In theory, I like the idea of Mother’s Day.
It’s the one day out of the year that I get to openly celebrate having my two kids with both of them, I get to be as bitchy as I want and do whatever the fuck I please whenever the hell I please it. Go tanning without a gummy toddler pulling up on the tanning bed? Check. Pedicure without trying to corral a six year old? Fan-fucking-tastic. I can sleep in, I can make my family wait on me hand and foot, and it’s theoretically flipping awesome.
In practice, however, I fucking hate it. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns, I hate it passionately, and I hate Hallmark for making it such a big damn deal.
I’ve been a mother now for seven years, and each year I grow more sullen and resentful of having to celebrate it. The closer it gets, the more I openly dread it.
No matter that I’m the only one in the family with young children, the only one who still gets up overnight, and the only one who makes sure everything runs as smoothly as possible for my kids.
It’s never about me. It just isn’t.
Mother’s Day is never a celebration of any of the things that I do (or in some cases don’t do), it’s about pleasing the two other mothers in my life: neither of which a) cares for me much or b) acknowledges me in any way shape or form (even if I have recently popped a child from my cooter).
To keep the peace, I have to make damn certain that
my husband I go and pick a card for his mother and some small token to say thank you to her (never mind that our tastes are completely dissimilar). Then I have to swallow my incredibly complicated feelings for my own mother and make sure to pick her out something special.
I know this makes me sound incredibly selfish and spoiled, like I don’t want to share the day with either of them or something, but I assure you that’s not it. I adore thinking of other people, buying them something thoughtful, and watching them enjoy it. Seriously, that’s my favorite part of Christmas.
It’s just that whatever I do is not acknowledged unless I don’t do it. The year that I forgot to
remind Dave pick up a card for his mother myself and send it myself (which I always do), he got an angry phone call.
The year that I didn’t realize that Mother’s Day was a big ass deal for my own mother (it had never, ever been before), I got the world’s meanest letter written to me and placed on my pillow. The words “fuck” and “you” were prominent features there (yes, this was written by my mother, and I was 19), as were just about any insult you could imagine.
And if I do make sure to do the thoughtful things for these women (neither of whom are maternal to me in any way), I don’t even get a ‘thank you,’ or a “Happy Mother’s Day to you, too, Becky.” It’s expected that I spend the day with one or both of them (if not THAT day, at least 2 separate weekends) and not celebrate it for myself.
The fact that no one in my family (either side) ever even says ‘thank you’ for anything that I do hurts me, but for some reason, maybe I’m being a silly bitch, the fact that I go out of my way for two people who don’t even really like me (I’m actually being less melodramatic than it seems. Seriously) on a day that is technically “my day” too really hurts me even more.
It hurts me much more than I’d let on, so much so that Dave has officially called Mother’s Day off for the year. He’s so tired of watching me cry over it (it’s been 5 years of weeping. Not continuously, of course. That would be creepy) that he’s doing the only thing he can do (my family is not the sort to address these things). We’re going to do something to celebrate with just the four of us and that’s all.
He’s just done watching me get hurt by our families, and because we just don’t address stuff like that out in the open like normal people (I did tell you it was a note that my mother left me, right?), and we probably never will, and he’s just putting an end to it. I don’t need to “remember” these two women who refuse to “remember” me any more.
Maybe this makes me a selfish bitch, maybe it just marks the dawn of a new era of not taking bullshit from my family, maybe it’s just a false threat; I don’t know. All I do know is this: I am finally more at peace with the whole holiday than I’ve been the whole time I’ve been a mother.
Am I asking too much?