Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day: Plechy!

Time for a little Fast & Testimony Picnic here. Actually, I take that back. I think, in lieu of an FTP and as a replacement for Relief Society Enrichment Night, we'll have Women's Stitch & Bitch. I think Di is in charge of that group. The topic is "Mother's Day: Plechy! Why I Hate, Hate, Hate This Holiday."* (Or, if you're feeling a bit contrarian, tell us why you love it.)

Meanwhile, enjoy this article from the Washington Post and be grateful this monument never came to fruition!

* Today's topic is brought to you by all the women I've talked to in the last 24 hours who have reminded me once again that they absolutely hate this Hallmark Holiday. Just wanted to clarify that. I have no opinion about Mother's Day one way or the other. (Well, that's not true. I do. But I'm reserving it for later.)


Lucy said...

Ooohhh .. yeah! You know...I don't mind the holiday .. if it can be called that. If people want a day to honor their mothers, go for it. No problem. The problem I have with it is every year...the same gaggy, gooey, guilt ridden programs that find themselves the topic of whole hour and a half church meeting. It's not a gospel subject. Who started that? Keep it in the family. Then they try to do the same thing with father's day and it's the same thing all over again in June. My present to myself this year is....(drumroll) a day at home. Ahhhh..

Anonymous said...

I hate it because it's become so obligatory. The year when my son was being a scary teenager, and he hated my guts for grounding him, he was especially mean on Mother's Day. So I demanded he make a card for me. He drew a stick figure. I cried myself to sleep for two weeks after, but tried not to show that I felt bad during the day.

Even though he's become a wonderful human being again (space and time heals) I still feel a little traumatized. Believe me, he really is a wonderful human being -- you'd like him now. But motherhood seems to me to have been loaded on the trauma side, with just enough heart-felt, lovely moments to keep me from committing suicide.

How's that for truth?

And then I know I'm sending my own mom a card out of a sense of fear that if I didn't, she wouldn't think I really cared about her. It's a vicous, guilt-ridden cycle.

And today, my cat left a nasty Mother's Day present for me on the porch. You'll love this one, Tewks -- she killed a baby rabbit and strewed the entrails around. Coincidence? Or a bad omen?

- ph

LG said...

I'm a fan of mothers, sure. I'm just not a fan of the guilt. My family has a website, and one of my least favorite things is when, after a holiday or birthday, my dad leaves a post on the site saying something to the effect of, "Well, your mother heard from some of her kids today. Six out of 8 isn't bad." So basically the other two can go right to hell, because then he follows up with all the reasons why we should be grateful for her.

And with that, Happy Mother's Day!

Di said...

Guilt sucks. But I don't have much of an opinion on Mother's Day itself. Meh.

Holly said...

I don't really hate mother's day.... I just accept that it's this thing that occasionally happens and that I must therefore deal with before things get messy.

In other words, it's the calendar equivalent of mild diarrhea.

LG said...

Ok Holly, that final sentence made me spit out my tea. Thanks a lot. :)

Phoenix Touch said...

When I was growing up, my father used to say to my mother on Mother's Day, "I don't need to get ya anything. You aren't my mother." She is still bitter about it.

Since I have been single for the entire spread of my daughter's life - save the first ten months when I was still trapped in a horrid marriage - Mother's Day for me has just skated by without a blink. This year, my baby is old enough to be roped in by the Hallmark commercials and signs and realized she was "supposed to do" something special. She went to great lengths to arrange with my mother to go shopping for me on the Friday before Mother's Day to pick out a gift. Mom got sick that day and shopping trip got cancelled. My baby burst into tears when I told her that. "But, Momma! Now I can't get you the present for Mother's Day and I tried so hard to take care of you this year!!!" So then, I, was crying.

There was no expectation on my part for her to make/buy/do something for me. I was touched by the fact that she wanted to.

Still... I find it odd that we only honor our mothers/fathers 1/365 each year. The bible says we are supposed to do it year round. Apparently, Hallmark doesn't read the bible. Perhaps they could really up their bottom line by advertising mother's/father's day 365 days a year.

I say this in the name of all that's holy. A-Men!

