Monday, May 12, 2008

A Post-Mother's Day Rant

I'm going to say this straight up: we don't celebrate Mother's Day at our house. I think it is a phony holiday, wraught with guilt, unrealistic expectations, anger, frustration. Heck, even the woman who started MD thought the original purpose was lost and she was angry about the way it was celebrated. And that was 75+ years ago!

But the one thing that bugs me more than anything is the number of people who insist on wishing me a happy mother's day. There are only two people from whom any sentiments about my motherhood count -- my daughter and my son. I don't really need or want other people wishing me such sentiments. Especially not strangers.

Being a parent is about as complex a job as one can have. It is also extremely personal. A simple well-meant mother's day greeting can cause intense pain for a mother who has lost her child or to an infertile woman.

I know this is a holiday that many women love and look forward to. If that's the case, good for you. I do believe in special days -- for me, it is my birthday. My kids know, if you want to pamper me, that's the day to do it, not some random day in May, a date picked to celebrate the life (and anniversary of her death) of someone else's mom.

That said, I always like getting gifts, and here is the best type of "mother's day" gift, in my opinion. On Friday night at the book sale, I was talking to one of the organizers, and she was asking about my son and his first year of college, etc. "He is such a wonderful young man," she said to me. "We all like him very much."

If you want to wish me a happy mother's day, that's the way to do it.

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