While I’m sitting comfortably in my bed, drinking decent wine, surrounded by two snoring dogs and one grumpy guy who probably wants me to stop typing so he can just go to sleep, I’m feeling a little sorry for myself. And a little guilty for my little pity party. The people in my house don’t really do holidays, and by holidays I mean anything other than Christmas.
Life is good, truly, but it’s just, well, it’s almost Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong. I love my mother, I love my grandmothers and aunts and like-a-mothers and mother-friends and friends-who-have-yet-to-become-mothers, and at the end of the day I love myself too. But, well, fuck you Hallmark. And all jewelers and card companies and Kodak and whoever the fuck else floods the market with oversentimental bullshit. Because you know what is not happening in most households in America? Fathers gently rocking sweet new babies to sleep, telling sweet babies about what super-great mommies they have and how mommies deserve the best damn necklaces etc. money can buy. Also, I dare say there is little long term planning. Daddies and kiddos haven’t been sneaking around for weeks creating something heartfelt and thoughtful for mommies. Daddies are going to the store. To buy stuff.
Do I sound like the bitter woman who only hates Valentine’s Day because she never gets a gift? I know. But you know I’m right.
On my first “Mother’s Day” as a mother, I made the mistake of asking my ex what he was planning. His response? “Why? You’re not my mother”. It went downhill from there.
Of course every person wants to feel special and appreciated. It’s human nature – at least at this point in the game. But really? Shouldn’t we be doing this every day? I know it’s a bit of an anomaly, but there are partners who treat their respective partners in such a way that their children learn that people are to be respected, appreciated, and cherished. I know this happens because, as a teacher, I see some of these kids. They are easy to pick out in a crowd.
In this spirit, I am sending out a link to Every Mother Counts, a campaign to reduce maternal mortality world-wide. Because as I sit in my comfy bed, picking at my cesarean scar, there is another woman in the same situation I was in who will not have the benefit of modern medicine. On this Mother’s Day, I will still call my family and friends. I will still be sad if the day passes unnoticed in my household. However, I will spend the day thankful that I was able to physically become a mother – to leave the hospital healthy and with a healthy child.
So, friends, what if a fraction of what we spent on cards and flowers and gifts went to help the other mothers? The ones who don’t, like me, entertain fantasies of secret gifts and breakfast-in-bed, but fantasies of survival and health?
My hope for all of you is that you have a wonderful weekend, but that it is one more day that you are acknowledged, respected, and cherished. And that you take all of that goodness and pass it on the those around you.
I almost forgot. FUCK you, Time magazine, for so purposely printing yet another piece of inflammatory, mommy-war inciting rhetoric. I am so unbelievably disappointed.