By Carol Rood
A few weeks ago one of my classmates was giving a presentation about Valentine’s day and how it actually started, and offered a unique perspective on Valentine’s Day. She suggested we should all start ignoring it. She felt as though Valentine’s day is gendered in such a way that it is really about women, and men getting stuff for women, etc. In fact, she stated that when she went to the store during Valentine’s Day season (which starts in the stores on January 2nd), she had a difficult time finding anything to buy her boyfriend, and that there aren’t many options for women to buy their guys, or even guys to buy for their guys. There just isn’t very much available to purchase for men. I told her Karol and I had stopped doing Valentine’s Day years ago because I felt it was so commercialized.
During the discussion, one of my classmates who is just a few years younger than me told us that she had stopped “doing” Mother’s Day years ago. She felt that she didn’t want her children to feel “obligated” to appreciate her one day per year, and would prefer that they appreciate her whenever the mood struck them. That intrigued me.
So I came home and announced to my boys that I would no longer be celebrating Mother’s Day and they should feel no obligation to buy me stuff, or cook me food, or be especially nice to me on this one day a year, but instead, should appreciate me at any time. If they see something that makes them think of me they can just get it for me, or if they just want to give me a hug, do so, or if they just want to make me feel appreciated, any day is a great day for that, not just one day a year.
They seemed to dig it, and interestingly the next week, my oldest son, (who works at Starbucks) called me to ask me what I would like for him to bring me home since he was leaving work and heading home. That was nice, and made my heart sing.
Of course, my first thought was, “Hmmm, he wants something….” But you know what? He didn’t want anything. He just wanted to be nice to his mama.
But Mother’s Day is not a happy day for everyone. What about the mother’s who lost their children? For those mothers, the day can be filled with sadness, and a sense of loss. Or women who are unable to have children? I have quite a few friends who have lost children and my heart goes out to them every day, but especially on Mother’s Day. For those who have lost children, but also have some with them still, it must be truly a bittersweet day indeed.
So in the future, we will not be celebrating Mother’s Day for me. I am fortunate that I have raised three children who are considerate human beings, and think of their mother (and stepmama) all year, and let me know that I am loved.
For all of the rest of you mothers, you have to do what works best and feels right for you, but it definitely is something to consider…..asking your loved ones to honor and be appreciative all year instead of just one day….