Today in the UK is Mother’s Day. I know this because Facebook reminded me, and now I want to punch things. This I object to, so much it is frustrating: a specific day a year being dedicated to Mothers, that greeting card companies and marketers pick this point to sell 24 hours where you’re *supposed* to remember that Mums need love too. Except this process should happen every single damn day, not just once a year. I don’t need a fucking badge of honour, and I sure as fuck won’t expect my kids to roll out the red carpet for me 1 out of 366 occasions just because Advertisers want to make some cash. Because maybe, just maybe, just making it okay for people to not necessarily worry about consideration every single day *except* one is an area where society’s been going wrong all this time.
Maybe this compartmentalisation needs to stop, for no other reason than getting people away from conforming to gender roles that seem to cause so much trouble of late. Black History gets a month, even Sharks get a WHOLE WEEK so maybe we could stop just assigning one day to a task that isn’t just full time, it’s often not undertaken by a mother. Make it the remit of advertising people to actually think about selling their wares without compartmentalising gifts to fit certain situations: sell me power tools without irony on Mother’s Day for starters and I’ll know that society’s actually getting the memo about real equality. Mostly don’t make my kids feel guilty that they didn’t buy into it and feel sorry that I’m sitting here eating yesterday’s croissant and a cuppa while they’re out enjoying themselves. If we still need to assign days where people are forced to consider their personal relationships in terms of flowers and cards? [*]
This isn’t because I’m clearly frustrated that I don’t have that kind of relationship with my mum. I’m not doing this to upset people who no longer have mothers and remember them today. I’m doing this because the concept is outdated, pointless and actually completely shit. You spend YOUR ENTIRE LIFE being decent to people and celebrating what they are, when it matters. June 12th can be your Mum’s day if she does something amazing on it. November 6th is when you buy her flowers because she saved your arse. You don’t save it up and throw it all into a ‘birthday type celebration’ and then get the rest of the year to sit back and ignore the issues. In the end, I have more respect for those who understand the relentless, full-time nature of any caring role and reward it continually. That says more than any amount of expensive giftage or public demonstrations of affection. It’s why I only celebrate birthdays as significant and try and do my utmost to not only remember them, but provide respectful reminders of their passing. These things do only happen once a year. Mothers deserve your respect for life, as do fathers and indeed ANYONE who cares for you long term in an unconditional fashion. There’s another key distinction with the birthday ‘moment’ too: mostly, your friends don’t need to be there 24/7 to clean up your vomit or hold your hand when you’re scared. Parents and carers wander into unconditional love territory and that’s where the rules change.
Of course sometimes it goes that way with friends, but that’s a post for another day.
If your mum appreciates the day, you’ll know this, and act accordingly. If, like me, she doesn’t give a toss, you’ll understand that too. Ultimately, respect is the key.
I just wish there was more of that and less shameless commercialism… well, everywhere.
[*] Don’t start me on Valentine’s Day. It will not end well.