Musings about Mother’s Day

I have always hated mother’s day.  When I was a child my mother used to always be upset on mother’s day because it was never quite how she wanted it to be.  She would say that there was no need to buy her a gift; all she wanted for mother’s day was to spend time with her family.  So we would dutifully refrain from present buying and then she would be really offended we had not made her day special enough.  Probably what she really wanted was not to have to lift a finger for the day, to have all of the meals and cleaning up done for her and we were not clever enough to work that out.

As an adult I hate mother’s day for a number of reasons.

We only just got over the Easter hard sell when retailers started advertising for everyone to spend up big to show their Mums how much they love them.  It has become so over commercialised.

I went to the shops at my normal time this morning to buy my weekly groceries and it could have been the week before Christmas.  No parking spaces, wall to wall people and a sense of panic buying.

But the main reason I hate mother’s day is because we are bombarded with messages in the media of the sanctity of motherhood and the amazing sacrifices mothers make for their children every day and it is always a very strong reminder to me that I have not found any useful purpose for having a womb.

I know. I can hear your thoughts; this is not all about me.  And you are right it is not about me at all, because I am not a mother and never will be and once a year I get an in the face reminder of my inadequacies as a woman.

Thankfully although I braced myself for it, this year I did not have anyone at the shopping centre wish me a happy mother’s day as is normally the case.

I often think about the inequality of mother’s day versus father’s day.  I have read articles about how much more money is spent for mother’s day.  I think a lot more fuss is made about how wonderful and self-sacrificing mothers are. (Martyrdom is alive and well) and often the father’s day message is all about useful tips on how to be a better dad.

Back in the day when my father was a young dad that probably would have been valid as dads really did not play a big part in the life of their children, they were the hunter gatherer and the mother was the nurturer and care giver.  I think the roles have changed so much, dads are actively involved in the role of care giver and there are an increasing number of them who are giving up their jobs to stay at home with young children while their high income earning wives return to the work force.  So I think it is time we started evening up the score and making more of a fuss of dads and toning down the soft-focus view of how wonderful motherhood is.

You can write this off as the ranting and raving of a bitter and barren woman and you may be right, but I’m sure I am not the only woman in the world who finds mother’s day a painful day.

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