Call me narcissist if you must but this blog is all about ME. I have another blog about my kids, whom I love and adore writing about. But I was Nicole a long time before I was mom and I don't intend to give up being Nicole overnight.

You can read all about my kids at Naptime Optional.
Or you can follow along on our Arizona adventure on my 365 project blog.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hallmark Holidays

Call me a cynic, but I believe we should do away with all the Hallmark Holidays. You know, the ones invented merely to sell greeting cards. The ones that nobody really likes because everybody just ends up feeling bad at the end of the day.

Mother's Day is a prime example.

I really can't see that there there are more than a very small handful of people who actually enjoy this day!

First there are all the women out there who want desperately to be mothers but aren't by no choice of their own. Mother's Day is a horrible day for them.

Then there are those who have lost their mothers. I am thinking particularly today of my good friend Aubrey who died last fall. This is the first Mother's day for her husband and two small children without her. I imagine it has been a difficult day, as it is for all whose mother is now gone whether recently or long ago.

Then there are those of us who presumably fit the perfect mold. I am a wife and mother so I should have no reason to dislike the day, right? Wrong! Most of us who are mother's spend most of the day feeling like bad mothers. Especially if you are church going kind. Then you have to endure listening to others dribbling on and on from the pulpit about how perfect their mothers were and the longer you sit there the more you realize how imperfect a mother you are. We spend the whole day comparing ourselves to all the other mothers we know and finding that we come up short.

And the pressure is really on the husbands to make it a special day for us because if nobody makes a big deal about what a great mother we are then we REALLY start to assume we are terrible moms.

And society as a whole doesn't do anything to ease all this mother's day pressure and angst. In fact, they make it worse!!!

I was appalled last Monday to catch a segment on the Today show about a special that was going to air called the Search America's greatest mom.....or something lame like that. We mothers spend enough time comparing ourselves to others and feeling like we are lacking we do not need an awards show full of a bunch of perfect mom's to solidify in our minds our complete incompetence in motherhood!

I guess there were different categories of Mothers for the show and each day on the Today show they were going to show the nominees for a particular category and then the viewers were supposed to go vote on the best mom. Well the category on Monday was Military moms. There were two moms shown who are currently deployed and far away from their kids. The one will miss not only this Mother's Day, but next one too because she is not scheduled to come home until June 2009. The third mom had a son in the military who started sending him care packages and he would share with his fellow soldiers so then she started sending out packages to more and more solders until it has grown to this huge organization with volunteers all over the country sending out care packages daily. And my point is we really have to pick which one of these moms is the best? Because I don't care who you are losing sucks! Especially when it's something as important as being a good mom. And don't give me that "it's an honor just to be nominated" crap! I think all three moms were amazing and I don't think it's right to pick one that is the best! Plus there are hundreds of other moms out there who are also in the military and away from their kids as well-where is their recognition? It just infuriates me. Mother's are hard enough on themselves as it is, they don't need the added stress of feeling not good enough to be nominated as America's Favorite mom. sigh.

So, to all you mothers out there (and I'm talking to myself here, too, because I'm super hard on myself!!!) You are better than you think you are. Seriously. Even if you fed your kids brownies of breakfast, or they stayed in the pajamas all day, or you forgot to brush the 2 year old's teeth before putting her to are still a good mom. Even if you lost your temper a time or two today, or let your kids watch too much are still a good mom. Because you are doing the very best that you know how to do and motherhood is not a contest. We all have our own unique qualities and quirks that will (hopefully) be endearing to our children, someday.

And to all you who are not currently mothers-I cannot say anything that will take away the hurt of kids you want but have not yet been blessed with, or even worse, kids that you have lost....I can't even imagine your pain. But please know that you are still important and indispensable to somebody. (I dread the day that my sister gets married and has her own kids because I rely SO MUCH on Aunt Natalie!!!!)

It's not much, and I'll probably still hate Mother's Day next year, too. But for now, Happy Mother's day, from me to you.


Anonymous said...

My somewhat-related complaint is all the over-hyped holidays that have to do with spending money. Ever notice that Thanksgiving and St. Patrick's day are the ugly stepsisters to Halloween (candy and costumes), Christmas (giving gifts, food, assuaging guilt by doing so), Valentine's (trying to woo with spending $$)? And Easter sort of ranks just because they can sell a lot of candy and a few trinkets and baskets, but it is sort of a blip too. No wonder they start advertising Christmas as soon as Halloween is over! More money to be made! And that's probably where all this Mother's Day stuff comes from--lay on guilt trips to encourage spending.....

orangemily said...

I really like Mother's Day. We don't buy anything from Hallmark so I don't feel over commercialized or anything. It's just nice to have a day about me where Rich took care of everything and we got to relax together and have a nice time.
I don't compare myself to other moms much so I don't get down on myself or feel inadequate.
I know it's hard for those that aren't mothers, but that doesn't mean those of us that are shouldn't have a day to celebrate our posterity.
I know it's not much of a comparison, but they still have President's Day and not everyone gets to be a President. And boy did I want to be President when I was growing up (I'm over it now).
Maybe next Mom's day take a day off from your worries and just relax and enjoy!

Karen said...

I too, could do without Mother's Day. Not that I don't appreciate a day to honor my own mother, to dwell on her genuine, loving nature, I just hate having the attention on me. I remember the many Mother's Days that I would find a place to be, far away from families. Four adopted children later, I appriciate one of the few days a year that I feel off the hook to cook the Sunday meal, but feel truly silly for being honored for something I wanted so much for what seems like selfish reasons. I needed to care for someone little so badly. Becoming a mom was all about me wanting to be a mom and not thinking about someone needing a good mother.

Not to put the pressure on or anything, but I am pretty sure you are the super hero of mothers. Take a minute to find your cape. When you find it... ask Adam if it's clean or dirty.

HeidiPie said...

Mother's Day! Such a nice holiday, yet so many different ideas about it from different people.

I was at a stake Enrichment mtg on Sat and the main speaker, who was great! Told it to us straight. She hates Mother's Day. Hates being compared to all those perfect mothers, just wishes the day would pass by. Hates being served breakfast in bed while the house crumbles around her.

I don't remember last years Mother's Day much. and I have more to write, but my Mother skills are needed at the moment....

Andria said...

I have to admit that I dislike Valentine's Day much more than Mother's Day. The person who came up with that one was a sadist. I guess I've never really gotten over the being in college and not having a sweetheart on Valentine's Day, so my friend and I wrote "I Hate Love" poetry.

A friend of mine (who is in her fifties) told me that she tells her family that all she wants for Mother's Day is to not see any of her children or her husband. So, I told my husband that all I wanted this year was peace and quiet. And I didn't go to sacrament meeting, so I got to miss out on the "wonderful mother" speeches and the lame gift. So it was a pretty good day.

KASH said...

I'm pretty sure all mother's feel they could be better. Mother's day is a day that many choose to focus on Mother achievememts, (not mistakes) hence the talks of seemingly perfect mothers. It's not that these women haven't made their share of mothering faux paxs. They just aren't mentioned. Don't compare, just because women mother in different ways, doesn't necessarily mean one way is better than the other.

I'm glad that enough people took notice of how important mother's are and made a day to celebrate women anywhere who have any sense of nurturing in them, whether they have their children or act as another mother for someone else's children. I also see it as a day to remember many mother's who have left a legacy worth remembering. Do not all people deserve to have the best remembered of them?

I hope next year goes better, because I'm pretty sure you're the greatest thing in at least 4 people's lives right now. :)

But, I can talk right now, I don't have children. We'll see how things go once I have my own. :)