Unpopular opinion time — I don’t like Mother’s Day. Actually, if I’m being honest, I don’t really like any holidays.
I feel like my generation — “xennials”, “old millennials”, whatever you want to call us — more often than not, the more I talk about this subject, the more I hear the same thing. I don’t like [insert holiday here]. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and I don’t know if it’s a product of the time we grew up, or a reflection on how the country is currently. But, it does seem to be fairly common among people in their late 20s to early-mid 30s.
Okay, so that was a bit of a “squirrel” tangent, but it is something to consider. Basically, it’s some context for my position.
Mother’s Day is weird.
As someone who is “childfree by choice” but also helping to raise an actual human (who they obviously did not personally birth), things get weird. Because I’m “living in sin” a.k.a. not legally married, people often don’t acknowledge me as a mom. I wrote about it a bit here.
But the fact remains that I *am* helping to raise a pretty awesome human. And I keep two animals alive on a daily basis, despite what sometimes feels like their best efforts to thwart me.
To further complicate things, I have a fairly tumultuous relationship with my own mother. Honestly, I could probably fill an entire series with posts on this subject, but that will have to wait for another time. So basically, Mother’s Day is…complicated.
I lost my two favorite people on Earth at a fairly young age — my grandmother and my grandfather. Looking back, my indifference to holidays started around these early brushes with grief. For example, it’s difficult to get excited about Christmas when the matriarch of your family and the main person you get excited to see are both no longer around.
I don’t like being the center of attention.
I don’t know if it’s my anxiety, self esteem issues, or something else entirely. But I really do not enjoy any part of having all the attention squarely focused on me. I get very self conscious and embarrassed, and I’m not a person who is easily embarrassed in general.
Christmas with my “in-laws” is excruciating. I like everyone there, and having all eyes on me just to open a present is cringe-worthy. I’m uncomfortable even thinking about it while I’m typing this!
But I digress.
It’s a commercialized holiday that seems to often lead to insecurity, hurt feelings, and sometimes feelings of inadequacy for many. To be fair, I have an issue with most of the holidays that the card companies have decreed are special. Not just Mother’s Day. In my opinion, you should tell the people in your life who are important to you that they matter on a regular basis. You shouldn’t tell people you love them just on one specific day because that’s what you’re told to do.
Mother’s Day, for some reason, bothers me the most. It’s hard to navigate the waters of adulthood and society in general. When you don’t fit neatly into someone else’s box of how things are “supposed” to look, it’s even worse.
I am not legally married at 35. I own a pitbull. My hair is kept short and is often died a color other than my natural color, and I have 7 tattoos. I choose not to have children on my own, but I like (other people’s) kids (in small doses). I call N my stepson. I’m sure there are other things that I do to not fit in society’s boxes as well…but I think those are the big ones.
Be kind to people.
Mother’s Day is one of those hot button days. Just try to be a good person, and have empathy when dealing with people.
You have no idea what they may or may not be struggling with at that moment. I know most people are coming from a genuine place, but you never know how your words will affect another human.
Try to be patient and kind with people, always.
Oh, and just my opinion — don’t tell someone else to “get over it”, or tell them they don’t have a right to be upset about something. It’s not fair, and you really don’t have the right to tell someone else how to feel.
Again, just be kind. It’s kind of my mantra.