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Why I hate mothers day

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post

It celebrates the great lie about women: That those with children are more important than those without

I did not raise my son, Sam, to celebrate Mother’s Day. I didn’t want him to feel some obligation to buy me pricey lunches or flowers, some annual display of gratitude that you have to grit your teeth and endure. Perhaps Mother’s Day will come to mean something to me as I grow even dottier in my dotage, and I will find myself bitter and distressed when Sam dutifully ignores the holiday. Then he will feel ambushed by my expectations, and he will retaliate by putting me away even sooner than he was planning to — which, come to think of it, would be even more reason to hate Mother’s Day.

But Mother’s Day celebrates a huge lie about the value of women: that mothers are superior beings, that they have done more with their lives and chosen a more difficult path. Ha! Every woman’s path is difficult, and many mothers were as equipped to raise children as wire monkey mothers. I say that without judgment: It is, sadly, true. An unhealthy mother’s love is withering.

The illusion is that mothers are automatically happier, more fulfilled and complete. But the craziest, grimmest people this Sunday will be the mothers themselves, stuck herding their own mothers and weeping children and husbands’ mothers into seats at restaurants. These mothers do not want a box of chocolate. These mothers are on a diet.

I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure. The non-mothers must sit in their churches, temples, mosques, recovery rooms and pretend to feel good about the day while they are excluded from a holiday that benefits no one but Hallmark and See’s. There is no refuge — not at the horse races, movies, malls, museums. Even the turn-off-your-cellphone announcer is going to open by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!” You could always hide in a nice seedy bar, I suppose. Or an ER.

It should go without saying that I also hate Valentine’s Day.

Mothering has been the richest experience of my life, but I am still opposed to Mother’s Day. It perpetuates the dangerous idea that all parents are somehow superior to non-parents. (Meanwhile, we know the worst, skeeviest, most evil people in the world are CEOs and politicians who are proud parents.)

Don’t get me wrong: There were times I could have literally died of love for my son, and I’ve felt stoned on his rich, desperate love for me. But I bristle at the whispered lie that you can know this level of love and self-sacrifice only if you are a parent. We talk about “loving one’s child” as if a child were a mystical unicorn. Ninety-eight percent of American parents secretly feel that if you have not had and raised a child, your capacity for love is somehow diminished. Ninety-eight percent of American parents secretly believe that non-parents cannot possibly know what it is to love unconditionally, to be selfless, to put yourself at risk for the gravest loss. But in my experience, it’s parents who are prone to exhibit terrible self-satisfaction and selfishness, who can raise children as adjuncts, like rooms added on in a remodel. Their children’s value and achievements in the world are reflected glory, necessary for these parents’ self-esteem, and sometimes, for the family’s survival. This is how children’s souls are destroyed.

But my main gripe about Mother’s Day is that it feels incomplete and imprecise. The main thing that ever helped mothers was other people mothering them; a chain of mothering that keeps the whole shebang afloat. I am the woman I grew to be partly in spite of my mother, and partly because of the extraordinary love of her best friends, and my own best friends’ mothers, and from surrogates, many of whom were not women at all but gay men. I have loved them my entire life, even after their passing.

No one is more sentimentalized in America than mothers on Mother’s Day, but no one is more often blamed for the culture’s bad people and behavior. You want to give me chocolate and flowers? That would be great. I love them both. I just don’t want them out of guilt, and I don’t want them if you’re not going to give them to all the people who helped mother our children. But if you are going to include everyone, then make mine something like M&M’s, and maybe flowers you picked yourself, even from my own garden, the cut stems wrapped in wet paper towels, then tin foil and a waxed-paper bag from my kitchen drawers. I don’t want something special. I want something beautifully plain. Like everything else, it can fill me only if it is ordinary and available to all.


Posted by Anonymous on May. 13, 2012 at 2:13 AM
Replies (11-20):
by Gold Member on May. 13, 2012 at 4:59 AM
She should chill the fuck out!!LoL.Gawd.
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by Diamond Member on May. 13, 2012 at 5:22 AM

The grinch of Mother's Day! Please move on.

by on May. 13, 2012 at 5:27 AM
That's reading too much into the whole thing for me...but whatever.
by on May. 13, 2012 at 5:29 AM
So I can't show appreciation for mothers day because it might upset someone else?? Some ppl hate Halloween doesn't mean ill stop celebrating it either.
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by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2012 at 5:39 AM
5 moms liked this

 SO what does valentines day imply? That those in relationships are less loser-ey? Look, it's another stupid effin holiday to make people buy shit. It's good for the economy. This author needs to stop reading into every little thing and enjoy life.

ANd you know what else? I don't know about anybody thinking that mothers work harder or have it rough or whatever, but I also see nothing wrong with getting a little recognition for my efforts. I think all of us here know what an incredibly self-sacrificing lifestyle PARENTING can be, and if society says that entitles me to a card or whatnot, then it's about time. After all, this IS the same society that expects a size 0 to have DD cup breasts! ANd not a speck of cellulite!

Is mothering the end all be all to womanhood-nope. Nor is it the most important thing ever. But mothers do work hard to make sure that the human race lives on, and I dont think that's anything to scoff at, either.

by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2012 at 5:41 AM

 Then, next week, the author will be bitching about feeling under-appreciated !

by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2012 at 5:43 AM
3 moms liked this

well considering without mothers the world would die out, I'd say I'm pretty awesome. 

by on May. 13, 2012 at 6:10 AM

you need to relax a bit , mothers day is not about all that its just a time to remind those to appreciate their mothers and for their kids to take a moment to realise all we do for our kids... No body is saying mothers sacrifice more or go through more troubles ...or that we deserve more ... all they are saying is hey good mothers do amazing things for us lets take a day to tell her thank you ... and while I believe you should appreciate those in your life every day sometimes daily struggles get in the way of that. yes hall mark and others benefit from it but it doesnt need to be something physical or store bought just a minute to say u care ..or a minute to visit your mothers grave if she is no longer living ... sometimes people get so carried away with a simple gesture but its not necesary .. just take a deep breath ..theres no reason to hate mothers day ... if you dont appreciate what it means dont celebrate IT!

by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2012 at 6:15 AM
Im pretty sure a woman superior in my book! All that shit u did
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by on May. 13, 2012 at 6:25 AM
I agree with you, I miscarried and prayed for years for a son. Well, he was born on Easter Sunday this year.

OP, my mom and I are estranged and even though I couldn't participate in this holiday as a mother myself, I showed my aunt and other moms that happily stepped in and took my moms place. I consider myself to have two moms, I love them and I show them how much I appreciate them all year long but being a mother is hard work when done right so I see no problem and am glad they have one day out of the year to be thanked and reminded they are appreciated. There's also Grandparent's day and customer appreciation week, etc.

Quoting UnIdentiFiedOne:

Right. So everyone else should stop living life because someone else has an unfortunate experience? If we stop doing things that could maybe, perhaps, potentially upset someone for some reason or another, we would never be able to do anything, ever.

Don't get me wrong, I have been there. But if it upset me that much I would need to address those issues. Because being hateful of something as simple as mothers day is not normal.

Quoting Anonymous:

Perhaps it also because some women have miscarried recently and mothers day is a bit of a touchy subject for them....

Quoting UnIdentiFiedOne:

I think that is silly. No one says moms are superior. It is simply a day for individuals to show appreciation for THEIR moms.

People need to stop getting so ass hurt over ridiculous things.

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