Thursday, May 10, 2007

On Hating Mother's Day

I have a little secret to tell you today: I hate Mother's Day. I don't want to hate Mother's Day, but I do.

It started a few years ago, in church of all places. On Mother's Day (it falls on a Sunday), I was handed a single red rose as I entered church, and the usher, grinning at me, said, "Happy Mother's Day." I don't want to seem like a bitch, but you know, I am not a mother. I have never been a mother, and well, at the rate I am going, I am not going to be a mother in the future.

I talked about my infertility here, here, and here. And probably other places as well. Anyway, I have an "issue" with regards to Mother's Day. A sore spot. And I admit it.

When I was younger, I thought, "Why do we need a special day for mothers?" We should be kissing their collective asses every day of the year. Not that they slow down enough for us to even get our lips near their butts. Because most of their time is spent developing young minds, cleaning up after young minds, or cooking meals for empty tummies.

I have heard many people complain about different mothers. You know, the mother that gives the spoiled child everything he or she needs. To that, I remind you that in old age, the child will be expected to look after the mother, and you know what, he or she won't. Okay, I am just joking, because you see, I am not a mother, and I don't know what it takes to be a mother. Some will say "working ovaries and a thimbleful of sperm" but that is a bit simplistic.

But I really don't like Mother's Day, because just because I have breasts and am in my thirties, people assume I am a mother. And that's not fair. It just is not fair. So when you wish someone a "Happy Mother's Day" on Sunday, at least know her well enough to know if she qualifies.


Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I'm right there with you, Leesa. I can't have kids either, after years of trying and trying.....and the only reason I celebrate Mothers Day is because of my own mom and my mother-in-law. If it weren't for them, I'd probably just get good and shitfaced every Mothers Day, isn't that horrible???

And on another cruddy note, I have begun to protest baby showers too. Not the showers themselves, but actually going to them. The last several I was invited to a baby shower, I declined. I have spent roughly 15 years sitting there at baby showers, smiling as we all play those "shower" games, trying to guess the sex of the baby, measuring mommy's belly, etc...and I'm done with it. I can't sit there anymore with a fake smile plastered on my face.

Don't get me wrong...I am VERY GLAD for the new mother and baby-to-be...but I feel like such a faker sitting there acting all happy...ebcause inside, I'm not. Inside, I'm thinking "Why the fuck can't I be the mommy-to-be for once???"

Sorry...didn't mean to comment your ear off...just wanted to let you know I know EXACTLY what you're saying and where you're coming from.

Leesa said...

stacy: I know what you mean about baby showers. I send gifts with others because I dislike them for the same reason. But most of my friends are past bearing children - now they are watching them in school, etc. And I have a more positive Mother's Day post for tomorrow (already written). Today, posting about the pain, tomorrow, the glory of mothers.

Pittchick said...

I have never really celebrated mother's day. I'm not a mother. I don't particularly like mine. I send a gift and a card though, because heaven forbid she finds out I give my dad father's day gifts and not her.

Ian Lidster said...

And to you I say "Happy Leesa Day," because you deserve it. Yes, the myth that all women of a certain age must be mothers, or must want to be mothers is very galling to many women. My first wife went through it all the time, so I know (by default) how it feels.

patti_cake said...

Patti_Cake here. I had to come see what the PQ got to lengthy about.
Stacy & Leesa I totally understand where you both are coming from. I tried for 10 years to have my daughter and I was VERY sensitive about other Mothers. Not that I wasn't happy for them, I was, but goddamn it hurt. I would'nt go to baby showers. When someone would announce they were pregnant I would always, always cry once I got somewhere by myself. I would NEVER EVER just assume someone is a Mother either. That's just insensitive, thoughtless and just plain TACKY. My heart goes out to everyone who suffers from infertility. I'll never understand in a million years why some women can pop out babies and not seemingly give half a crap about any of them and others who would be wonderful, fabulous Mothers can't have any. Hugs to you both.

Jill said...

Very good. Maybe we should have Women's Day and celebrate everything we do for others. I had my kids in my late 20-early 30's. Before then I had nothing in common with those with babies and was bored with them. Never really got into all the shower stuff. Nice but not my thing. When the kids were little their dad bought stuff for Mother(hey, I'm not your mother!) Later the kids made stuff in school which I liked. Now I might get the obligatory phone call. No cards, no gifts, no thought about good old Mom. Just another day.

