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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mother's Day? Bah Humbug!

I hate Mother's Day. Don't get me wrong: I adore my children and they, me; I worship the ground my mother walks on, but I hate this contrived, freaking day.

Early in our marriage there was nothing we could do to please my husband's mother. No card arrived early enough; no homage was solemn enough; no celebration adequate enough. The animosity and acrimony surrounding this day was antithetical to the way my own parents treated me. I couldn't understand and didn't like the way I felt. After a while we just gave up and I swore I would never subject my children to the same attitudes. Granted, I have probably gone too far the other way in my reaction, but my children show their love for me every single day of the year. They tell me how much they love me, and more importantly they show me in millions of other ways. Conversely, my mother and I have always had a great relationship. We talk frequently and the time we spend together is blessed with lots of discussion and laughter. How we treat each other the other 364 days of the year is so much more important than what we do on this one, damn day.

Things have substantially changed in the relationship with my husband's parents -- gotten much better, but the memories of the angst around this holiday remain in my heart, so much so, that I prefer to spend it just like any other Sunday in early May -- with a good book or perhaps in my garden.

13 comments:

Jay said...

I can't believe someone would make such a big deal about such a minor (and fake) "holiday."

We don't do much for Mother's Day, other than flowers and cooking for her and stuff like that. The real problem with Mother's Day for me is that everyone's birthday is in March and April. So there just isn't much left over after that.

Purple Flowers said...

It's another Hallmark excuse. Plus the flower and restuarant industry are all in on it.
I tell my Mother I love her 2 to 3 times per day. She knows it inside and out. She knows all her children love her very deeply. We keep it simple. A gift card to her favorite hair salon (she loves that) and a dessert of her choice.
As far as I'm concerned, it's nice to be acknowledged, but why only on one day. Life is too short for these calendar events.

jane said...

From one mother to another I totally agree... But Happy mother´s day anyway...:)

C.T. said...

Mothersday?? When was that??!! Now I have to call my kids...(and husband)....

Lena said...

Yes, I agree with you. The pressure of these contrived holidays is too much. We try to keep it simple here.

But this year my sister wanted to take my mother to the casino since she has been care taking so much, and with dad in rehab she is free to take off for the day. So that is where I will be. Since I don't gamble I will bring a book along.

Gilly said...

Ah well, us Britains have already celebrated Mother's Day. We call it Mothering Sunday, and it derives from the Sunday child servants (and older ones) were aloowed to go home and see their mothers, and attend their "Mother" church, where they were baptised.

Mothering Sunday is a much nicer name. And we all get a daffodil at church that Sunday!

Cheryl said...

Since talking to you the other day about this, I've been telling everyone I hate Mother's Day. Really. This morning I called my sister and asked what we were going to do. We decided we'd go to my mom's in the morning and make breakfast and spend some time together, then go home. I told my mom and she's happy with that. Yeah! Works for me.

jane said...

Hey Kathy! Have a fun time in Philly! Lucky you! I´ll have to live vicariously through you for a while...Jim´s or Pat´s?

beachgirl said...

I am not a big mothers day girl myself. When the kids were little my idea of a perfect mothers day was to have a day at the beach with no kids.
My mother in law was bad, but not that bad. Now she's just nuts.
I consider it a card company holiday just like valentines day.
This year its a beach day with the kids. I will keep my clothes on for the day. (but it's my day, shouldn't they go to my beach? just a thought)
The kids are getting me a gas grill so they can continue to host spontaneous family dinners at my place and have a gas grill to cook on. I asked my oldest to get it early so he can cook on mothers day. ;-)
But I will start the day my way. A ride to the gym.

I really don't ask for much if anything. I have the kids around me all the time. So I am a happy mommy.

susansmusings said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I hate "holidays" that make you feel stressed and guilty about doing celebrating something that is done every day anyways.

I'm going on a retreat with some of my girlfriends...no stress for anyone!

(and we aren't even going to talk about my crazy MIL)

Brad said...

Hey SA! -

no really, everyone should be lucky enough to have a fun, low maintenace mom like you!

HUGS!

Dear Liza said...

I so totally GET what you mean. So, I have done the same with my own kids...and mothers day really isn't that big a deal to them. Sometimes I wish they thought about it more than they do, but I know they love me, each and every day I know that. Seems I am never happy. :)

I hope that you get to spend the day doing just as you please. Hugs. :)

beachgirl said...

Happy Mothers Day Kathy.