Yesterday I woke up feeling alive and vibrant, it was another Sunday. I joyously jumped out of bed for my first cup of tea; I sat down and enjoyed a quiet moment of reflection before scrolling through my Facebook timeline. It was then that it hit me, this wasn't just a Sunday, it was Mothering Sunday. I really hate Mother's Day! In fact not just Mother's Day, but every other forced celebration we all feel obliged to take part in. I can barely tolerate Christmas, but there is something about Mother's Day that gets under my skin.
I will start by saying that I didn't receive a card or present from my two daughters and rather than feel slightly put off by their lack of interest, I am actually rather proud of them for not bowing to the pressure of feeling that they have to partake. While it might be great to reflect on the person that bought us into the world, a commercialised day to celebrate that feels so out of taste to me. It paints this perfect picture of an ideal day, an ideal family and for many of us motherhood and the relationship with our own mothers is anything but ideal and the day ends up feeling like a massive guilt trip. We lord it over Facebook about how great our Mothers are, with not one thought for those that may be suffering, those who are mourning a mothers passing and those that perhaps would just like to thank their mothers for the incredible hang-ups and low self-esteem she imparted on them.
Perhaps my hatred of this day comes from my years in the service industry, if you were waitressing yesterday I feel for you. I still shudder to think about how my manager once decided to varnish all the tables the day before Mother's Day, when I had a full restaurant that I had to turn over three times during Sunday lunch. But I think that my loathing stems from something much deeper than that. In this consumerist world, we feel obliged to take part and if we don't, we can be left feeling guilty or are often called kill-joys.
It seems to me that we don't think, we just blindly go where the supermarket leads us next, just one long list of things we are supposed to celebrate - Valentine's Day, Mothers Day, Easter, Halloween, which have long since become divorced from their original origins and meanings.
Are we not able to say no thank you, this is not for me, without feeling immense pressure from the outside world? I did begrudgingly buy my own mother a Mother's Day card, because if I didn't I know that her voice will have a hint of disappointment as she tells me that it wasn't important, the apparent conclusion being that I don't care. I do care, I care about my family a lot, I care about mothers a lot; I think we are awesome and amazing but I don't care for obligatory consumerism. Will there come a time when the only way we know what month it is will be by what the supermarket is telling us to celebrate?
Please celebrate your mum as much as possible, tell her how amazing she is as often as you can, but please don't partake in commercial celebrations out of a sense of obligation. Ask yourself please, before you buy that hiked-up bunch of flowers, if you really want to be swept along with the crowd. If you do then great, go for it. But if like me, you don't care for this, then have the courage to say no.