A Difficult Holiday

Mother’s Day was first suggested by a pacifist named Julia Howe who wanted to unite mothers in a rally for peace. For many years, she held a mother’s day meeting in Boston, but it wasn’t until 1908 when activist, Anna Jarvis, campaigned for the holiday that is celebrated today. However, Anna later regretted her campaign when the holiday became commercialized by the floral and greeting card companies.

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Then, in 1914, Mother’s Day became an “official” holiday when Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday is May would be the day the public expressed our love and reverence for mothers of our country.

For many mothers, this is a wonderful day. Yet, for many others, this is a day that many don’t feel like celebrating. And not just mothers, but many children as well.

I am the mother of two children I never got to meet. I am the mother of a child who is no longer with me and who happened to die the day after Mother’s Day in 2010. I am the mother of a child who struggles and choses to be absent from my life most of the time. I am the mother of children who were born to other mothers. The struggle of feeling an obligation to celebrate this day for my benefit and not being able to happily celebrate their bio mothers is hard. I have been mom to many children via foster care who I love and am no longer able to see or know how they are doing. I am the child of a mother who has chosen to not be part of my life.

For the many who long for motherhood, this day is especially hard. For children who have lost their mothers, this day can be incredibly difficult.

So why do we need a holiday that celebrates mothers once a year? Is it really about mothers or is it more about the billions of dollars spent or cards, flowers, and gifts?

I know that not everyone would agree with me, but I would much prefer that this holiday didn’t exist. I don’t need a yearly reminder that I am a mother. It’s a very triggering holiday for me, for my kids and for many others.

This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the effort my children and husband put into trying to make the day special for me. However, I think it would be so much easier for me, my husband and my kids if this holiday and all the expectations surrounding it just didn’t exist.

Maybe it’s time to find another way of getting through this annual holiday in a more non-triggering way.

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