Why Mother’s Day shouldn’t count.

Mother’s Day is a special day for many people, and a day that a lot of mothers look forward to and love.  But I happen not to be one of them.  I hate Mother’s Day.  It’s one of the worst days of the year for me.  Let me start out with a caveat. I have 4 children, 1 stepchild and 3 grandchildren.  I love all of them.  But Mother’s Day is not a cause for celebration for me.  Nor for many women.

I work with a teacher who never had children.  I don’t know why, and, of course, would never ask.  We were in the main office at school the Friday before Mother’s Day years ago.  Someone chipper came in saying “Happy Mother’s Day everyone!”   The teacher stopped cold and turned and said “I’m not a mother.  So don’t wish me a Happy Mother’s Day.”  The chipper person, probably trying to salvage the situation, said something to the effect that the teacher was a mother to all of her students.  Her reply was “Hardly.”  She privately told me that this day is awful for her.  She usually just says thank you, as I do, but she said sometimes she erupts.

So that is one category of women who don’t like Mother’s Day.

1.  They aren’t mothers.  We don’t always know why or if they wanted to be.

2.  Women who definitely wanted to be mothers but are unable to be.  For some, this day is difficult.

3.  Women who don’t like their mothers.

Expanding on #3 for a moment, a friend of mine used to agonize over buying a Mother’s Day card for her mother.  She didn’t like her mother.  They had never gotten along.  But there is no category in the Hallmark store for “Mother’s Day Cards for Unliked Mothers.”  So she would look and look for a card that had good wishes without saying mushy things that would have made my friend gag, and would be untrue.  Yet you can’t show up on Mother’s Day without a card.

4.  And women like me.

My second to oldest daughter died as a baby.  So Mother’s Day is never a happy day for me.  My other children know this and whether they accept my reasons or not, they understand them.  I don’t want to spend Mother’s Day with my family.  Mother’s Day is a day that, according to our society’s customs, I should be pampered and complimented and given flowers or taken out to dinner by my children.  But one of my children is missing.  So Mother’s Day for me, and for every mother I know that has lost a child, is a day almost of horror.

Now I can’t explain to my grandchildren that I’m upset because of what happened to their aunt a generation ago.  They are young and very excited to do Mother’s Day things with my daughters and are very excited to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day.  I can get through almost any kind of a day and I welcome their wishes and their excited messages.

Obviously, this is my story and my opinion.  Some of my readers may disagree with me or think I’m too harsh. But I believe that Mother’s Day, as a separate day of the year, shouldn’t exist.  We should cherish our mothers, and be cherished by our mothers, every day.  This would make mothers and children happy.  But it’s a made-up holiday that doesn’t bring joy to everyone.

This is why Mother’s Day shouldn’t count.


About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
This entry was posted in grieving, parenting, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Why Mother’s Day shouldn’t count.

  1. Amanda says:

    Understandable. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jan says:

    I understand completely. My sister-in-law just lost her oldest. This is very hard day for her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      And I think of it (and even did as a young adult) as almost a Hallmark day like Valentine’s Day. It isn’t a religious holiday. But it is almost unbearable. Thank you for your comment. Tell you sister-in-law, if you want to, that people will say stupid things to her. It’s because they want to help and don’t know what to say. I had people tell me that at least it wasn’t my husband. Or I could have other kids. People don’t know how to help. That’ s my 2 bit advice. I feel awful for her and for the rest of your family. I’m so sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really liked this post. I fall into that catagory of not having a great mother/son experience. And for other reasons this is a shit day for me as well.
    Do not feel obligated to read this but it sums up a lot of my thoughts and feelings about this. Thanks Barb for your honesty.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Paul says:

    Beautifully written, Barb.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ritu says:

    Beautifully written Barb. It is a tough time for many women, and I really feel for your loss…. In fact most of yesterday I was thinking of my best friend who miscarried two days ago… Her first child… Thankfully Mother’s Day in the UK is in March, but had she been on social media, she would have been inundated with pictures and posts…. It is true, we should celebrate our mothers every day, but then it’s like Valentines, and Fathers day too. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I agree. I think Father’s Day is like Mother’s Day. But Valentine’s Day is a completely made up day. In my mind totally a greeting card day. Except for checking comments on my blog on facebook, I stayed off of it yesterday. SO many Mother’s Day greetings. I did feel better once I had written it. Expressing your emotions through any medium is powerful. Thank you for your comments. And please tell your friend that I’m sorry and am thinking of her.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Totally valid! I don’t like birthdays!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Annie Emmy Evans says:

    Yes, yes, yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Valid. Valid. Valid. It’s very well-written barb! Nothing like pure honesty and ur so right. Even though it was a long time ago, I’m so sorry for your loss. Labelling a day, any day is almost always over-hyped. An excuse to spend unnecessary monies in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Terry says:

    Barb, I, too, am sorry for your loss. I now understand why you have strong feelings re: this day. You write so poignantly, and I’d like to thank you for exposing this part of who you are with us. I am sure your words describe what so many others feel but don’t have the courage or maybe even the strength to share. You are an amazing woman, and I am proud to call you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ellen Hawley says:

    My mother always called it Florists’ Day, so I started out taking with a pound or two of salt,although we always celebrated in one way or another. But, as someone who doesn’t have kids, I don’t feel at all bad about it. It’s a day some people celebrate. Fine. I’m happy for it to mean something to them. Admittedly, though, it’s not a painful issue for me.That matters.

    I was touched, though. last year when a writer I follow on Twitter wished a happy mother’s day to everyone who’d stood in for a mother or–I can’t remember his wording, only that it was better than mine–in some way supported a child. It was a lovely and generous way to approach what I otherwise think of as a corny and commercial holiday.

    Thanks for the post. It’s a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s