Marriage Viewpoints: Mother’s Day – Pleasing Mom vs. Pleasing Wife

boiled crawfish houston mother's day

Mother’s Day & Crawfish Don’t Mix

When you live in the same city as your mother-in-law, there are some challenges. For me, Mother’s Day is one of them.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a great MIL. She loves my family and bends over backwards to help us. However, her Mother’s Day gift got my husband in BIG trouble during my first few years as a mom.

On my first Mother’s Day, when our daughter was one month old, Fred decided to celebrate with his family’s favorite feast: a crawfish boil. He brought home a cooler filled with 100 pounds of crawling mud bugs. They’re a Cajun delicacy that are usually served boiled with corn and potatoes. They taste pretty good, but they’re difficult to eat (you have to shell them), awful to look at (think red cockroaches), and messy to clean up after (imagine smelly shells and juice all over your kitchen). Fred likes to make them spicy. Because I was nursing our newborn, I couldn’t eat any even if I had wanted to.

Somehow over the next couple of years this became a family tradition, and Mother’s Day meant a crawfish boil at our house. After years of passive aggressive tactics that didn’t work, I finally spelled it out for hubby: No more crawfish boils on my day!

In retrospect, better communication probably would’ve solved our problem sooner. And it had to be tough on Fred trying to balance the wishes of the two women he loves. Thankfully, we now share Mother’s Day just fine as long as crawfish isn’t on the menu. – KayEm

The Crawfish Debacle

Mother’s Day becomes complicated when your wife becomes a mother. Although she is not your mother, she is the mother of your children and deserves special treatment.

But you still have an obligation to show some appreciation for the woman who nurtured you, kissed your boo-boos, and carried you in her womb for nine months.

It takes a skilled man to keep both mother and wife satisfied on Mother’s Day. I still haven’t found the right balance, but I have learned one major lesson: Don’t serve crawfish on Mother’s Day.

It all started so innocently with a son’s trying to make his mom happy. My mother has Louisiana blood running through her veins and has never met a crawfish she didn’t like. When one of my employees told me about a place where I could buy 50 lb sacks for $25.00, I knew I had found the perfect Mother’s Day gift. I ordered two sacks and planned an old fashioned crawfish boil in honor of my mother.

Perhaps I should have discussed my plans with KayEm, but I didn’t because I figured she wouldn’t mind.

Guess what? She did mind.

KayEm pretended to have a good time while everyone slurped on mud bugs, but she was fuming inside. It didn’t help that the entire house smelled like crawfish for several days. To make matters worse, I forgot a sack of crawfish outside in the Texas heat. You cannot even image what that smelled like.

Although my mother had a great Mother’s Day, my wife was miserable. And when the wife is miserable, everybody is miserable.

Since The Crawfish Debacle, I have done my best to make sure that Mother’s Day is crawfish-free.

The Crawfish Debacle did teach me one more thing: Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. – Fred

Stay Strong,

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Join the conversation: How do you handle your Mother’s Day obligations?

About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at