This Mother's Day Suggestion 'May Ruffle Feathers'

Emily Wehner says young moms should prioritize themselves, not their own moms or mothers-in-law
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2024 9:53 AM CDT
Mom Goes Viral for Her 'Mother's Day Rules'
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/PeopleImages)

If you're still debating what to do Sunday for Mother's Day and you're a mom with young kids, Emily Wehner is giving you the OK to do whatever the heck you want—even if that means shirking a visit to your own mom. The Indiana mom's "Mother's Day Rules" have gone viral, suggesting those currently "deep into the mothering" prioritize themselves over other moms.

  • Viral video: In a TikTok from last month that has earned 2.3 million views, Wehner offers advice that she concedes "may ruffle feathers." She says that after her first Mother's Day, which she spent "coordinating grandparent visits," she decided she wasn't doing that again. Wehner says she prefers brunching with her husband and two kids, then spending the day in her garden. "I'm gonna take the day how how I wanna take the day," she noted.

  • And her own mom? Wehner says she doesn't completely neglect her mother and mother-in-law—they're just celebrated on a different day. And she says her mom's cool with it. "As a mom of three daughters, she remembers what it was like to have really little kids and to often feel spread thin," Wehner tells USA Today. "She completely understands my desire to shift the focus, for now, to spending the day with my little family and doing something for myself that I otherwise might not feel like I have the time or energy to do."
  • Down with Wehner's 'rules': Her message is resonating. "If you, with a young child, want to spend your Mother's Day with your mom, with your grandma, with other moms, you should do whatever you want to do," one commenter weighs in with her own TikTok. But if a young mom also wants to just read a book or otherwise find her peace, she should be able to do so "without obligation or guilt."
  • Not down with the 'rules': Others, however, are horrified at the suggestion that older mothers be deprioritized, per Today. "I am so tired of moms and [mothers-in-law] and grandparents being s--- on, on this app," another mom, age 53, railed in her TikTok. "When did the younger generation just totally throw us to the wolves? ... I don't understand—like, it's just the moms of young kids that should really be celebrated for Mother's Day? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
More reaction here and here. (More Mother's Day stories.)

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