Saturday, May 4, 2013

I hate Mother's Day

 I was going to say that I always hated Mother's Day, but I realized that wasn't true. When I was a new mom, I needed that once a year card to reassure me that what I was doing was noticed and worthwhile. Especially from the man who had given me this precious gift and was able to sleep through the night and then go off to play with his friends. Okay, so he really went to work, but when I was confined to the house for several hours each day without adult companionship, it felt like he had the better deal. And later I have to say there's nothing like being given a handmade card or gift from a sweet little face glowing with pride and love.

It's only after the kids were grown that I learned to hate the day. It's so commercial and frankly embarrassing. All the tributes to mothers everywhere leave me feeling slightly nauseous and somehow guilty. I wasn't a perfect mother, but I loved my kids from the moment they were conceived. I'm very proud of the way they have turned out. They don't owe me anything, certainly not gratitude. Let me just state for the record that I know I'm missing some female genes, the ones that cause women to love shopping, handicrafts and crying. I rarely cry and never seek out opportunities to do so. It leaves me blotchy and exhausted.

My complaint is that the retail industry has created a day where everyone feels obligated to phone home or buy sappy cards to prove that they love their mothers, whether or not they really do. Mothers then feel slighted or neglected if any of her children fail to do so.

 I am giving my children permission this year to ignore the day altogether. All of them have shown their love and made me a part of their lives all year, and if they hadn't, one lousy card or phone call isn't going to make up for it.

Oh, by the way, if you forget my birthday, I'll hunt you down and slap you with the kind of guilt, only a mother can wield.