08 May 2014

Complicated Mother's Day

I'm seeing a bunch of Mother's day reminders popping up on my Facebook feed and plastered across the internet. 

I'm not a big fan of Mother's day in part because it seems to divide women into have and have nots. I know a wide spectrum of women: child free by choice, childless by (un)luck, moms who had children who died, or were injured so severely that the child they 'knew' is gone, I know moms by adoption, and birth moms, and grandmothers all over the map. And while everyone currently living has, or has had a mom, there doesn't seem to be much thought given to those who had terrible moms, or who lost their moms young, or feel estranged from their families.

Mother's day seems to so heartlessly focus on the 'joy' of being a mother while demanding silence from all those who don't fit the Hallmark Image of joyful, womanly motherhood. I'm not the most maternal of moms-- but luckily my son has other adults in his life who model different ways of being there for him than I do.

I have pretty much the same issues with Father's day. Both seem so relentlessly cheerful as holidays. They don't allow for grief, or loss, or other modes of mothering and fathering.

Sometimes the people who are the best and highest examples of Mother and Father aren't covered by the standard range of Hallmark Cards.

(cross-posted from my Facebook page)

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