When you’re dating a mother, how you handle Mother’s Day depends in large part on how long you’ve been dating the woman. If you’re at the beginning of a relationship and barely know her children, it’s best not to intrude on the family’s plans. Because you have not yet become part of the family’s life, your presence would be awkward at best and is likely to be seen as an unwanted intrusion by the woman’s children. Rather than rock the boat; politely bow out. Let your date know that you understand she wants to spend the day with her family and schedule your time together for another day.
If you’ve been dating the woman for a while and have gotten to know her children fairly well, take your cue from them. If the children are still stand-offish (this can be a common reaction to a new man in their mother’s life), let the kids know that you understand this is their special day with their mom and make other plans. If you have become a regular fixture in the family’s life and built a positive relationship with your date’s children, being included in the family’s Mother’s Day plans may be appropriate.
It’s important, however, not to assume that you’re invited–ask. And don’t just ask your date, ask her children. The kids, particularly if they’re older or adults, may have planned a surprise for their mom that does not include your presence. Sometimes children want their own private time with their parent. Don’t take it personally. Let the children know you understand. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Younger children might need a ride to the store to buy their mom a gift. Just be careful not to outshine the kids with a larger or more expensive gift. If you keep the focus on the mom and her children and you won’t go wrong.