Why I dislike Mother’s Day (Or: The wide spectrum of mothering according to Amy Young)
Yesterday was the first time, in my memory, that I’ve acknowledged Mother’s Day on Facebook. I’m not fond of making a public declaration about any “holiday” on Facebook, mostly because I see enough about it in my News Feed. And, other than birthdays, these are just days like any other day. But Mother’s Day in particular wears on me. I don’t like thinking about it too much. I know too many people, dear friends or just acquaintances, that have experienced tragedy and pain in relation to losing a mom or losing a child, in some capacity or another. I’ll never forget being 16 and my best friend calling me at work to tell me about her mother. We all live with regrets. One of mine was not walking out of that country club office in that moment. Instead I sat there and allowed the numbness and helplessness take over my body.
So forgive me if I let this day pass by without much notice. Even now that I have become a mother, too.
This morning my mom posted one of those seemingly cheesy saying things on Facebook, but I decided to find the origins of this particular post. The post was written by Amy Young, a young blogger that writes mostly about her faith. While I am not religious, I found this particular post useful because it illustrated my sentiments about Mother’s Day. It’s not that we shouldn’t acknowledge mothers (or fathers or grandparents or husbands or wives or children….) but that, if we’re going to need a Hallmark day to do that [note the hostility in my voice regarding “Hallmark holidays”], we should at least be aware that this day can be extremely painful for many many people, men and women, in our lives. So here’s Amy’s post about what she calls “The wide spectrum of mothering” —
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.