Monday, May 13, 2013

Busman's Holiday

Am I the only mother out there who feels like Mother's Day is a big load of crap? Literally (more on this later). Listen, I understand the sentiment behind the whole thing, and I want to clarify that my "kids" (husband) did all the things. I got chocolate for breakfast, mimosas for lunch, beautiful flowers, a trip to T.J. Maxx alone, and an entire meal without holding or persuading a child to eat. My issue isn't from within the home, my gripe is with the practice of the holiday in general.
If anyone had asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, I would have said: a clean bathroom, a martini, and going to see The Great Gatsby alone. Or maybe with other adults like my sister and mother. We tried to plan a day like that, but all of the children and husbands cried "No! you're supposed to spend time with your children on Mother's Day!" Oh, am I? You mean I get to spend the day doing what I do the other 364 days a year?! What a fantastic idea! That is exactly what I need on a day meant to celebrate and thank me for all of my mother-ness.  More mothering! Mother's Day should be a day off. I know many women who were treated to breakfast in bed (my favorite being my sister-in-law, who was greeted with this *amazing* treat.
At least her kids didn't try to cook. Many other mothers were posting pictures on Facebook of their sinks full to the brim with Breakfast In Bed pots and pans. I bet my sister-in-law even had to recycle her own yogurt container. I know that I personally did two loads of laundry and changed one of the most disgusting diapers I have ever encountered (and it wasn't the one that leaked all over my bed at 6am). I also woke up with spit-up in my hair. While being treated to my favorite meal of Fettuccine Alfredo I also got to nurse in public, which I enjoy about as much as jogging outside or wearing a bathing suit... ever...I'm not shy, I just hesitate to engage in any activity that displays my lumpy parts to strangers. Isaac threw his spaghetti all over the room and washed his hands in my glass of water. Bedtime was its usual hellscape of screams and tears, all of which I tried in vain to ignore and so I could watch Call the Midwife in peace. I fell asleep before Mad Men, realizing right before I drifted off, that I forgot to change the sheets.

I'm not complaining-- the day had several wonderful moments that made me realize how happy I am to be a mother, and how proud I am to be a daughter. I got so many warm and loving messages from friends and family, my co-workers, and I even purchased a new pair of shoes. What I would like to point out, is that besides having sassy new wedges and booze for lunch, Mother's Day was just Day.  I changed as many diapers as usual, did as many loads of dishes and laundry, and said just as many prayers to the Goddess of Toddler Sleep as I usually do (ten million).

Here are my suggestions for improvement. Feel free to add your own. Mother's Day should be a day when mothers are shooed away from their homes.  A macaroni-glued card should be on the table next to her car keys, and in it should be a Dunkin' Donuts gift card. Or not. I have three bucks, I got this. Just don't leave me your crusty egg dishes. Target, Barnes and Noble, Jo-Ann Fabrics, all of those places that are going to be open anyway, should open early and have a no-kid policy. I want to shop in peace. I left my kids at home, you leave yours, too. Movie theaters should offer discounts on films that do not feature talking animals, vampires, plucky princess with abusive step-mothers, or explosions. I want to leave the theater in full-on tears, having watched a period drama on its first run. One that might be nominated for an Oscar, one that I had to make exactly zero compromises to see. One with accents and complicated story lines. I want to see a good movie, just once, before I have to wait another 5 years for it to come on Netflix, because by the time it gets there I never remember. I never remember. After the movie I want to go out with a few other mothers for a quick glass of wine, a spicy appetizer, and then home to more quiet and some AMC dramas that start at a reasonable hour. Like 6.  Is that too much to ask? Yeah, probably.

No one of us parents has it easy.  That isn't to say that parenting isn't wonderful and rewarding.  It's just that not-parenting for a day would certainly have its own merits, Amirite? So next year we're doing it: my sister, mother and I are leaving home for the day and doing what we please, sorry kids! We love you real bad, and sometimes we need a day away to remember just how much.

1 comment:

  1. And all this is with a loving appreciative husband! My kid's father has a mother's day boycott that's now in it's 7th year (long story). He never once even whispered to Roscoe "say happy mother's day" or had him call me this year when we were apart for the day.

    But what really made me done with it is the previous Mother's day, when I spent the entire morning cleaning blood off the sidewalk and the steps of my kids school with a bunch of other moms in the neighborhood. A young man had been shot the night before outside my apartment, ran bleeding up the block, and died. The police didn't clean up the blood, and it was hot out. There were flies. Turns out that my kid's dad took him out to a nice brunch while I did that. So yeah, fuck mother's day from now on. I only can think of that mom who lost her son on Philip street that year, and the origin of the holiday- a war protest of grieving mothers.

    Bummer, sorry. I really like your writing and this just came to mind.