Is It Cool to Hate Mother’s Day Now?

I went shopping Wednesday after work with all three of the kids. We went to Costco, ate pizza, and picked up some things to get us through the week. (I needed snacks for soccer as well.) The kids were… not that great. All I wanted was for them to walk through the store like normal people. They couldn’t do it. It was very frustrating.

As we were leaving, a woman behind me remarked how brave I must be to be shopping alone with three kids. I said, “Brave or crazy.” She laughed. “Well, have a happy Mother’s Day anyway.”

It made me feel kind of good.

I’m not getting the “Oh gawd I HATE Mother’s Day” sentiment that seems to be rampant on the Interwebz these days — even from some fellow moms. It just reads like the hipster thing of the day.

It’s similar to the angst I see (and have felt) surrounding St. Valentine’s Day. “It’s a Hallmark holiday!” (Almost literally true about Mother’s Day. Even the woman who got it made into a national holiday in the United States ended up hating how commercial it was by 1920.)

I can understand ambivalent feelings about Mother’s Day. I have my own complicated feelings about it due to my experience of being a baby loss mother. And I can even understand the scorn heaped on it by women who are not mothers (understand it, but not accept it — I mean if you hate it so much, just let it go. Is it worth it to get so very riled up about “push presents’ — which I agree are icky — or brunches?) I, myself, don’t like the huge gift expectations that the day has engendered in the past few years.

If your relationship with your own mom is complicated, well that’s a whole ‘nother story. I, fortunately, don’t have a complicated relationship with my mother. She is a good mom, and she’s a great Nonna, and although our relationship has never been an entirely smooth road, it’s been important to me and how I see myself as a woman and as a mother.

As always, I told Dan for Mother’s Day, I just don’t want to do anything. (I will end up doing something.) Church with my family, a brunch I don’t have to slave over and/or clean up; ditto dinner. Homemade cards from the kids. I did ask Dan for perfume (and told him what kind). I won’t be devastated if I don’t get it.

(I will be seeing my mom Saturday evening; if my MIL wants to join us for dinner on Sunday, I’m all for it. I’m just not doing the planning. Cards will be distributed. Possibly chocolate chip banana bread, too, but I’m not promising anything. Depends on soccer.)

No matter what kind of mom you are (and there are so many kinds of moms!), I hope someone, somewhere, wishes you a happy Mother’s Day. And I hope that you can accept it for what it is.

Do you hate Mother’s Day? Why? If not, what are the reasons you like it? I like it because I like my mom, my MIL, and my kids. I’m pretty blessed as a woman, and that’s what I try to remember every day, not just on Mother’s Day.

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9 thoughts on “Is It Cool to Hate Mother’s Day Now?

  1. Perhaps because it’s my very first Mother’s Day, I am excited about it. But I also don’t want anything particularly. I want a card from my husband (and nominally, from Lee). I want pancakes, either Saturday or Sunday, but I’m pretty much down with pancakes any time. I want a new rose bush to replace the one that I managed to kill over the winter (what the heck, what did I do wrong?), maybe. I want my husband to help me with some garden work that needs to be done. I certainly don’t expect huge, expensive presents, mostly because I know the money isn’t there for it. I also don’t really understand the hatred of the day, but I don’t really understand mothers who expect a ton of gifts/attention/whatever.

    Daycare made Mother’s Day presents with the babies, which surprised me and made my heart warm. Finger paint handprints, a picture of Lee, all framed with a cute poem. Awwwwwww, widdle hand prints!

    • Yes, this is exactly the kind of stuff that (IMO) Mother’s Day is made of: cards from the kids, crafty presents, a down day (i.e. one in which I don’t have to shop or clean). I am reading about women (it’s almost always a woman) who hate the day because their mother is dead — and who’s to say, it may become more difficult a day for me when that happens, YEARS from now (right, Mom?). And fellow moms who hate the commercialization of it, but that’s different from hating the day itself. I dislike the rampant “BUY HER JEWELRY” adds on TV, too. Shiny, expensive gifts don’t capture the spirit of motherhood, again, IMO. And, yes, the moms of any generation who want it to be a ME ME ME fete day… I don’t know. I’d actually kind of like to be left alone for a couple of hours. 😉

      • Actually, even now Mother’s day is a collection of wonderful memories celebrating with grandmothers and mothers throughout the years and later with a husband and children who always made it a special day for me. I am not talking gifts here either, although I do remember buying gifts for my mother occasionally as I got older and was a mother myself. I never felt it was a hyped-up day for the benefit of selling cards and things. The hand-made crafts always filled the bill for me and the breakfasts in bed! And now that my mom is gone, I really do think of her in a gloriously better place with God and everyone else who meant so much in her life. I think of her often and we continue to tell so many great stories about Olympia, so I can’t say that I miss her because she is still so much a part of my life and my children’s. And now I am able to celebrate Mother’s Day with daughters and a daughter-in-law and grandchildren. I am blessed no doubt about it, but I do understand that there may be people who hate mother’s day and with good reasons. There but for the grace of God, I am not one of them!

        P.S. The bread was delicious!

    • Well, yes, I will actually totally give a pass to infertile woman (and couples) who hate the annual reminder of what they don’t yet have. Also: babyloss women. I feel so blessed to have my three live, lively children after Gabriel. I can’t imagine being an orphaned mother on Mother’s Day. The pain would be terrible.

  2. The only thing about Mother’s Day that gets me is that I’m always expected to spend it with Matt’s family, because you know, they’re all mothers up that way, too. So it’s not really a day for ME to celebrate, you know?

    Though, today, Matt decided we weren’t going up to his parent’s which proved to be a good thing since Mae projectile vomited on me today.

    • And this is where I have tried to set some boundaries. For example, this year I knew I was seeing my mom Saturday evening at Dr. Bro’s house. So I made sure to have our cards ready, and also brought her and my SIL a homebaked treat to have for brunch the next day. Then I spent a goodly amount of time Sunday doing little (pedicure and reading), and then met my family and my ILs for dinner (our treat). It was lovely.

      Some years, I like to host brunch for everyone. Some years we drive up to Erie. And some years, I sit my butt on the couch in my house and don’t do anything.

      Hope Mae’s feeling better!

  3. I adore Mother’s Day. I love spending the day with my kids (like most Sundays), but for me it’s a day to appreciate how wonderful my kids are and how much I love them.

    I do have a complicated relationship with my mother. Is it hard to see other people posting how great their moms are and how they couldn’t live without them? Sure, but I don’t begrudge them that. I feel like this recent (in the last couple years) hatred for Mother’s Day is basically a “I hate Mother’s Day and so should you” sentiment. Just because you hate it doesn’t mean that I should too.

    I also have a hard time with people, who for whatever reason (baby loss, infertility, adoption, their mother has passed away etc) basically shun the day at the expense of their other children. My kids are so excited for Mother’s Day and I assume a lot of other young kids are too and I feel like those kids are missing out on a nice day with their mothers.

    • I guess that’s the attitude I object to, also, the “I feel this way, so everyone else should!” I think Kate was the most excited for Mother’s Day, and she was so sweet. Flora was excited it was supposedly a holiday, so when I asked her to clean her room, she threw a fit, and I grounded her (for an hour). That was no fun for Mother’s Day! Otherwise, I got lots of hugs, and time to myself, and dinner out, and I can’t ask for more.

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