Mother’s Day

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I have never really thought much about Mothers’ Day.  That is until I had my first miscarriage.  Now I think about it all the time.  Now I hate it.  I actually hate it and there is nothing I can do.

Mother’s day fills my social media feed with images of new born babies old and new, and cuddling people all having a great time being each other’s mums.

It hurts.  And it hurts a lot more than I am allow to say out aloud.  Because that would make me a hater.  That would make me selfish because it is all about me.

Ann Lamott wrote an article for THE SALON titled WHY I HATE MOTHERS DAY

But Mother’s Day celebrates a huge lie about the value of women: that mothers are superior beings, that they have done more with their lives and chosen a more difficult path. Ha! Every woman’s path is difficult, and many mothers were as equipped to raise children as wire monkey mothers. I say that without judgment: It is, sadly, true. An unhealthy mother’s love is withering.

I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure.

I think I love her.

She wrote how I have felt for more than five years.

There is a misconception that when a woman suffers a miscarriage, that she has simply ‘lost’ her baby.  It seems easier to say that, when in fact the truth is, her baby died.  No one ever says, ‘I’m so sorry to hear that your baby died.’  And if miscarriage was seen for the truth that it was, then we would not be allowed to ignore it as we do.

It is easier for everyone accept the mother, to say the baby was simply lost.

Today almost every country in the world celebrates mothers day in some way.  More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year?  It is one of the biggest international gifting holidays and is second only to Valentines day in flower sales.  But this was never the intention when Anna Jarvis campaigned for her Mothers Day Memorial.

Mothers day was never meant to develop into such a profitable and economic commercial machine.  So how did it get so out of control and what is the history behind Mothers Day?

History of mothers day, mothers day, history of everythingThe Mothers day we know today was first held in America in 1908 and was a very private and important day when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia.  Anna Jarvis held carnations at the first Mother’s Day celebration, because carnations were her mother’s favourite flower.

Anna’s mother Ann Reeves Jarvis, died in 1905.  She was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created ‘Mother’s Day Work Clubs’ to address public health issues.  These clubs also help to teach local women how to properly care for their children.

After her mother passed away, Anna’s mission was to honour her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honour mothers, “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.  It took 6 years of campaigning as the States of American slowly begun to acknowledge and celebrate the Day.  Mother’s day was not made an official United States Public holiday until 1914.

It is not just about the maternal bonds between mother and child, it is about the positive impact mothers have on society and the work they do for their children, the community that can often go over looked.  In the beginning Mother’s day was about giving mothers power and reminding them of what can be achieved when women and mothers come together.

By the early 1920s, Hallmark and other companies started selling Mother’s Day cards and florist were starting to profit from the sale of flowers, mostly carnations the recognised symbol of mothers day.  Wearing a white carnation on mothers day was a way honour a deceased mother, while wearing a pink carnation was to honour a living mother.

Mothers day is now very firmly established in calendar.  In the U.S. alone, Mother’s Day 2012 spending will reach $18.6 billion—with the average adult spending more than $152.52 on gifts, the National Retail Federation estimates.


Childless mothers.  And where do they stand?  Who buys them carnations?

Asking children to thank their mothers for all they have done.  But your child did not choose you.  They have no say.  The adopted by osmosis all your fears worries, anxieties and stress.  They have to put up with your mother as their grandmother and your partners parents in their family.  They are not allowed to question this nor ask for more.

What if you knew that you child actually didn’t want you to be their mother.  What if the idea of a mother was a burden and a weight on their lives that they would love to have lifted.  What if family in general was an obligation and to a joy.

Would you want to hear the truth on mothers day or are you just after a lie?

If you want to actually be mother of the year, Ask you child this mothers day how they really feel.  See if you can handle the answer.

Mothers day should be a day for mothers to take on their own.  Apart from the family and away from their children.  Where they look over the last year and reflect on their own abilities, their successes and their failures.  Where they record how they feel about being a mother and research ways they could do it better.

Then at night, they should head home to their children and thank them for the utter privilege of being able to be their mother.  And apologise for all their short coming and for sharing with their children their fat asses and thick ankles and dark facial hair.  And they have dinner and relax and be in love with their kids for another year.

Just a thought.

But I have been drinking wine, and feeling pretty crushed right now.

E x

3 thoughts on “Mother’s Day

  1. Hmm Mothers day is such a tricky thing isn’t it. We stopped celebrating mothers day after my wife and I lost our first child. But now that we have two young girls mothers day makes sense again. It’s hard.

  2. Us too. I am careful to always text a friend of mine who lost her child at 28 weeks. But I do want to celebrate mothers day with my little boy now. I understand how it can hurt others but I still enjoy it in our home.

  3. Sorry – But I love Mother’s day.
    Just because people celebrate mothers day doesn’t mean they don’t give a shit about everyone else. It isn’t about that. It’s about actual mothers. And if you don’t have kids, make your own day! I wont apologise for celebrating what being a mother is to me with my kids!

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