Why I Hate Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day (ideal): a clean, quiet, calm, good hair day where all my tiny humans live in harmony and celebrate motherhood and all things maternal. {Instagram equivalent=Mayfield filter}

Mother’s Day (reality): a day we often give lackluster gifts to our ever gracious mom, make brunch only to complain about the messy kitchen, and make a valiant effort to keep our annoyances to a minimum for the day, resulting in whispered arguing.  {Instagram equivalent=No filter}

I never really understood this holiday: even the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, was arrested for rioting about the obscurity of how we celebrate it. What is so great about this particular Sunday?

When I became a mother, I loathed sharing “my” day. Every year, much like the holidays, we coordinated schedules between aunts, grandparents, in-laws and then racked our brains on what to buy our mothers. We again would scurry from my mom’s house to my in-law’s house. At each destination, we really didn’t “celebrate” the mothers, we just got together and the tradition of non-mom meal preparation and clean up continued. I just wanted to relax and have a day all about me…was that too much to ask?

When would I get to be celebrated?

It hit me on the first Mother’s Day after our daughter had passed away. I was overwhelmed with grief but still trying to move forward, panicked that I wouldn’t be able to keep it together. I lowered my expectations of the day, almost to the point of “checking out” but as I began to run the gamut of the day’s event I suddenly realized, all of those years I dreaded this particular holiday was in vain. One single day of celebration was never going to be enough! Just like my daughter’s time, it was never going to be enough. I stood there, dumbfounded, hating myself for dismissing this holiday, when in reality, Mother’s Day is EVERY DAY. Sharing this day with my mom, mother-in-law, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and friends meant these women were building me up and I should be thanking them!  Each day with my family is Mother’s Day. The annoyance of my maternal privileges, not responsibilities, was what diminishes the celebration. The hugs and kisses bestowed on me everyday are my gifts. The tears I wipe away, the milestones I watch, the knowing smiles I get, THOSE are MY celebration! Each day I get feel a hand squeeze mine, or to hear my name, “MOM!” being bellowed, I am celebrated as a mother – or as savior of all things lost and chief shoes un-knotter, I know that I AM MOTHER’S DAY!  

So yeah, I still hate Mother’s Day, but only because a single day should not be set aside to celebrate motherhood, it should be celebrated everyday. Sharing this day, and everyday, with my mom, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and friends, the ones who taught me how to be a mom, is truly a blessing that reinforces that I am not alone in this journey of motherhood, nor are you.

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One Response to Why I Hate Mother’s Day

  1. Megan May 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Rachel, and thankful for your words.

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