This may sound negative, but I hate Mother’s Day. It’s the most confusing holiday I celebrate,
which is saying a lot for a nice Catholic girl who now celebrates Jewish
holidays with her husband’s family. This
year will be my fourth attempt to make peace with Mother’s Day. There are early indications that I am not falling
in love with it anytime soon.
Each year I want to embrace the opportunity to celebrate
motherhood, which is something that is very important to me. The first year, we took our infant daughter to
an arboretum where I nursed her among the new spring buds, secretly longing for
a spa day to myself. The second year we
went to brunch, which I thought would somehow magically be fun—even though
every other time we’d had eaten out with our now-toddler daughter, it felt like
surviving a battle. Even if the weapons
were just tomatoes and half-eaten grapes, it was hard to smile like it was the
celebration I’d dreamed of. I spent most
of that meal keeping my daughter from eating sugar packets, and again, secretly
wishing that I was at a spa day. Alone.
Drive me to the spa, drop me off and don’t come back until I have had a chance to pee at least twice on my own.
And therein lies my confusion. On Mother’s Day, am I supposed to be spending
the day mothering? I feel compelled to dress my kids up and
shepherd them through some overpriced lunch buffet (if we could even get reservations)
or frolic out in nature in a reverent celebration of both motherhood and
spring. The drawback to those plans is
that even if they are fun (and more than 50 percent of the time they are not), they are a great deal of
work. More work than I want to be doing
on a day that’s supposed to celebrate all the stuff I’ve already done.
But, even though giving mothers spa certificates as a gift
is popular, it doesn’t seem like checking out for a nice chunk of actual
Mother’s Day to use those gift certificates is. And truly, that’s what I want: soothing Enya music wafting through
invisible speakers, a lavender candle and herbal tea—all a prelude to a deep
tissue massage. And then a nap. Alone. I don’t want the mere promise of a massage
for some day in the future. Please don’t
make me defer the pampering. Drive me to
the spa, drop me off and don’t come back until I have had a chance to pee at
least twice on my own.
This Mother’s Day I am happy to spend part of the day
mothering (at home), as long as I get a chance to relax and let someone take
care of me for a few hours. Let’s save
the hard work of having an adventure (or a meal out) with the kids for some
other time. Like Father’s Day.