By Heather O.
I should probably write this post when I have time to be introspective, and funny, or poignant, or both. And since I don’t have time or the patience to really think everything out, and I’m not really sure what I want to say about Mother’s Day anyways, I thought maybe pushing myself to do a post in the 15 minutes I have before I take Little Sister to her swimming lesson would force me to pull it altogether in one big…something. Something big and cohesive. Like, a big, um, stone, um, whatever.
This topic was sparked in my head after reading what a friend of mine had to say about Mother’s Day on her FB wall. She has given birth to 4 little people–2 girls, 2 boys. She relinquished her first daughter, however, for adoption, and her daughter, now almost a grown woman herself, was raised by adoptive parents. An open adoption plan didn’t work out the way it was supposed to, and my friend has spent almost 2 decades trying to wrap her brain and her soul and her heart around the whole thing. It hasn’t been easy for her, and in direct contrast to what she was told as a young single pregnant teenager, time has not healed this wound. As you can imagine, she looks forward to Mother’s Day almost as much as a root canal.
Another friend of mine found out when she was a teenager that she is physically incapable of having children, and while she is an awesome step-mother to her husband’s son, I’m sure that Mother’s Day isn’t an easy day for her, either.
I know a lot of women who simply don’t go to church on Mother’s Day sunday, because it’s too much for them. And I know that bishoprics spend months in advance trying to figure out what to do on Mother’s Day Sunday, with full knowledge that anything they do has the potential to offend or hurt somebody. My cousin, a former bishop, told a story of how his brother, a full-time stay at home dad, was asked to speak on Mother’s Day, and he got up and said, “Mothers, I feel your pain.” My cousin said that as a bishop, Mother’s Day is THE hardest Sunday to plan, and he said he wished he had such a slam dunk speaker as his brother in HIS ward.
Mother’s Day. Complicated for men AND women.
It seems like a simple idea–yay for moms! We are awesome! Look at us! Look at how we sacrifice and slave and work and do everything we can to make sure our children don’t grow up to be lazy jerks! We are mothers and we rock the cradle and that means we RULE THE WORLD!!!! Bow to us, our minions!!
(Okay, maybe nobody says that, but c’mon, you know minions would be cool.)
But even I, who came from a stable family and have an awesome mom feel squirmy on Mother’s Day. Like I’m not good enough. Like I’m not doing enough. That there is something I’m missing, and that if THEY ONLY KNEW, I wouldn’t be getting that wilted flower from the young deacon that passed me the Sacrament just an hour before. They would take my flower from me and say, “Dude, you let your 4 year old watch “My Little Pony” for hours this week, and you KNOW there is all KINDS of inter-relational aggression messages in that show, and you are just priming her to grow up to be a Mean Girl, and that if you were a better mother you would have been teaching her Latin instead. NO FLOWER FOR YOU!”
And though I’ve never talked to her about it, I wonder how my mom feels about being honored. She raised 6 kids and we all turned out okay, with only a mild amount of craziness (but what family isn’t a little insane–i mean, really). I asked her once what she did to keep her family intact and active in the church and generally void of massive self-destructive behavior, and she and my dad both look at each other and shrug and say, “We don’t know.” See? Even SHE doesn’t know the secret, and not a single one of HER children EVER stuck playdough up his or her nose, which is not something I can say for my offspring.
Anyway, my allotted time is up. I have to go be the mom who takes my kid to swim practice, although I must admit that I’m also the mom who will be late for swim practice because I was blogging.
Yes, I am that mom. NO FLOWER FOR ME!