This week’s prompt is Grateful.
I’ve heard quite a bit of Mother’s Day backlash this week. Mom’s who feel unappreciated and just want a day they can relax that almost always implodes into a family disaster, leaving her to clean up the after math. Women who hate the day and say it’s just another shallow Hallmark holiday (like Valentine’s Day). Lisa Jo Baker was kind enough to remind us not to set our expectations too high, and avoid the bitterness of entitlement.
I’ve always looked similarly at Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. They aren’t days to make up for the rest of a horrible year. They don’t need a lot of expensive gifts or lots of hoopla. They are sign posts, reminders of the kind of gratitude we should always feel and express. They are just days. The day itself isn’t even all the significant. Yes, it is nice to have a day that honor’s mothers. But the important question is do we actually honor our mothers?
Do we call, send cards or flowers and tell them we love them the other 364 days a year? The point of Mother’s Day shouldn’t be to make up for a year of neglect, but rather reinforce and remind us of the attitudes we should be reflecting all year long. I see my mother usually once a week. We have dinner at her house every other weekend. She watches my children so my husband and I can go on dates. She has always been and continues to be a major part of my life. Do I acknowledge her on Mother’s Day? Yes, we often buy simple presents and have lunch as a family with my grandmother, my sister and I plus all the husbands and children.
My husband lives further away from his family. He usually calls his mom every few weeks, but makes sure to call both his mother and step-mother on Mother’s Day. Sometimes we send cards, sometimes not. For him, the importance is maintaining the connection, rather than making a big deal of the actual day. The phone calls all year round mean more than the once a year token.
So by all means, buy flowers, send cards and go out to dinner; if those are things that you genuinely enjoy (or your mom enjoys). But don’t feel like this has to be an all encompassing symbol of all that your mom means to you, or all that you mean to your family. No one day is enough to do that. Instead, just use this as a yearly reminder to access your relationships with your mom. Do you like the way things are? Can they be improved? Most importantly, does she know how much she is loved?
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