Agree or Disagree: Celebrating Mother’s Day says that women with kids are more important than those without

Agree or Disagree: Celebrating Mother’s Day says that women with kids are more important than those without

Yesterday, and since 1908, we have taken one day to honour those who are mothers. You honoured your mother with flowers. Or, breakfast in bed. Or, a brunch.

We have taken the time to recognize the efforts, the sacrifices, and the time mothers have taken for their family. We have taken the time to express our thanks, our love and our gratitude to our moms. Some even take the time to remember mother’s they have lost. Or those who were not officially “mother’s”, but acted like they were in people’s lives.

I don’t know  Anna Jarvis, but when she started the idea of  Mother’s Day, it must have been to honour Mother’s. Not to make those who could not be a Mother feel less, or a  failure.

However, overtime, some feel that Mother’s Day have become more about feeling that those who parent are superior to those who don’t.  Take for example Anne Lamont who writes in this article above Why She Hates Mother’s Day. And no, this is not coming from a non-parent. She is a mother of a son. 

Here are a couple of paragraphs of her reasons of the dislike of the holiday Mother’s Day.

I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure. The non-mothers must sit in their churches, temples, mosques, recovery rooms and pretend to feel good about the day while they are excluded from a holiday that benefits no one but Hallmark and See’s. There is no refuge — not at the horse races, movies, malls, museums. Even the turn-off-your-cellphone announcer is going to open by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!” You could always hide in a nice seedy bar, I suppose. Or an ER.

And then this.

But my main gripe about Mother’s Day is that it feels incomplete and imprecise. The main thing that ever helped mothers was other people mothering them; a chain of mothering that keeps the whole shebang afloat. I am the woman I grew to be partly in spite of my mother, and partly because of the extraordinary love of her best friends, and my own best friends’ mothers, and from surrogates, many of whom were not women at all but gay men. I have loved them my entire life, even after their passing.

What do you think? Why do you celebrate Mother’s Day? Does this holiday make those women who are not parents feel inferior?


One response to “Agree or Disagree: Celebrating Mother’s Day says that women with kids are more important than those without

  1. Eh. I have mixed feelings about this.

    I don’t think it’s Mother’s Day’s fault. Yes, it’s painful for those who want to be mothers or who have been mothers and are not now. But I believe in honoring mothers and fathers and the work they do, and I don’t think having holidays for them is a bad idea. Many holidays leave *somebody* out, and I don’t think the answer is to shut it down completely.

    Now, what *does* concern me is how the holiday is dealt with, especially in the Christian church. The rest of the year there is often an emphasis on how important motherhood is, but then it all goes crazy on Mother’s Day, and those who have lost children, cannot have children, or (as in my case) have chosen not to have children, *do* get the message loud and clear that we are not as good as everyone else.

    Short version: It’s not the holiday’s fault. Celebrating it is good. Just don’t be a jerk about it.

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