Is Mother’s Day a Relevant Holiday?

In Breast Cancer, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

It has been more than 14 years since my mom passed away and each year, when Mother’s Day comes around, I am reminded on this “holiday” about how it always bothered me that this day exists. While I always did something special for my mother to celebrate on this day, I never understood why I should do it other than I was expected to do so. My mom was so special to me and I was insulted by the fact that a day was created to recognize her when I did everything possible every day to let her know how special she was to me. I didn’t need a “Mother’s Day” to make her a meal or buy her a present or do something special for her. Those are things that I did all year long. And when I looked around at my friends and their families, there were often things that bothered me even more about Mother’s Day.

“No one ever wants to be guilted into celebrating or honoring a mother who was anything but what a mother is expected to be but it happens all of the time on Mother’s Day.”Barbara Jacoby

There were people who had mothers that treated them poorly. Some were physically and mentally abusive. Some treated their children as slaves and made them do all of the things that other mothers did while they went out and partied. There were those who put “their man” ahead of the children and had no time to pay attention to those children.  There were those who used their children as weapons in their personal battles with the children’s father. Some expected that their children should take care of them just as soon as the children were old enough to get a job. And there were those whose moms knew that their children were being abused by other family members and just turned a blind eye to it and denied that it even happened if their children told them about it.

For another group of children, they did not have a relationship with their mothers. Some of these mothers abandoned their families. Some didn’t want to be a mother so they put their children up for adoption. For others, they placed their children in foster homes for any number of reasons because they were not able to take care of them. Then there were those who created such bad situations in the home that there was no way that a child could respect them when they were repeatedly exposed to their mothers lying, cheating and/or stealing among other things.

These situations have created all types of new families for children. Some children may be raised by their grandmothers or aunts or other family members. It is becoming more usual for children to be raised by two same sex partners which may not even include a “mother”. Some children have now found a new mom in the homes of friends or neighbors when they can no longer live in their own homes.

I think that the time may have come when we no longer celebrate this money-driven excuse for a holiday. It seems like the florists and restaurants and the retail stores and confectioners are the only real winners. For those who really love and respect their mothers, a Mother’s Day is never needed as those mothers know how their children feel about them every day. For the rest, this day is a reminder of all things that they don’t want to remember or face. No one ever wants to be guilted into celebrating or honoring a mother who was anything but what a mother is expected to be but it happens all of the time on Mother’s Day.  Perhaps it is time to eliminate this “holiday”. It may actually be the best thing that we can do for both mothers and their family members.