I am haunted by a strange inner feeling that after reading this article, a plethora of suggestions would be proffered regarding my current mental status or at best any continued claim to being a representative of the homo sapiens genre.
Mother’s Day is upon us, and not for a nano second would I deny the fact that every mother could use a break.
However, Mother’s Day is not about that. We all have heard mothers say, ” I just want to spend Mother’s Day without my kids.”
Ask any mother about her Fantasy Day, and before she even gets started on how Denzil Washington, or Lebron James play into it, she will launch into a full-blown description describing a day alone when she is not responsible for any of the things that she is usually responsible for—– a day where she can sleep as long as she wants, eat the food she craves without sharing, read her book uninterruptedly and above all drink her coffee while it is still hot.
Surely there is nothing wrong with wanting a day to herself, so why not Mother’s Day.
Plainly stated: Mothers Day is not just about you. On Mother’s Day, it is your “mothering” that’s being celebrated. It is a day to recognize and appreciate the relationship you have with your children.
I would not deny that every mom could use a break, but Mother’s Day is not about that. Sure, you may be the sole carrier of the bulk of the mental load, which can be exhausting and feels totally unfair.
You are probably tired and desperate for some alone-time. Should you not be able to take one day to yourself without the responsibilities of feeding, clothing, planning and disciplining?
Yes, but again, Mother’s Day is not that day.
I have read extensively pages of mothers detailing their perfect Mother’s Day dream. They ranged from spa treatments to lunch with girlfriends, to alone time at home while their husbands or significant others took the kids out. Very few included the kids. But then again, are they not the reason why you get to celebrate Mother’s Day in the first place?
My main concern lies in the fact that in our rush to stake out a bit of time alone, we risk losing sight of why we are even entitled to the day.
Mother’s Day is a day for your kids to celebrate you, not a day for you to celebrate yourself. And to do that, you need to be with them.
In 1908, Anna Jarvis created Mother’s Day to honour the sacrifices that mothers make. Although she had no children of her own, Anna was nevertheless moved by the commitment of her own mom and the moms in her community. She realized that the role of these women was worthy of recognition with a special day.
While Jarvis was not in support of the commercialization of Mother’s Day (and later suggested that it be removed from American calendars), I imagine she would not be in favour of mom-only spa days for Mother’s Day.
I am not here to guilt anyone. As a parent I know the joy of escaping your parental shackles for a bit and, I am a huge proponent of taking the opportunity to miss your kids and giving them a chance to miss you.
But not on Mother’s Day. Depending on age of the children the neediness is not the same. There seems to be a divide between moms of babies and toddlers and moms of older kids when it comes to how they would like to spend Mother’s Day.
Little-kid moms are more likely to opt for a day off, whereas moms of older children (who are often out of the house) see spending the day with their kids as a treat—plus, older children have a better understanding of how to “spoil” their moms.
I recognize that my opinion may be unpopular. Mother’s Day may be the day children act up or your partner acts grumpy, and there is a good chance you will have moments of regret while spending the day with your family.
However, I am willing to bet that, despite some bumps in the road to a perfect day, you are going to find joy.
You are going to revel in that unbounded love that children have for their mother and you have for them—and then you can treat yourself to a day off next week!
Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere
Aleuta continua— The struggle continues.