Mother’s Day Madness

When did Mother’s Day become “Christmas Day in May for Mothers”?

Not that I would mind getting jewelry or an iPad for Mother’s Day, but it seems as if big, expensive gifts are compulsory these days. My inbox/Twitter feed have been inundated for the past two or three weeks with The Perfect [Quite Pricey] Gift for Mother’s Day!

I’ve been a bit taken aback.

(I’m sure my own mother is quite disappointed to read this, by the way.)

Mother’s Day this year is especially busy. I would like first and foremost to sleep in, but that is probably not going to happen. (Dan is a worse morning person than I am, and I am only a morning person because I’m a mother — and gainfully employed).

I would also gratefully accept a future spa day or an Ergo baby carrier. However, those probably aren’t in the works, either.

In lieu of expensive gifts or a day completely to myself (also not going to happen, probably for YEARS, and I’ve come to terms with that), I told Dan I just wanted cards  and, maybe, flowers would be nice. We have far too much to do Sunday, so low-key gift-giving is acceptable.

But the other thing about Mother’s Day and this sudden explosion of marketing to Mother’s Day is the inadvertent pain marketers, who are focused on the bottom line, are causing lots of people — many of them women, some of them mothers themselves.

Mothers (like myself) of still babies, for example. I am fortunate in that my motherhood became tangible after Flora was born, it is no longer the amorphous motherhood of lost babies/pregnant women, like it was in 2003 and 2004.

Children who have difficult relationships with their mothers. Maybe after years, an adult child has come to terms with the fact that her relationship with her mother is a lost cause. It has got to be difficult to face ad after ad extolling Motherhood with a capital M and warm fuzzies.

Birth mothers of adopted children. Children of mothers who have died. Motherless mothers.

This Hallmark holiday cannot be easy on those mothers and those children. It’s not the rosy picture of kids bringing Mom breakfast in bed. I wish marketers and retailers had the sensitivity to realize that, and just scale way back. I know that’s not going to happen, but some days, I just wish the almighty dollar didn’t trump all.

But it’s this awareness I carry (that many, many people carry) that “Mother’s Day” can be tough that makes the littlest gestures from my husband and my children even more precious than diamonds.

Diamonds I’ll take for Christmas.