Pretty sure we need a lot more than one overly-commercialized day to celebrate all the possibilities around motherhood. Then there’s all the various facets – There’s being a mother, having a mother… Of course, not everyone is a mother or still has a mother… or even likes their mother…
Hell, I don’t always like being a mother, just sayin’.
Even though I have several reasons to celebrate- (I am a mother, have a mother, and I like my mother), I don’t really know why this holiday exists or how it even got started.
So, of course, I looked it up. Here is a bit of what I found:
Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis—who remained unmarried and childless her whole life—resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood.
Then – later: While Jarvis had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. Here’s the rest of that story.
Boy, we do make sacrifices, don’t we? And often they’re thankless ones. Things we don’t even expect anyone to notice. Kind of like when you have to replace the windows in your house. You spend all that money and go through all that trouble for what? There’s nothing exciting on the other side of that task… No new pretty wallpaper, chandeliers or sofa… Just windows… boring not-old windows. I mean, nothing against windows. SO happy we have windows. Need them so much… but, I’ve never come home and said, “OH MY GOD- I LOVE LOVE LOVE MY NEW SAME WINDOWS-THANK YOU! I CAN’T STOP LOOKING AT THEM!”
Similarly, we go through all the trouble (and SO much money 🤑) and most children will not be able to appreciate most of it for the foreseeable future. It will all look the same. A bit thankless-eh?
I think maybe this is the benefit of having this holiday. It forces those cute little Kinder-folk of ours to consider who we are to them, and how they really can say- THANK YOU from time to time!
OK, Sooooo… Maybe mine don’t really celebrate this holiday very much. (Although, while I was writing this, I just got a “Happy Mother’s Day” text from my son! #WINNING.
But each year, (well, at least since preschool stopped forcing them to make cards), when all the people ask me “What did your kids do for you for Mother’s Day?” My stories didn’t resemble the ones in the movies. I mean, it wasn’t nothing, but it was not Disney. It left me feeling a little like those windows.
So, when I was considering what today might look like and thinking about how I actually feel about being a mother, a little poem started forming in my mind. I decided to write this poem for my kids. See below👇🏻.
To all the Mother’s and windows out there: I truly hope your day is special in any little special way. Just a little something so it doesn’t feel like the same old day… And, if there is sadness surrounding this day, maybe take a minute to consider all the ways YOU, and your windows, bring your light to others. We are ALL mothering or mothered at some point in some way.
A note about the poem:
It was VERY noticeable when my youngest called me “Mommy” because, by then, no one else did. The day she switched to “Mom”… I couldn’t believe it… My baby was growing up… and even though that’s what they’re supposed to do… I hated it. I told her to stop. I told her I wouldn’t answer to “Mom”, only “Mommy”.
And when the older kids did things I didn’t like, I told her, “Whatever you do, don’t copy that behavior please!!!”
We laughed and laughed about it and one day, we were walking the dogs when she said, “If I had a nickel for every time you told me that, we would be living on a yacht right now.”
I didn’t even know she knew what a yacht was… Best, funniest kid ever.
I must be doing something right… LOL. See, these are the special little gifts – and they come all year around, if you are open to them. Probably why on this day, I keep my expectations pretty low.
For many years, my girlfriends and I’d joke about going away on Mother’s Day. We should get the DAY OFF for god’s sake. If you have never seen the movie, Bad Moms, at least do that today.
So, before I go and celebrate with the people who brought me here, and the four who made me a mother, I’m gonna go get me some extra-special coffee time with my dear friend. (It just so happens to be my friend who’s child is no longer here.)
I hope today we can at least like being a Mother for the day. Even if you don’t have children, I guarantee you have created something and take care of someone… even YOURSELF. They are us. We are them. We are each other. There are so many facets.
In closing, in (perhaps the only) wise words, of the late Jerry Springer, “Till next time, take care of yourselves and each other.”
PS. If you would to ask me a questions, or like me to speak/write about something in particular, please reach out here.
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PPSS. Years ago, I decided to buy myself something for Mother’s Day. The sweetest customized bangle bracelets… I wear them almost every day and love! Check it out here.