Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Breaking Up With Mother’s Day May 3, 2011

My friend is getting married this year and received some good advice from an aunt, who explained that marriage isn’t all about romance and that sometimes you’re not going to like the person you marry. Sometimes you’ll be angry, upset, frustrated, and hurt. She told my friend, “It’s okay to be angry, in fact it’s good. It’s when you stop feeling angry and feel nothing that you know there’s a problem.”

I think this is very sage advice and I know from my own experience of past relationships that when I stopped being upset about things that should have made me angry, that relationship was pretty much doomed. Apathy is deadly.

I bring this is up because of the way I’m feeling about Mother’s Day this year. In the past, I’ve run the gamut of emotions when this day has ticked around. I’ve been sad about my own loss, frustrated at my situation, angry about having motherhood pushed in my face, and hurt that other people don’t realize how much that day affects me. I’ve stayed indoors on past Mother’s Days; I’ve avoided restaurants that are celebrating mothers, and I’ve even avoided public places, where some unsuspecting nicey-nice person might wish me a happy Mother’s Day, oblivious to how much it stings.

But this year, I feel differently. This year I don’t care. I’m not feeling dread at the approaching day; I’m not putting on my emotional armor ready to deflect the hurt, and I’m not making plans to hide away. I don’t feel especially determined to not let this day affect me, and I’m not taking a stand and trying to prove I’m strong. I just don’t feel anything.

I think this means that Mother’s Day and I are about to break up. And how freeing that would be to get up on Sunday morning and just go about my day. As you may recall from a previous post. my own mother is in a county that celebrates Mother’s Day in March, and my husband’s mother is no longer with us, so we are under no obligation to celebrate at all. It’s truly liberating.

I’m writing this post almost a week before the Big Day, so I will be keeping a watchful eye of my vitals and checking how I feel as the week goes on. But maybe this is the year that will mark the closing of a chapter for me, which of course, is always followed by the start of a new one. Watch this space!

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5 Responses to “Breaking Up With Mother’s Day”

  1. Kate B Says:

    If I’m not out and about on Mother’s Day, I tend to forget about it. The flowers to our mothers get sent several days in advance, so unless there are phone calls, we just don’t think much about it. One year, I think we had been doing yard work and decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner out. We went to a Brazilian steakhouse in town that we love – and had the place to ourselves. The service was awesome. This is one of those places where they keep bringing you meat until you cry uncle – well, they offered to make us anything we wanted. We weren’t sure what was up, until at some point we realized it was Mother’s Day. Everybody else had done the restaurant thing in the morning or early afternoon. What a treat it was for us!

  2. Kathryn Says:

    As we are church – goers, i think MD will always be an issue for me. Largely because you never know what will be thrown at you. I’ve wanted to be a mama since i was quite young myself, and i was raised by a mother who was at least somewhat abusive, so this day is difficult for me. If i could feel that i could at least honor my mother and make a big deal of her, it might be different.

    Three years ago my hubby and i made the decision that we will send cards/gifts to our mothers (& dads) on their respective days, but we will go do something ourselves – celebrate us – on MD & FD.

    I don’t want to spend my life mourning what is not, but i’m not in an indifferent place, tho i wish i was. Most of the time i’m fine, & then i see something that just makes me catch my breath, knowing that it will never be for us.

  3. loribeth Says:

    Like you, Lisa, my mom lives 1000 miles away & dh’s mother passed away 30 years ago, before I ever met her, so we are generally free to do as we please that day (and usually do!). Our strategy for the day has evolved over the years & these days, it’s usually to hid out in a dark movie theatre, lol. A couple of years ago, though, I had to attend a BAPTISM on Mother’s Day. That was not fun. 😦

  4. Mary Phelan Says:

    Lisa, I love the way you put that ‘breaking up with Mother’s Day’ – it’s about time I did that myself. Like another poster said, it hits me most when I go to church that day.
    I wanted to share a column I wrote for my newspaper just yesterday that speaks a lot to the emotions women like us face. I wrote it because so often we lack a voice and most people never think of the fact that this is not a holiday everyone wishes to celebrate. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you and your readers. http://bit.ly/ij3KZV

  5. Kathleen Guthrie Says:

    I stopped attending church on M’s Day years ago b/c it was just too painful, too in-my-face the hoopla dividing the haves (children) and haves-not. I don’t much think about it any more at this point in my life, but this morning, the kid bagging my groceries wished me a Happy M’s Day, and it stopped me cold. I think I said an automatic “Thank you,” but sheesh. I’ve been conditioned to wish strangers “Happy Holidays” vs “Merry Christmas,” yet we still assume all women of a certain age are mothers. Whatever. I will spend a blissful childfree Sunday with my guy tomorrow. If I were still single, I’d treat myself to a GOOD breakfast in bed. Happy Sunday, ladies!


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