It’s kind of nuts becoming a mom. For all your life, the day was kind of like a lesser version of your mom’s birthday–where you don’t have to go all out and spend the big bucks, but you still better get something sorta nice–like a potted plant, some fancy chocolate, and an either hand-drawn (my specialty!) card or a classy store-bought card (something framable and on heavyweight paper mind you, not some chintzy American Greetings schlock) with a overwrought missive stating the reasons (once again) why you love and appreciate your mom lady.
And then, one year, I got pregnant, endured gestation, suffered through labor, and boom. I was suddenly part of the club. I didn’t even quite realize that things had changed in my favor until about a week before my first Mother’s Day as a mom, when someone said ‘heyyy, mother’s day is coming, how are you going to celebrate?” Then it hit me. I totally get another day of coddling. Prior to, I had only my paltry lone birthday to count on for gifts, appeasement, and demands being granted. Now….that pitocin-induced hellfire-soaked labor was ALL worth it.
But seriously. Motherhood is a totally life altering experience (and fatherhood too, of course. Don’t want to discount you dads. Except for the fact you kind of overall suck during that first year of parenthood. Kidding! (Not really. Totally serious. No jk, jk–OR AM I?)). It makes sense that it would be honored. Granted, being a mom myself, I’m pretty biased, but even when I wasn’t, I appreciated the idea that we should take a day to honor the lady that carried us around in her uterus, pushed us out of her vagina, and generally sacrificed a ton of her time, energy, youth, and life to help us not die for the first several years of our lives, and you know, have food and clothes and rides to soccer practice and stuff later on. Which is why I take issue with part of Anne Lamott’s well-worded Salon essay on why she hates mother’s day. While she brings up good points around how the day affects those whose mothers are dead, unloving or neglectful, saying that it’s hurtful to women who aren’t moms seems to be missing the point. Mom or not, YOU came from one. And if she was overall a good mother, she probably deserves some celebrating and gratitude for what she did.
Now that I’ve convinced you all, (right, Internet? I’m sure you ALL agree) that moms should probs still be celebrated–consider this insight from a recent Mother’s Day-themed poll from Everyday Health , which surveyed over a thousand moms from across the country and states that “with a little more time and energy, 59% of moms surveyed would clean the house.” My initial reaction to that piece of information was something like this:
As a generally slovenly person who values relaxation/socializing/eating over just about any type of cleaning, I can’t imagine wanting to clean the house if I was given more time and energy. Still, reading further into the study, it discussed the high women get out of crossing things off their to-do lists.
It’s true. The high I get from crossing things off those never-ending lists is unlike anything else. (Our fellow Gossipist Maayan and compulsive cleaner knows ALL about that). And I’ll admit that a clean house is a great feeling…especially because it’s a RARE thing when you live with a toddler.
So… maybe those moms they polled weren’t entirely insane, as much as my messy self wants to judge those who are cleaner than me.
At any rate, on Mother’s Day, my advice to you is to do the cleaning for your mom, so she can use that extra time to do what she likes. For me, it will likely be eating, relaxing, socializing…and enjoying the act of NOT doing house chores 😉