As a member of the media it’s at the beginning of April that it starts, the promotions and releases tied to one of the biggest spending holidays of the year: Mother’s Day. Previously I was reasonably enthused about it, helping my children plan a nice present or surprise for their Mom and getting a card and, occasionally, some flowers for my own mum to celebrate their presence in my life.
Last year, just before Mother’s Day, however, my own Mum passed away. And of course, for the last few years, I have not been motivated to help my children pull together cards and presents for my ex. If we had a smoother, less contentious ongoing relationship as co-parents, perhaps that’d be different, but as it is, my involvement in the process is one or two reminders “did you make a card for mama?” then the kids are on their own.
I didn’t have a great relationship with my own Mom, and have always been closer to my Dad. Still, for every Father’s Day press release I receive, I get a half-dozen or more related to how amazing mothers are, how they’re the heart of our culture and civilization, and how the earth would stop rotating if we didn’t celebrate them in fine style (and with a generous bankroll).
Yeah, I’m being sarcastic. If you’re reading this, though, you already know I’m passionate about father’s rights and about how our culture marginalizes fathers — and men in general — and how I think that’s a disaster, so it shouldn’t be too surprising when I react this way to a holiday that basically says “give birth = you’re a hero and an angel among mortals” while we continue to be bombarded by images of fathers as incompetent dorks who are happy to ignore the kids if they can just get another round of golf in or meet up with their buddies at the bar.
So Mother’s Day has always been a mixed bag for me, more so after my divorce and doubly so now that my own Mum’s passed away. It’s a holiday that I can’t really celebrate much at all.
I realize I might well be alone in this sentiment and it might mark me as a cranky curmudgeon but it’s a drag to receive a veritable river of mother’s day media releases this time of year without any mothers to celebrate in my own life. My kids have me. And they’re lucky at that.
Bah, humbug. I miss my Mom.
I have to admit that when I first read this post, I was immediately defensive as one who considers herself a hardworking mom (and yes, giving birth was tough, but I’ve done LOTS more since then). After a second read, and having taken your class and realized that in person you’re not a cranky curmudgeon, I get where you’re coming fron (I think). I agree that men are marginalized in our culture as much as, if not more so, than women in a lot of ways. The media targets women/moms when it comes to all things household or child related. When was the last time you saw a dad in a diaper or laundry ad? I think moms and dads are polarized, and it’s not right, and it’s not reality. And you’re so right, being a decent mom is so much more than giving birth (but still, Dave, giving birth is INSANE!!) That said, I’d like to say that all of the commercializtion of mother’s day is ridiculous and unnecessary…BUT, I’m looking forward to celebrating my first mother’s day with my family as a mom who loves the crap out of her baby (literally and figuratively) and has every intent of being the best possible mom for my child as he grows. Sure, I’ll take a little appreciation, maybe a pat on the back and a hug. Do I need a metal (or a diamond ring/watch/whatever else the media is trying to push us buy)? Nah, I’m just doing exactly what I signed up for.
P.S. I’m sorry about the loss of your mom. Mother’s day must be a difficult reminder of that.