Everywhere on social media and in mom’s groups, people post in the days leading up to Mother’s Day what plans they have, how their spouses plan to pamper them, what cute things their kids will be making/doing for them. While it’s kind of cute that the day is hyped up, I always thought that it was overhyped. Why should there just be one day a year when mom is not expected to do all the house chores and take care of the kids? It always infuriated me and made me think that was like the one day of the year when moms didn’t have to do all the domestic and emotional work in a household.
On my first Mother’s Day, I still cleaned the toilet. I made my own breakfast and lunch. I spent five hours connected to a breast pump. These are all things I just do. The highlight of the day was going to the dentist with the baby in tow. That was fun for the dentists since they were excited to have a baby in their office, but it was just practical for us.
What I thought more about today was how I felt this time last year when I was pregnant, but then I wasn’t 100 percent certain that my pregnancy would end with a baby. I had a lot of doubt and fear, and I wasn’t sure when I was going to get comfortable with being pregnant. Now on Mother’s Day, I really feel for those women — the ones who have been trying to conceive but haven’t been successful; the women who had gotten pregnant but suffered losses, are pregnant again but fearful it will all unravel; the ones going through fertility treatments ranging from IUI to IVF who still remain hopeful. Mother’s Day can be a really painful day for a lot of people.
I wish we didn’t even have a need for days like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, though, that we could actually appreciate and be more grateful for the hard work that parents do more regularly than just once a year. I don’t think flowers for mom or the stereotypical watch or toolset or tie for dad on those days is really enough to say “thanks for all the sacrifices you’ve made as my mom/mother of my child.” We live in a world that is generally lacking of daily thanks and gratitude. We might be happier with a little bit more of that in our lives.