Here's a short list of people who have a hard time on Mother's Day:
- Bereaved Mothers
- The Infertile
- People who had difficult relationships with their moms at best.
- People who had great relationships with their moms who has since passed away
- Moms with small kids who have to spend the day visiting their mom and mom-in-law instead of having a day all about them even though raising small kids sucks. (As Stephanie Pearl-McPhee says in her latest book, the way most toddlers treat their moms violates the Geneva Convention.)
- People waiting for a table so they can get Mother's Day brunch over with.
- People who can't get the day off to spend time with their kids or moms because everyone in the fucking country has to take their mom to brunch on that one day.
- Women who have no desire to be a mother, and have to put up with the assumption that all women are supposed to be mothers 365 days a year.
- Mothers who would like to be treated nicely the rest of the year too.
- Mothers who have to clean up after their husband's and children's lame ass attempt to make them breakfast.
Is there anyone over the age of 10 not on that list?
I wasn't even that old when I first had issues with the day. I was maybe 7 or 8 when my Dad bought corsages for both me and mom to wear to church. I refused to wear mine because it made zero sense - I wasn't a mother. I explained this to my mom (who for some reason was stuck with talking me into wearing the stupid thing, even though she's not the idiot who bought it), and she shouted, "You're a future mother of America."
I has barely reached the age of reason, yet this was the stupidest thing I'd ever heard. I've probably heard stupider things since then (thanks, Fox News!) but this is still up there.
Kudos to my mom for such a remarkable achievement.
Of course, this is not an uncommon sentiment. Yet, a big chunk of feminism can be summed up thus:
Yes, the ability to gestate a human being is neato. But we can do other stuff too. Some of that stuff is even more important or impressive than baby making.
Mother's Day is a homage to heteronormativity. It's this one fucking day where we're supposed to give hardworking moms a break and honor them for ruining their lives. When they wouldn't have to work so hard if their husbands turned off the fucking game and did some housework or childcare. Or if it were more common for single parents to live together Kate and Allie style, so they could share the work. Or if we got some paid maternity/paternity leave and subsidized day care.
But until then, we'll just have to settle for greeting cards and feeling bad because we're not Claire Huxtable.