Facebook is awash in platitudes about mothers: honoring mothers, admiring mothers, extolling motherhood, suggesting what to give or do for the mothers in your life on this their special day.
Mother’s Day is exhausting. Running this Hallmark holiday gauntlet as the subject of it kills my joy.
Because, you know what? Mothers on Mother’s Day are expected to be beatific. We are expected to act like motherhood is all joy unconfined while we are feted as saintly goddesses of domestic and reproductive bliss.
And it’s not, and we’re not.
Don’t get me wrong: I love my kid and I love being his mom. But it’s HARD to be his mom sometimes.
Right now, he’s getting in trouble in school about twice a week. Every day I pick him up from school I brace myself for what may have happened that day.
And he won’t listen to his dad at this stage, for some reason, so most of the discipline falls to me.
He didn’t go to sleep last night until almost midnight, so that meant I didn’t get to sleep when I wanted to either. And don’t you believe for a second that he will sleep in today. It’s Saturday. He never sleeps late on Saturday.
Of course, I’m awake at 6:44 am with barely 5 hours of sleep, so whatever, right? Whatever is a tired kid and a tired mom and a tired dad is a volatile combination.
He’s stirring. I hear him playing with a car. See? 6:46 am.
Motherhood is a lot feeling like a failure and being overwhelmed.
Motherhood is a daily grind of frustration and fear.
Motherhood is never feeling rested.
And mixed with all that is also the love and the joy and the laughter.
My point is that flowery platitudes about mothers on one day a year just fall flat. And the expectation that I smile a graceful, saintly smile at them makes me roll my eyes. I don’t want beatification one day a year. I don’t have the energy to meet that expectation. You can keep your veneration of an ideal of motherhood that doesn’t exist. I want some rest, some "me time," and an easy, quiet day.