I did not always giant eye roll and dramatic sigh when Mothers Day came around. Truly, it used to be a good day with flowers and an expectation of happiness. Mothers Day used to mean that spring was in its full glory and the sun warmed the land and our hearts fully. We would visit our grandmothers and make sure that our mom didn’t need to lift a finger all day long. My mom was incapable of refraining from doing work like things on a holiday meant to spoil her, so I of course am that way as well. You could call it martyr syndrome or a complete lack of trust in others – the result is the same.
When my mom passed away I couldn’t handle anything about moms. I hated commercials with moms and movie scenes with moms and daughters. I hated watching my kids with their grandmothers and I hated myself every time I was angry that my husband had two moms still living. It was bloody awful. This year and this past Mothers Day was the third that I have spent without my mom. Three. I am not much better at witnessing mushy mom stuff now than I was when it was still raw. I have zero desire to acknowledge the day, yet I feel guilty not making the social media posts to all the moms in the world and reaching out to my friends and family who are moms. Its not their fault that I don’t have a mom anymore. Its not their fault that I am still angry with the universe and the cruel existence of cancer. So I write the posts and I send messages to all the moms- its so hard, but it is what needs to happen. They deserve to feel loved.
On top of all the “oh woe is me” feelings, are my own about being a mom. Its such a thankless job- not that we do it for accolades or applause. It would be welcomed however, to know that the people that you have literally been torn open for appreciate your efforts. I personally as little of my people. I have no interest in putting anyone out when I can do what needs done just fine. This thought process is not helpful- I know. Because we take on things that we have no business taking on, our spouses and children so easily take for granted the cooking and cleaning, the worrying and stress, the late nights and money spent to make sure that their lives are the best. We cannot even blame them for the comfort they experience knowing that all the little details are taken care of- we did that. We offered them the ability to live without thinking about all the things we think about, and then we get pissed at them when they don’t recognize what we do. The emotional labor we bear in silence – well mostly, is at some level our fault. We refuse to inconvenience anyone and we lap up the smiles and relaxed breaths that our people take while we sweat and suffocate in our anxiety over creating the perfect moments. It might be the most ridiculous phenomenon – ever. At some point this has to stop.
I have mentioned my expectations before- they are high, but not unreasonable. I don’t want to plan my own birthday- unless I am being sent to the beach. Then I will gladly take over. I do not want to have to plan Mothers Day nor remind my people that it is in fact a day where I am not doing shit for anyone except myself. I also do not want to recognize the day that is a corporations pleasure dream- Why is it that we need a date on the calendar to recognize the incredible lengths that mothers go to for their families? I know.. not all mothers are great at it, but we can all think about the moms in our lives who are, and who deserve to be thanked, hugged, and appreciated every single day. Every Single Day- You don’t to treat people like work horses all year long that then try to make up for it on a holiday like some heathen looking for forgiveness on a Sunday. These incredible humans include step moms who jump in even when all they receive is hate and misunderstanding. Sometimes they are aunts who are not biologically mothers, but have stepped up to share something beautiful. Maybe they are grandmothers or family friends – all nurturing figures who deserve to be given the same outstretched hand. Instead they are walked on, they are abused by your selfishness, and they are left feeling like they are never enough. Why? Must moms everywhere just quit? Should we sit on the couch with a novel and eat the whole bag of chips while ignoring the dishes and the baby crying? Should we let the laundry pile up and shrug our shoulders when the refrigerator is empty. Do we stop tracking appointments and extra curriculars? Should moms everywhere just stop giving and giving, letting their cup run dry when the rest of the world lives carefree?
Families are complex and each one is unique. Interestingly, the truth about moms is the same regardless of where they live. We work so hard while ignoring our own needs day in and day out. We never wanted a single day of the year to be honored or appreciated- we want our every day to matter. We want to have children who see us and our efforts. We want to be able to teach that the family who works together will work less. We would rather not be full of regret or animosity. We want to raise daughters who when they become moms feel like they have the power to communicate better with their partners about what they need and what their limits are. We want equality of emotional labor. We want to see empathy from our people and not watch you suck the life out of us every single day- especially not this ” Mothers Day”. Kindness & Awareness makes all the difference.