This Sunday, as we all hopefully know, is Mother's Day. Are you excited? Are you REALLY?
Mother's Day is an annual treasure wherein we brunch on overpriced prix fixe menus in restaurants crowded with floral prints. Or we're awakened early by eager children to enjoy a special meal together that we, ourselves, are possibly called upon to execute and clean up. Or we share the day with our mothers, our Smartners' mothers, our grandmothers, our Smartners' grandmothers, whether we are willing or not. It is, for better or worse, a day dedicated to mothers for which mothers are called on to compromise or bend to ideals of celebration that they may not share.
This is not true for everyone, of course. Some of us like assembly-line Benedicts at jacked-up prices, there are those of us who don't mind getting up early to indulge the kids AGAIN, and some of us are happy to forego the one day a year our maternal labor is appreciated and dedicate that day to honoring our own mothers and grandmothers.
This is all going to get spilled on my sheets, and I'm not hungry yet, and I have to pee, and Jesus, kids, watch out for the crumbs! (Image Source)
Then there are the rest of us.
Call us what you will, detractors - selfish, childish, petty - but we're real, and we want something different. We want something for ourselves as people, not for ourselves as mothers. And we know that we can't ask for it for Mother's Day. It takes the willingness to hurt loved ones' feelings to ask for a day off from mothering or daughtering for Mother's Day. It takes courage to ask for what you really want rather than the rote reproduction of what Mother's Day is supposed to be. And, frankly, it isn't worth the effort or the hurt hearts to turn Mother's Day from a sentimental, soft-focus ideal into a stand for individual recognition and accommodation. No one wants their kids to remember that one Mother's Day when all Mom asked for was 3 hours of alone time on the couch to catch up on Game of Thrones. And no one wants to be the kid who calls up their mom and explains that there won't be a visit that Sunday because what you really want is to be sleeping in/working on your novel/hiking alone, etc. Even as much as we want to do what we want to do, we don't want to do it at the cost of Mother's Day.
Whatever you really want from Mother's Day but can't have, you give to yourself on Mutha's Day. You want some hours alone at the bookstore or some hours alone on the running trail? Mutha's Day is the day for you. You want to go out drinking with your girls while wearing something wildly inappropriate? Welcome to Mutha's Day. Massages, concerts, dinners for two - these are all fair game on Mutha's Day. To quote Parks and Rec again, Mutha's Day is your day to treat yo self.
Of course, you can still have Treat Yo Self Day. There is no mutual exclusivity in self-indulgence, people!
So, I hope that whatever it is that you - the you who is a person with a first name and who exists independent of your familial roles - really want is yours this Mutha's Day. And I hope that all of the sweetness of that day of honoring yourself is only heightened by the love your family gives you and the love you give to your family the following day amid the joyful chaos of Mother's Day.
Let 2016 be the year we all wish one another a Happy Mutha's Day! Happy Mutha's Day, Smarties! And a happy Mother's Day, too!