Father-son momentA Mother’s Day Letter to Fathers & Partners

Hopefully you are someone who not only appreciates your own mother but is also open to the idea that assisting your children in honoring their mother is a worthy cause as well.

If so, on behalf of mothers everywhere 'thank you' for caring about this role. Respect for your mother is one of those aspects of family life that is often easier to learn when the message is heard and reinforced by others.

I was reminded of this lesson recently when chatting with a friend who is the mother of five. I asked her what she wanted for Mother’s Day and she said that she had already gotten her present and that it was the best Mother’s Day gift ever. Interestingly it came not from her children but from her husband, on a day when the kids were being rather disrespectful. When her husband heard their sassiness he went on a tirade:

"Don’t talk to your mother like that! She loves you and cares for you and does so much for you! Your mother is the most important person in the world and you should treat her with respect!'"

Of course, her kids weren't crazy about the dress down but it did make them more mindful and it was clearly a message they needed to hear. (As well as see modeled!)

As she told me this story I had to agree that it really was the best Mother’s Day present ever. So this Mother's Day, while helping them write a card or reminding them to get her a gift or call her is wonderful, if you really want to get her a present, here is my suggestion. Go on a mini-rant (or just sit your kids down) and tell them how important it is to appreciate their mother.

Here's to appreciating awesome mothers on Mother's Day and Everyday! ~ Annie

p.s. Dear Everyone Else: Kids need to hear this message many times. Especially if there isn't a second parent in the picture! Relatives? Friends? Teachers? Neighbors? Lady in line behind them at the supermarket? Speak up! The more sources the better!

p.p.s. Dear Moms: Don’t forget that you too have work to do. Starting with self-respect in whether you allow your children to talk to you in certain ways (think consequences) AND whether you try to teach them the skills of communicating what you want them to learn. It helps when you can model that respect toward them and toward their other parent! Here's hoping you have a wonderful Mother's Day!


Dear Annie,

I have an arranged marriage that is having problems. When my husband and I talk, he makes issues out of everthing I say. Also he never supports me with my mother-in-law who seems to look for that moment when she can create a misunderstanding between us.

I have a baby and my husband threatens divorce. Then calls up my parents every other day complaining. What can I do to make this better? ~ Worried and Discouraged

Dear Worried,

I am sorry that you and your husband are having so much trouble. I imagine that neither of you expected your marriage to be this way. And adding an un-supportive mother-in-law into the mix makes it that much harder to create a marriage where you and your husband feel like you are on the same side. ...continue reading

Married_mans_ring_fingerHi Annie,

Here is my situation. I'm upset that my husband has an ex-coworker friend - female - that he texts everyday. She lives about 3 hours away, is about 20 years younger than him and is divorced.

He assures me that there's nothing romantic going on and has made an attempt to keep the texting down when we're out for dinner, but every night he's in the TV room and they are texting a lot.

He has left two wives (one which was me - we have remarried) for other women. So if I accept what he's saying, am I fooling myself?

Signed ~ Fool for Love

Dear Dear Woman, ...continue reading

ABCGMA_logo#1: The following is the first of 3 questions for the ABC Good Morning America Advice Guru Challenge. I applied for the position. What do you think of my 150-word-or-less answer?

Whenever there is an issue between my mother-in-law and me, my husband refuses to stand up for me. How do I get him to value our relationship more than the one with his mother?

Annie Answers: Do you and your husband agree that marriage is about having each other's backs? If not - I think I've found the real challenge. But if so then you need to ask him to have yours. In order to grow in your relationship as opposed to grow apart - he will need to set the record straight with his mom that you matter. ...continue reading


Marriage Dilemma: Wife's resentment at husband's sports league commitments.

There's a good chance that when you first got together with your now-partner, him playing on a sports team with his friends was all part of the fun.

But now that you are married with small children and limited family time, this activity may feel like a luxury that's beyond the family budget and one that causes on-going resentment every time he grabs his mitt and heads out the door. ...continue reading