The official Mother’s Day photo:


and the follow-up, just-for-the-fuck-of-it photo:
Screen shot 2012-05-15 at 8.49.26 PM
It smiles on command or it gets the Mini-14.

I don’t love Mother’s Day, do you? God, the pressure. Social media, in particular, has shaped this so-called holiday into a sort of competition. You can say it doesn’t exist, but it’s there. Who got the most thoughtful gift? Who has the most beautiful photos?

I’m not exempt at all, in fact, I use Mother’s Day as the one date per year when I absolutely demand a photo of me and the boys. It always, always turns to shit—grumpy expressions, increasingly irritated demands—and what the hell, self. If Mother’s Day should be about anything, it surely shouldn’t involve me blow-drying my hair and barking at my kids.

It seems a little bogus, this idea of forcing loved ones to momentarily stop taking for granted all the mothering mothery things we do, and to be honest, I don’t want picture-perfect gifts or bed-breakfasts. If anything, I’d love a hotel room to myself, with a pile of shitty magazines and 11 PM room service.

We’re not supposed to want that, of course. How awful would that be, to ask that our one gift be this: to shed, briefly, the confines of motherhood? To utterly abandon the expectations of living a perfect family life and dive wholeheartedly in the direction of pure selfishness?

(Ahhhhh, but still.)


65 Responses to “Mother’s Day”

  1. sooboo on May 16th, 2012 3:00 pm

    I thought Mother’s Day protocol demanded that the mom gets to do whatever she wants since it’s her day. I say you do you next year although both those pictures are pretty next level awesome! Maybe the photo shoot can take place the day before.

  2. Heather on May 16th, 2012 6:22 pm

    I find it fascinating that for Father’s Day they want An Adventure / Game With The Kids, and for Mother’s Day we want A Minute To Think Our Own Thoughts. It highlights the other 364 days.

  3. Chloe on May 16th, 2012 7:48 pm

    I am not a mom, but a friend of mine who is has a spa day with a mani-pedi (with some of her friends) on the Friday or Saturday before mother’s day. Relaxation is such a reasonable request, IMO!

  4. Spacy on May 16th, 2012 8:12 pm

    I don’t think it’s awful at all, but actually quite healthy to want that from time to time. I think that parents sometimes forget that they are a whole person, independent from their parental label, and that it’s important to nourish that, and be able to just be you, wholly and completely. I view it as self-caring, not selfish. So you have my vote for such a day, and certainly deserve it.

  5. Melissa on May 16th, 2012 10:29 pm

    I hate Mother’s day. My husband is fine with getting his mom flowers and a card, but when it comes to my present he tells me to buy some clothes or something I want. I don’t get anything from the kids except what they make at school. But the biggest thing that bothers me is that he spends Father’s Day fishing with his brother in a tournament that is always held on Father’s Day. I spend Mother’s day taking his mom out to lunch and then visiting my mom. He gets a day to do something I love and I spend the day doing everything but what I want to do.

  6. Amanda K on May 17th, 2012 6:15 am

    I’m with Dawn! Appreciate the mothers you have in your life in the way they would like to be appreciated. A day full of kids and family time and still having to clean the kitchen? Sure! A day where you sleep in, don’t have to clean a dish or wipe a rear, and a big sigh of relief? Great!

    I would give anything to sleep in, hear no screaming, and change no diapers. And yes, I’d feel appreciated. :)

  7. Susie on May 17th, 2012 8:22 am

    Damn, Linda — as usual, you hit the nail right squarely on the “you’re not supposed to say that out loud” head. AND you did it in the same post in which you’re holding a firearm! You are a BADASS.

  8. Melanie on May 17th, 2012 8:23 am

    I lived the “anti-Mother’s Day” this year. I took the kids to Church, ate lunch with the whole family, then I took a 2-3 hour nap and my husband took the kids for a walk-which ended up being a 2 hour adventure…it was lovely. We had been having bad attitudes from the kids, and when they came home, happy, cheerful and ready to give me hugs while the husband made dinner. (I should mention that I am pregnant, so probably why I got the anti-Mother’s day-no Mothering involved!)

  9. Beth on May 19th, 2012 4:14 pm
  10. aviva on May 20th, 2012 8:11 am

    We’re NOT supposed to want that? Honestly, if we didn’t spend the day with my mom each year, I would probably ask for some time on my own…. One year, for my birthday, I asked my husband to take the little guy out for the day. A little peace and quiet: it’s the best gift.

    If you don’t want to have to blow dry your hair on Mother’s Day, don’t. Take the photo some other time and make Mother’s Day whatever you want it to be. There’s no competition, after all, if you don’t choose to enter.

  11. Kelly on May 21st, 2012 6:57 pm

    I’m not a mother, but I am right there with you on the whole hotel room thing.
    I usually try to do it once a year where I just book myself a weekend in a hotel with a pool and whirlpool, bring all kinds of trashy magazines and eat whatever I want all weekend.
    It totally recharges my batteries and ready to deal with “real life” again.

  12. shannon on May 28th, 2012 12:04 pm

    I read a cute (and oh so true) quote about Mothers Day:
    I like hugs
    I like kisses
    but what I like most of all is help with the dishes :)

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  14. Michel T on October 1st, 2012 4:19 pm

    If my mother would have been wielding a Mini-14… I would have been bending over backward to also be in the picture!
    (With my own cap-gun of course!)

    On a more serious thought, I’m glad you’re enjoying spending time with your boys… Some day they’ll thank you for it.

  15. Tia on November 30th, 2012 12:01 pm

    Yeah, just put yourself in their shoes and imagine all the pressure that your loved ones feel in having to prepare this stupid holiday for you and meeting all of your cranky demands just because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. There’s some food for thought.

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