Holly said...

glad to be of use, lg, and I hope nothing was damaged by the spray of tea. :-)

Phoenix touch, your story about your daughter choked me up a little. I hope next year she gets to give you something she loves.

Phoenix Touch said...


My daughter disappeared today, after school, with her now-healed grandmother. When she returned, I was greeted with a great big Chesire smile. She leapt into my arms, gave me a big hug and presented me with a card and a to-go cup of my favorite Jamba Juice. She had asked me weeks ago what I really wanted. At Christmas, I had started a fund for my new "REAL" walking shoes from a professional running-shoe company. Everyone who gifted me gave me gift certificates or money toward the outrageously expensive shoes. I am about halfway there and mentioned I would like to get closer. She remembered that and enrolled my mom in escorting her to get me another gift card for Wasatch Running Company. It was a BEAUTIFUL day! I love my daughter!!! :)

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

I love all of these comments and stories! Holly, your line about diarrhea cracked me up! And Abgue, I loved your story. LG, ugh and ick; guilt sucks!

MD is always a tough one for me in terms of whether I should or shouldn't do something... anything... Not because my mother expects the stereotypical treatment, but because it's all just so schmarmy and saccharine and patronizing, and our family just isn't.

It's also my least favorite holiday because it falls right around my birthday and some years it actually falls on my birthday. I'm not entirely sure why that annoys me, but it does.

What I love, love, love about Mother's Day, though, is it is/was the one Sunday of the year my mom stays home from church. For some reason that just amuses me beyond words!

Anyway--I don't have a HUGE opinion about Mother's Day, except that I think it's one of the most over-manufactured, meaningless holidays out there. I'm with Abgue: dysfunction and crap aside, I try to be grateful for my mom 365 days out of the year. Still, I do manage to find the funniest Mother's Day cards out there. None of that sappy, sentimental stuff for us.

Liz said...

Tewkes- I am cracking up over you loving mother's day because it got you out of church. I always loved being sick for the same reason!

Maybe that's why I never go to church as an adult?

I don't mind mother's day because I know my mom really enjoys it, but she also doesn't place any expectations on us. When I was a little kid I made my first breakfast-in-bed for her on mother's day- cereal with milk and some "coffee", which was a mug of cold water with the grounds floating on top. I have since learned to use a coffee maker, thankfully.

She actually took a several brave sips. If only for that reason, I celebrate mother's day.

ME said...

Mother's Day was a downer when I was single and had appreciative gifts forced on me because I have ova.

Then I married and became a step mother to 4 teenagers. Now MD applies in a way it didn't before, but it feels like I qualify on a technicality. My husband does nice things, but that would never occur to the step kids.

Growing up, my mom used to blubber her way through MD every year. As a teen, I got sick of MD martyr routine and told her to knock it off--that it came across to us as regret for having children, not that she felt personally inadequate about her mothering skills. She hasn't bawled on MD since!

She dislikes MD at church, but usually goes anyway. But several of her friends flatly refuse to go to church; one came the year I gave a MD talk because she knew it would be based in reality, not fairy tales and sentimental hooey.

Adriana Velez said...

So many strong feelings about mother's day. I just posted a tongue-in-cheek survival guide myself. I remember my mother crying year after year because she wasn't an ideal mother and because we kids couldn't give her a break for one, ONE day! I want to believe it isn't just Mormons who make this such a toxic holiday.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Liz: Mother's Day is such a mixed bag, isn't it? But hey, any excuse to get out of church works for me! :_)

ME: Glad you called your mom on her martyrdom. Nothing less motivating than a martyr. I think you've hit it spot on with MD: it's phony sentiment and hooey. I think that's why it's so distasteful. Most of us, hopefully, don't feel phony sentiment when it comes to our moms. What frustrates me is how to express that sentiment without seeming trite. I think that's why finding and giving the funny, sarcastic cards works so well for me. My mom is funny and sarcastic so she gets it, loves it, and knows that underlying is real love and affection.

Adriana: LOVE, love, love your guide to creating the perfect Mother's Day. It should be required reading and action for husbands and children everywhere.