Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Mother Inferior0
Mother Inferior: Mums the Word
__aCS blog: Mother Inferior (or Why I Suck as a Parent) Connie Lissner
I had the perfect Mother’s Day—on Wednesday. I went for a run followed by a 90-minute massage and an hour on the couch watching Sunday’s episode of Mad Men. It was everything Mother’s Day should be – but on a Wednesday.
Why on Wednesday and not on the traditional day dedicated to mothers, you may ask? Because Mother’s Day is not for mothers—it’s just another day for mothers to make their families feel good.
Traditional Mother’s Day is never about what a mom wants; it’s about letting the kids honor their mothers. That means that if your 12-year-old wants you to help him make pancakes for you – that’s what you do. And if your 16-year-old wants to go for a run with you, you let him tag along knowing that he will be bored about a mile in and run ahead of you or at least run backwards and in circles around you because he’s 16 and on the track team and your 3-mile jog is basically a warm up for him.
And, of course, you need to worry about spending time with your mother and maybe your mother-in-law and that takes up a big chunk of the day.
This year, my 12-year-old also had soccer tryouts – that meant that Mother’s Day, for me, ended at noon. Right after I finished washing the dishes from the family brunch.
To be fair, my husband normally helps out—a lot—but he just had hip replacement surgery so he got a pass this year. He warned me not to offer to have a Mother’s Day brunch at our house so I take full responsibility for the way it turned out. It doesn’t make it better.
I’m not alone with this. I took a very unscientific poll of my friends and neighbors and 8 out of the 9 mothers that I asked said that mother’s day this year was…meh.
It’s time to take back Mother’s Day.
One solution, proffered by Madeline Levine—author, educator and proponent for mothers everywhere—is to simply change your family’s mindset. In her piece, This Mother’s Day, Prepare For a Letdown, published in Monday’s Huffington Post, she suggested that moms walk away from the bleachers and stop being overly involved in their children’s lives. She suggested that moms reorder their priorities and allow themselves to take a day off.
Great idea but that may take too long. As Levine noted, unwinding a long-held tradition is difficult. So why wait?
A quicker alternative, proposed by my friend, Anna—mother, teacher and side-kick—is for moms to pick a different day for Mother’s Day but not tell anyone else. Like Wednesday, May 16th or Thursday, June 21st.
Sure, you could just call it a day off but where’s the fun in that? This would be the real Mother’s Day – complete with the freedom to do whatever you want to do without feeling guilty.
The problem, of course, is that the date would have to change from year-to-year to prevent anyone from catching on. (Think about it, if every September 28th mothers suddenly took the day off of work or scheduled massages or stayed in bed to read, people would eventually notice a pattern).
So, I propose that we mothers schedule the real “Mother’s Day” on the second Thursday after the Harvest Moon or October 11th this year.
Are you in?
Just remember, it’s our little secret.
Connie Lissner is a writer, lawyer, wife and more importantly, the mother of two boys. She was once told that a child’s job is to constantly push a parent’s limits. She assures you that her boys do their job very well. She, in turn, is trying to do her job of not totally screwing them up. She navigates the slippery slope of motherhood one day at a time. You can now follow her on Twitter.com/@MotherInferior.