Has something changed and no one told me, because I’m pretty sure Mother’s Day is about celebrating mothers? It’s a day where you tell that woman who raised you (or who is currently raising your kids) how much you love and appreciate them. This can be done with gifts — large, small, and handmade are all acceptable — going out to eat and, my personal favorite, alone time. Last year I saw some wars on Mommy Facebook pages that really made me question the state of modern motherhood.
It all started when someone vented that their spouse didn’t acknowledge the holiday with a gift as she felt he should. Regardless of whether this sentiment is on point or not is not the issue; how you celebrate any holiday is really only up for discussion between you and the people you celebrate it with. However, mama clearly needed to vent and a mommy group seems like the best place to have your feelings validated by other moms, right? Wrong.
All the judge-y McJudgersons started to weigh in with their two cents and it happened fast. Comments were flying left and right from moms who thought she was the most horrible person on the planet. Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate your kids! Be grateful for them! They all said, They made you a mother!
Excuse me, but no.
Let’s get something straight upfront: my kids didn’t make me a mother, my husband and I did. They had no say in the arrangement, and if anything, their reluctance to make the journey through the birthing canal made becoming a mother a difficult process. Furthermore, I’m not a mother because I have the ability to reproduce.
All other days of the year are about the kids in one form or another. You celebrate their good grades with a trip out for ice cream, you spend every last penny on Christmas gifts, you work those extra hours at night so they can do basketball camp. You don’t complain, because that’s what being a mom is all about and you adore your kids beyond measure, even when they’re little assholes. So honestly, what’s selfish about assuming that your family think about you on Mother’s Day?
Whether you have all your own biological kids, foster, adopt, or any other possible arrangement where you are in charge of caring for and nurturing children, you’re a mom and your contribution matters. It’s ok to want to feel appreciated for that contribution. All this thanking our kids for existing on the holiday meant to celebrate moms bullshit needs to stop.
Just because I’m not gushing over my kids on Mother’s Day doesn’t mean I’m not grateful or that I don’t love and appreciate them. Those loud, whiny, boogery little beasts are my world. They’re also smart, funny, and kind, and you know why? Because of their mom. (Dad too, but this post isn’t about Father’s Day).
How you, your partner, your parents, your kids, and anyone else involved choose to mark this holiday is completely at your own discretion, but to say that a day dedicated to mothers is all about appreciating their kids is ludacris. Mama, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve to be celebrated — you do — and Mother’s Day is about you.