I dropped by from Dr. Jon and enjoyed the visit.

Anonymous Boxer said...

I'm in my 40's, married with no children... and I can't tell you how annoyed I am this time of year. I know every store clerk means well with their cheery "Have a great Mother's Day", and maybe the whole world IS a Mother? I don't know. But not me. It's nice to know there are others.

Leesa said...

pitt: I have a blog entry for tomorrow for mothers, but I understand what you are saying.

ian: I think many (maybe most) women who are not mothers at 40 have some desire to be mothers.

patti: I am really big into supporting adoption not because of "the right to life cause" but because of the infertility experience.

jill: I don't really know Dr. Jon, but it looks like he linked to me today.

boxer: just nice to know others have similar experiences.

Prata said...

There's no rule that says being a mother requires you have spit out a child or 10. Also, if you want to be technical about it Everyone should have a Happy Mother's Day. It has nothing to do at all with your state of motherhood (or lack thereof). Just like Good Morning or Good Evening or Happy New Year, it's a local social event. What exactly makes the term Happy Mother's Day only apply to those who are mothers?

Wait! I know what you're going to say. Think about that statement before you even bother. Think hard. See it? Yeah, don't type'll get it later if you haven't gotten it by now. I promise. Might want to read that twice. ;-)

Josie said...

Motherhood does not always come naturally to every woman, even to those who are able to have children. I don't like any "manufactured" holiday that is designed to make "the other folks" feel bad. You're right, mothers should be celebrated every day, especially the good ones.

Leesa said...

prata: okay, I re-read the statement. Yeah, I get it.

josie: thanks, josie.

RWA said...

Ouch. I would agree. I don't think folks should "assume" that women, regardless of age, are mothers.

That's not good. I'm sure they mean well - but it's not good.

Jay said...

I hate it for another reason - my only mother experience having been one who was abusive and neglectful, I just don't see the point in celebrating. You may not be a mother (neither am I), but just because a woman had them doesn't make her a real mother, and it certainly doesn't earn her a day of praise.

LarryLilly said...

Leesa, its just an awkward day, for you, for others. I believe that we should acknowledge it as happy womans day. For putting up with periods, menopause, with sexist jokes, for always feeling that no matter how good, it is never good enough. As well as being mothers, ofd arranging lifes details, of fixing things broken by mnen, of being the one to stay calm when the adams of the world are having a hissy fit, or pitching a tantrum.

Happy Mothers day Leesa

Dr.John said...

In this age Mother's Day has become a problem for some and a blessing for others. Sorry that your one of those for whom it is a problem. Thanks for your comment on my blog.

Nocturnal said...

You have a relevant POV, alas I love spoiling my Mum rotten on this day.

Paul Joe said...

My wife had five misscaridges, we decided to adopt a child, the process took about two years,the very day we were told that it was ok,my wife found out that she was pregnant. we told our doctor and decided to wait,we now have three beautiful children.i would still like to adopt a child.We did financial foster someone elses child.
If it is your desire to be mother, it can be by choice.there are plenty woman who have brought children into this world, but not all are mothers!

Leesa said...

rwa: just a different perspective on a holiday.

jay: sorry to hear about it.

larry: I think the term you meant was "Happy Woman's Day."

Dr. John: you are quite welcome.

nocturnal: bless you for spoiling your mum.

paul: we are investigating this option. A few hiccups, though.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Leesa, I know I', a little late on this comment (I just read thru everyone's comments) but MAKE SURE you get a reputable attorney who has delt with lots of adoptions if you and the hubby DO decide to adopt. The PK and I decided to adopt...even met and had dinner with the mother and the father of the baby....bought baby things, etc...then a month before the baby was born, the mother changed her mind and decided to keep the we went to our attorney to get our retainer back...and despite not being able to do ANYTHING until AFTER the baby was born (and those were his words..."Well, legally, I can't do anything until after the baby is born...but I WILL need a retainer...", he'd only give us half our money back....f*cking thief. So not only were our hearts broken over the failed adoption, we were literally broke too.

Just be careful, is all I'm sayin'.