It’s “Mother’s Day” and I am doing laundry and cleaning up the art supplies and dried paint from the craft my husband planned for the kids. The craft that ended up flopping and was unusable for gifts for the grandmothers so I had to come up with and execute something last minute.
I hate Mother’s Day.
I hate everything about it.
I hate the commercialism. I hate the expectations that are never met. I hate having to do stuff when really I just want to stay in bed, or wander the mall by myself.
I hate the added pressure to do special crap that I really don’t want to do for my own mother and mother in law.
And then I hate the guilt I feel for not loving a day that is supposed to be all about glistening gratitude and love.
I’m like the Grinch of Mother’s day.
And like the Grinch who stole Christmas, I dread Mother’s Day every year. Every. Fucking. Year.
Last year was halfway decent with mimosas and breakfast in bed followed by a walk on my own at the beach.
But this year it was like the goal of the day was to make me feel as un-special and pedestrian as humanly possible.
Look. My kids are alive and healthy. I have a beautiful roof over my head and a cute dog. To the naked eye, my life is perfect. I’m grateful for all of this. Really. I do not mean to sound like some harping fishwife about Mother’s Day, even though I probably am.
I’ve also learned that expectations are usually not met, so it is best not to have any.
And I’m not actually a high maintenance person. Really.
But when my husband is going out at 8 pm the night before to buy me a card, and then making the kids make me half-assed cards the morning of. . . Well, it just kind of highlights the fact that no one really gives a fucking rat’s ass about what I do the rest of the 364 days per year.
It is usually one of the two days per year that my husband gives me some kind of flower arrangement. This year, he gave me coloring books.
Yup. Adult coloring books and some colored pencils.
Had I EVER expressed even the slightest interest in coloring, it might have been thoughtful.
OR, had I the time to color, then maybe the gift wouldn’t have seemed like such a slap in the face.
Maybe if I hadn’t actually mocked and reviled adult coloring as a hobby for myself. . . but no. This was the gift that basically screamed, “Hey, I have to give you something and I really didn’t want to put much thought into it, so here.”
I’ve been trying all day to breathe and allow and accept that it is really just another day, and it is alright that no one made me breakfast in bed or took me to the ocean or even folded the children’s laundry for me. I’ve been offering gratitude for my children who are alive and never had cancer or anything horrible happen to them.
I’ve been offering gratitude for the opportunity to clean the toilet, and to run all around the state dropping off my handmade gifts to the mother and mother in law. They deserve it. They do tons of shit for us. If anyone deserves recognition on Mother’s Day, it is them.
I’ve been attempting not to be resentful that my husband did basically nothing for his mother and that I had to step up to recognize her. And I have been trying to not be a dick and be upset that my own brother is mentally ill and missing in action, and my sister moved 3,000 miles away so I am the only one to give and show love to my own mother these days, despite the fact that I can never really seem to please her and anything I do pales in comparison to my sister’s Facebook status from 3,000 miles away.
But come on.
What the fuck?
When am I allowed to say enough is fucking enough and I feel like shit and I hate coloring books and it would have been nice if you could have even kept the kids from waking me up before seven this morning?
I mean, come on. Dude. Don’t we stress as moms like every second of every day during the year? Is it way too much to ask that we get even an hour of feeling special on our fucking “Day”?!
Tomorrow I will get up and bring the kids to school and go to work. And it will be another day. People at work will talk about the flowers from their kids, or the perfume they got for their moms and I will smile and nod.
I will quietly wonder if there is a word that encompasses a middle ground between “mediocre” and “crappy” and will silently use that imagined word to describe my Mother’s Day to myself. Because no one likes a Grinch. And no one wants to hear about how sucky, passive-aggressive, and enraged you felt on Mother’s Day. Goddess Forbid.
In the mean time I want to slam shit and have a tantrum because Hallmark set me up for yet another incredible disappointment.
I know for a fact there are a lot of you out there for whom Mother’s Day is really rough.
Maybe you lost the baby you always dreamed would make you a mother. Maybe your child is desperately sick, or caught in the grasp of addiction or mental illness.
Maybe your mother was not kind to you when you were young and a tide of disruptive memories comes flooding back and sweeps you off your feet and into its angry current.
Maybe you are battling your own demons of depression and despair.
Well, you are not alone, my sister-friends. You are most certainly not alone.
So next year, I say we take all the coloring books and crappy cards that weren’t hand made, and everyone else’s bouquets to the top of Mt. Crumpet to dump it.
And maybe if we strain our ears, and peer into the rising sun, we will hear a sound. Maybe we will hear the sweet song that actually clues us in to whatever the hell this day was supposed to be all about.