situation you describe. But does she feel cheated by DH? Or does she just feel cheated by circumstances, and your DH is the one putting it all on his own shoulders?