Mother's Day: Bah Humbug.
It’s hard to avoid that nasty little fact that Mother’s Day is precariously close (at an insanely early May 11 for those who haven’t yet checked their calendars and/or live under a rock). Virtually every form of media – TV, newspapers, magazines, etc. – are nearly screeching with sheer delight and are overflowing with advice on how mothers should be treated on “her” special day in May and, the most important part, to what she should be treated.
Take, for example, an annoying ad campaign that has been running in several newspapers in my area including the Boston Globe. In multi-colored lettering, the ad says only this: “What I Want For Mothers Day.com. Don’t hint. Just click.” Because the ads so annoyed me with their vagueness – similar to pharmaceutical commercials which say things like, “Ask your doctor about the mint-green pill,” but never tell you what the mint-green pill does or for what ailment it’s intended to address – I clicked and was sent to a jewelry store web site with pictures of sparkling items and a useless vase shaped like a fish where the flowers go inside the fish’s mouth. Moms are encouraged to fill out their pricey wish list and e-mail it to friends and family with a nice load o’guilt (you don’t buy the items for the woman, you’re ungrateful or cheap, or both).
This is an outright crass, gimme-stuff approach to Mother’s Day, as opposed to some Mother’s Day ads which soft-peddle the materialistic aspect that has become part-and-parcel of this so-called holiday by featuring gauzy photos of a mother and cherubic children frolicking in a field of lavender under a powder blue sky, and demurely mentioning somewhere adjacent to the oh-so-tasteful-image that the clothing and jewelry on the mom in the photo is on sale now at a fine department store near you. That is if you care to remember the woman who gave you life. Or the woman who gave your children life.
Crass or not, I’ve had enough of this kind of Mother’s Day, the one where people are expected to pay off their mothers for having raised them, the kind where women who are in the midst of doing the hard work that is child-rearing at this very moment are expected to race around buying gifts for their mothers, mothers-in-law and grandmothers and preparing to either host or take folks out to Mother’s Day brunches. Being a mom who’s trying to take care of a home, a young family and work, all at the same time, is enough pressure without having a holiday which supposedly honors said mom except that she has to do all the celebration planning herself.