Mother’s Day and the Aftermath: Why I Still Don’t Do It

I quit Mother’s Day 10 years ago when it rolled around 2-3 weeks after the sudden death of my mother. I’ve tried a few times since then. Really, I have. But I still can’t do it.

Even when I became a mother 5 years ago, I still was not interested in Mother’s Day. Although someone apart from my husband and me insisted that my son get me a card one year and it stuck.

Mother’s Day generally is not a good day for me. It comes at the end of the back to back…to back series of significant dates: the anniversary of Mom’s death, her birthday 7 days later, and Mother’s Day roughly the weekend after that. By the time Mother’s Day rolls around, I get points just for getting out of bed, y’all.

I still don’t go to church on Mother’s Day. I’ve tried a few times. It’s too painful. And when you combine that day with the usual baby dedications that occur, I really can’t do it.

Yesterday was no exception. In fact, I spent much of it in tears…probably because of hormones. Probably because I was a dumbass and watched Trouble with the Curve, which hit a teeny weeny bit too close to home. Probably because people keep trying to make me do Mother’s Day. Probably because it marked the end of those three weeks that can be so tough–at least at some point along the way.

People keep telling me it will be different once this baby is born. (People who know I have a son also asked me how my first Mother’s Day was or if I’d gotten any “pre-mommy” gifts…and I had to remind them that I ALREADY AM A MOTHER. But somehow that brand of motherhood is not legit because I didn’t birth the child I have walking around right now. Which is a whole different problem with the prevailing sentiments of the day.)

What people fail to realize is that Mother’s Day will continue to come at the end of what some years is an intensely emotional three-week period. What people may not have considered is that I will not dedicate this baby on Mother’s Day. It’s hard enough to be pregnant and hormonal. Add to that the fact that this baby will not get to know my mother as an actively involved presence in his life and that I will round out this pregnancy and birth without the presence of my mother–to say nothing of parenting this baby without her…I can’t imagine putting all of that together on one day.

I don’t see my sentiment about Mother’s Day changing any time soon. And even if it becomes a day of celebration for me, I will be ever mindful that it is not a day of celebration for many.

I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t celebrate Mother’s Day. If it’s a good day for you, have at it. The best it has been for me so far is a day in which I again express thanks for the mother I had, for the wisdom she gave me, and for the ways in which she loved me so very well. But I don’t need Mother’s Day for that.

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