Mother's Day and Father's Day for parents-to-be?
May 3, 2015 10:05 PM   Subscribe

Is it normal to celebrate these holidays before you have a baby? Partner and I are expecting. We're excited but this was a surprise. Baby is due in July. Would it be normal or customary to celebrate a partner on Mother's Day or Father's Day in these circumstances? We won't really be a mother or father until next year. Am I likely to disappoint my partner if I don't get a gift or card or something this year? What have you done or seen done? I could ask them, but this seems like one of those things that would lose its luster if I have to ask. I'd rather just get it right.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (15 answers total)
Do something small in anticipation of your new arrival; I am sure it would be appreciated if it comes from the right place. Don't overthink this.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:07 PM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

They actually have some mother, father to be cards in some stores. I would do something super fun that you won't be able to easily do with a kid. Spa day, relax at the beach, etc.
posted by HMSSM at 10:08 PM on May 3, 2015

I'm not expecting a child any time soon, or partnered up right now, but I can see literally zero potential downsides to a surprise "I love you and am SO EXCITED to have a child with you!" parents day card. I say celebrate it!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:13 PM on May 3, 2015 [12 favorites]

What my wife appreciated most when pregnant was a professional massage or some hydrotherapy. Get her one or the other in an envelope marked "for the mother-to-be." Can't go wrong.
posted by argybarg at 10:16 PM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Get mother to be AND father to be cards. Write them from the babys pt of view. Mail them.

Everyone will happy and it will be a momento you keep for ever
posted by zia at 10:20 PM on May 3, 2015

Absolutely. My ex bought me flowers and a card for Mother's Day when I was 5 months pregnant with our first child, and it made me happy.
posted by celtalitha at 10:40 PM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'll be a dissenting voice: is your partner superstitious at all? You know your partner best, but I forwent the father-to-be stuff on Father's Day when I was preggo with our first since my husband is a bit superstitious. In his Southern European culture, it's bad luck to buy the stroller before the baby is born and father-to-be stuff fell in that same sort of category. YMMV
posted by romakimmy at 12:51 AM on May 4, 2015 [7 favorites]

I was upset the my partner didn't, even though I had something of the same superstition, simply because I had changed at that point and I would always have considered myself a mother in some way, regardless of the outcome of the pregnancy.

So I wouldn't have liked cards from a baby POV, or a big thing, but something to acknowledge the momentous change in our lives would have been nice.
posted by geek anachronism at 1:17 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

I've seen this both ways. A family friend hadn't had a successful pregnancy a few years previous so it was made known that she would really not appreciate Mother's Day being a thing in her life for this pregnancy. (Totally simple birth, now a grumpy preteen, everybody's happy yay!) And one dad I know regaled me with absolute horror about the terrifying Father's Day "celebrations" he'd had two months before his now-son's due date because it brought up all his worries about what he needed to get done in those two months.

But another friend of mine had one of the biggest fights of her pregnancy with her partner because they didn't do anything for Mother's Day while she was pregnant. It was one of those "why didn't you read my mind?!??!?" semi-irrational couples fights that really stemmed from all the other stuff they weren't talking about, as far as my friend group could tell.

So I think it's a really personal matter and you probably have a better sense of this than anyone other than your partner. I think it's a nice idea to do two small things - one to celebrate the life you can have pre-birth, and one to celebrate the new stage of your lives post-birth. But grand gestures seem a little odd, in my opinion.
posted by Mizu at 2:58 AM on May 4, 2015

Back in the day, they used to use the word expectant mother. Wasn't an option during my first pregnancy, but I would have been touched if my partner had acknowledged my (impending) motherhood. Back then, I liked celebrating hallmark and other holidays. Does she count semi-anniversaries, and celebrate other's achievements, or just say, "meh, no biggie"? If the first (and she hasn't had a miscarriage), I'd say go for it. Or ask her mother or sister if she's close to them. Reverse genders where necessary.
posted by b33j at 3:12 AM on May 4, 2015

I think it's really sweet! Probably not expected, but a lovely gesture. You know your partner best.

I recommend going out to dinner to celebrate, to a really nice grown-up restaurant that you wouldn't take a baby or toddler to. Or some other treat that won't be as easy to do once the baby arrives.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:32 AM on May 4, 2015

I was a little superstitious and fearful when pregnant and mother's day fell around the 12-week mark. A few people including my partner wished me a happy Mother's Day and it felt strange. Don't read your partner's mind, talk about it.
posted by amanda at 6:24 AM on May 4, 2015

You're far enough along not to worry about the superstition stuff--10 or 12 weeks, sure, still a relatively high chance of miscarrying, etc. But you're past all the typical stuff. My vote is DO IT!
posted by resurrexit at 7:36 AM on May 4, 2015

I was not pregnant over mother's Day but I have to say that I was glad about that fact because being congratulated would have been incredibly weird (and wrong) for me. My sister in law was pregnant and my mother in law got her a card and fawned over her and it made me really uncomfortable. Never mind thoughts of jinxing things, I just did not feel like a mother until my daughter was born.

Soooo, YMMV.
posted by lydhre at 9:04 AM on May 4, 2015

I think it would be really thoughtful. You don't have to though. If your partner is female, get her a mother's day gift :-) She'll likely respond in kind and appreciate it.
posted by mermily at 2:10 PM on May 4, 2015

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