For as long as I can remember, I’ve hated mothers day. I’ve seen it as a just another occasion when capitalism tries to guilt me into spending money for no reason. Fortunately for my family relationships this view comes originally from my own mother, who has a fairly strong aversion to spending money unnecessarily.
Most of the people who know me assumed that I would change my mind once I was a mother myself. And I have softened a bit. The card I got from Hungry Boy this morning that he made at school, with “I love you” written prominently in three places, was pretty nice. But the completely useless (about A7 size, if there is such a thing) notebook and pen that he bought me from the mothers’ day stall at school with the $5 that Mr Penguin had given him didn’t warm any cockles that I noticed.
This holiday now strikes me as one similar to Secretaries Day, which is a relic from the days when there were no computers and secretaries had thankless jobs and the men who were having sex with them on the side always forgot to thank her in the spotlight for the typing, so there is an official reminder day to buy her a card. That made sense. Twenty years ago.
The reason mothers day is still such a big day is that motherhood is not valued for the rest of the year. Apart from the desperate urge to sell something, anything, to mothers that permeates advertising at this time of year, mothers day helps everyone else feel less guilty about how little mothers are valued for the other 364 days of the year.
I’m looking forward to when mothers day has paled into insignificance because mothering is valued every day of the year.