I am a mother. I have a fabulous son who is a continuous delight to me, and being part of his growth into a full-blown human being is a wonderful thing. Being a mother is an ever-shifting challenge, something that makes me laugh every day, and frequently both frightening and frustrating. It adds a bastion to my life that I would not have imagined going into it.
But I hate Mother’s Day.
In a society where we claim to venerate the family above all, and do next to nothing to actually support healthy families, we have this day where everyone is supposed to buy the correct items, make the correct reservations, and bestow the approved amount of flowers and chocolate to display love. If these things are not done, as on Valentine’s Day, nothing else that has been done all year counts. Affection must be displayed on cue and with consumer goods.
The problem is, as a society we actually really don’t think much of mothers, or motherhood. Here’s an exercise. Count the number of TV series and movies you can think of with single fathers as heroic, caring characters, whether main characters, or supporting characters. Now, count the number of TV series or movies with single mothers as heroic, caring characters. Now compare that with the number of TV series or movies you can think of where the mother is the root cause of the main character’s problems in life. Bonus points if the reason the character has problems because their mother worked. Double bonus points if the mother enjoyed her career or was famous. If you really want fun, you can go backwards and start adding in the number of literary portrayals there are of young men made gay by their mothers having careers and strong personalities.
Don’t give me a day of flowers and crowded resteraunts. You want to show me that mothers are acutally appreicated, show me decent portayals of grown women with full lives who are not harridans who warp everything they touch because they once had a thought of something beside their children.
Until then, bah humbug.