Mother’s Day isn’t a happy Hallmark experience for everyone. For some people, the endless rows of sentimental cards are just more reminders of the mothers they never had. If you’re childhood was rocky, or your relationship with your mom is strained, the kind of card you’re thinking about probably isn’t G-rated enough for Target.
Then there’s the endless stream of jewelry commercials. Over and over again, adoring husbands present diamond pendants to impeccably groomed mothers of young children, because, apparently, husbands who really love their wives buy them diamonds, and deserving moms are never single, and no one has student loans or car payments or teenagers who eat $200 worth of groceries in minutes.
Or maybe you have lost your mother, or your child. Mother’s Day takes on a whole new meaning for you, one much more profound than jewelry. You may feel like no one gets what you’re going through, but there are people who understand, I assure you.
It’s important to remember that these images presented on TV and in newspapers are fiction. The expectations and the ideals promoted there are not really attainable. It’s just a fact that not all mothers were good enough, and that life, as lovely as it can be, is temporary. Furthermore, real mothers of toddlers have shirts with food stains. Mothers of school-age kids are often exhausted from working hard and driving all the time. Seldom do families of young children have diamond funds set aside. Yes, they deserve precious jewels, but from what I hear, these moms mainly want extra sleep and house cleaners.
Don’t let Macy’s or Hallmark decide what your Mother’s Day should be, because we just all fall short of that.
Instead, reclaim Mother’s Day for yourself. Reschedule any brunches with extended family for Saturday, and have a Sunday morning jammies party with your own children.
Create your own touching traditions. If your relationship with your mom is hard, spend some time mothering yourself. Do something you don’t normally let yourself do. Take yourself on a field trip. Get yourself a present. Make art. Take a day trip. Listen to great music. Call an old friend. Or try one of my favorites and take in a ballgame or a matinee.
If you truly want to thank your mom and acknowledge her on this Mother’s Day, make it something real. Maybe she did do one thing meaningful that stands out. Forget the flowery card of rhyming sentiment and thank her for that. Even if she is gone, you can still take this moment now to remember.
A truly joyous Mother’s Day to you. May your day include mothering me-time. May you have handmade cards and kisses… and house cleaners. May your house cleaners have house cleaners.