Last year there was a huge backlash against Mother’s Day. People said it shouldn’t be celebrated, because any female can give birth. What’s so special about that? Others said it wasn’t fair to elevate one group of women, those with children, over another, those without. That’s all as full of bologna as the sandwich your mother packed in your lunch everyday.
Yes, most women, baring a medical condition, are able to become pregnant. If you’re one of those women fortunate to conceive easily and have problem-free pregnancies, well, that’s pretty much where the easy part of motherhood stops. Once that baby is in your arms the hard work of child rearing begins. If you struggled to become pregnant, suffered through a difficult pregnancy or went through the red-tape of adoption to become a mother, nothing about motherhood was easy for you. So it is hard, but there are a lot of hard jobs out there. That’s not why we celebrate Mother’s Day.
It’s true that motherhood doesn’t add up to Sainthood. Most moms simply do the best they can with what they have. And in all honesty there are days we feed our kids and take them to school out of nothing more than obligation, because we don’t have the energy for anything else. We all have bad days. Some moms have lots of bad days.
A woman with children is no more valuable a person to the world than a woman without. Is mom’s work important? Absolutely. She is raising the next generation of potential world-changers. Since we haven’t figured out how to grow humans entirely in a laboratory or invented robots that can make a boo-boo feel better with a kiss, we still need mothers in this world. There are also women without children doing valuable work feeding the poor, developing the next life-altering technology and curing cancer. Mother’s Day isn’t about society giving higher status to women with children.
Mother’s Day isn’t supposed to be a collective, national holiday like Independence Day. It’s a personal holiday. And here’s a newsflash. Even if you personally are a mother, Mother’s Day isn’t about you. It’s about YOUR mom. The woman who changed your diapers, helped you make a diorama of the Alamo the day before it was due and hung on terrified to the dashboard when you were learning to drive. The women who chose to love you and didn’t throw you out of the house even though she took the brunt of your Middle School angst.
When we make Mother’s Day about us, who has kids, who doesn’t and who contributes more to society, we get it all wrong. It’s simply about saying thank you to the woman who made it possible for you to exist and or kept you alive until you were old enough to be responsible for your own well-being. To the world my mom isn’t anymore important than any of the other 7 billion people on this plant. But she means the world to me.