This will come as no surprise to those who know me, but since having a baby a few years ago my own feelings about Mother’s Day have shifted completely. Suddenly, the day no longer represented an obligation — a responsibility to check in with my own mom either via brunch or a phone call or a card or an email — but became a chance to reflect and celebrate. That's not to say it's always been fantastic, though. In fact, I think there are more than a few reasons it's totally fine if you hate Mother's Day. Honestly Mother's Day, like other holiday designed to recognize a specific person in your life (Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, National Talk Like A Pirate Day), can elicit a wide range of responses, and that's perfectly OK.
To be fair, I’m sure my own experience is merely the tip of the iceberg. The relationships I have with my own mom, my mother-in-law, my son, and everyone else who falls under the “mother/child” umbrella aren't traumatic or dramatic or even negative. I can only offer words and emojis of support to women who can't say the same and, as a result, struggle to find an ounce of celebratory "goodness" on a day that only serves as a painful reminder of a difficult relationship or past.
So, if your own feelings about Mother’s Day are conflicted, complicated, or so unapologetically clear that everyone around you knows you absolutely despise this one day out of the year, allow me to share a few reasons why this is still absolutely fine:
Because Being The Center Of Attention Is Uncomfortable
I mean, in theory, Mother's Day is supposed to be entirely about you, right? It sounds pretty nice, actually. Oh, but wait, this means being the center of attention and potentially eating a breakfast prepared by people who don't know how to cook. It probably means accepting art projects and crafts prepared by people who probably ate the paste instead of using it properly. I'll almost definitely mean people getting a hold of you frequently and/or staring at you during a special meal, which is slightly awkward.
So, yeah, it's complicated.
Because You Can't Really Take A Break From Motherhood
Personally, I wouldn't mind if all outside responsibilities were totally put on hold for a day (or seven). However, that's just not how life works, I'm afraid. Kids still get sick. Loved ones might still be far away. Chris Pratt still doesn't know who I am. Life is hard.
Because Sometimes Mother's Day Gifts Are The Worst
It's fine to acknowledge that you had some expectations. Last year, there was one simple thing I requested my family not do on Mother's Day (I wish I could tell you all what it was, but then I would have to kill you, I'm afraid.) Lo and behold, we ended up doing it because that's just how life works sometimes. I tried to make the best of it, but actually I was pretty bummed.
Because Other Moms' Feelings On Mother's Day Shouldn't Dictate Your Own
Oh man, if only feelings had off switches, right? Why hasn't science figured this one out?
Because Your Relationship With Your Own Mother Might Be Complicated
Becoming a mom doesn't automatically mean that your own relationship with your mom (or any mom-figures, really) is suddenly healthy and positive. If anything, it's just as complex as it was before, and perhaps even more so now that you're a parent, too.
Because Some Women Are Struggling To Become Moms
A giant internet hug to every woman who will spend this Mother's Day trying to conceive and struggling with infertility. Know that it's completely OK to log off social media, stay away from your phone, and avoid the day entirely.
Because You're Allowed To Feel However You Want To Feel
Seriously, as long as you don't use those feelings against others, or as an excuse to throw brunch food at them, you do you.