Mother’s Day: Punctuation and Feeling Entitled

There are a few laws of Mother’s Day. Call your mother. Dress the way she would like you to. Take a moment to realize that you are perhaps some of her life’s greatest work.

A little side note about Mother’s Day Punctuation: the apostrophe goes before the s. Know why?  Because the day isn’t about all the mothers.  It’s about each one of the mothers.  Singular.  Not and white carnations , mother's day symbol

But there are also a few tendencies of Mother’s Day, particularly on the part of us, the moms. I mean, it’s our day. Our Day. Finally, the closest we can come to a day off. Hallmark is on our side. P&G and American Greetings are even playing commercials to show how hard we work on an endless and daily basis. Moms get their moment. We will not cook; we will eat out. This – THIS – will be the day when we feel known, appreciated, and visible.

If I may be so bold, and certainly speak from my own experience: that right there is a formula to end the day with frustration, disappointment, and a spirit of defeat. After all you’ve done for your family, they can’t honor you as you wish to be treated – as royalty – on this day of all days?

And, add to that the confusion of large families, all the mothers involved, and the question of whom all are we celebrating among all these sisters, aunts, mothers, grandmothers, and in-laws? And if she’s not my mother, then is she my responsibility?

The whole day can become a hierarchical totem pole of importance: who has the most children, mothered the longest, given the most, lost the deepest, and ultimately who is the mother of all mothers?

What if we take a different approach to the day?

Instead of wearing “Mother” like a banner, a spotlight, a certificate entitled to all wonders for a day, and a Miss America crown, I would like to look for someone else to honor. I’d rather make her day than wait for someone to make mine.

“Consider others better than yourselves.”

What better day than this, to defer to another mom in your life, whether she’s your mom, a friend’s mom, your mom’s friend, a mentor, teacher, counselor or someone who has practiced the ministry of motherhood in your life, whether or not she has children of her own.

In fact, especially if she doesn’t have children of her own.

Instead of making this day all about yourself, consider the fulfillment and the blessings that come from making the day about someone else.  It’s a lot better than going to sleep angry because the whole blasted family chose your mother-in-law’s favorite restaurant instead of your own.  Try not to feel entitled.

Just a thought.

Tricia Lott Williford

Comments are closed

  1. Wow! So wise. Having experienced that need for affirmation (without fulfillment) in other contexts, I heartily agree that thinking about others can be a huge relief.

    Also…thanks for thinking of us non-mothers!

    And…I’m tipping my hat to the great work you’re doing as a mom!

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