Monday, 6 May 2013

Mother's Day - yet another thing to divide women

I'm linking up with an old post, as I'm having a day off from the computer to see my mother (and hopefully sneak in a movie on the way!). I am glad I didn't see this carry on this year around, but last year I was well & truly fired up. Linking up with a Mother's Day post on Sunshine Sundays.

I saw this on Facebook today, and it made me furious. "Is it horrible to think that your idea of a perfect Mother's Day is a day without your children?" We are all used to the bottle vs breast feeding debate, the working Mother vs SAHM battlelines and the anti-daycare brigade. But Mother's day? This is now used as a thing to divide women? I was floored. Why is motherhood constantly used as a thing to pit women against each other? And why do women so easily buy into this divisive behaviour that the media constantly throws at us?

Firstly, a little history on Mothers Day - and remember, these facts have been rattling around in my head for a long time, so perhaps Wikipedia will have more factual facts - but this is my understanding of the origins of Mother's Day. In the UK, the Mothering Sunday ay was so servants and factory workers that lived away from their families and worked every day, could have a day off to see their children (and mothers?). One day a year.

In the US, it started as a thing for adult children to write a letter to their mothers and show their appreciation of their mother. The woman who campaigned this holiday later petitioned to cancel it when it became over commercialised with flowers and cards (I believe she said 'it's a sorry state of affairs when a son can't put pen to paper').

It was never meant to be about presents, but we seem to have no issue with that (and in some weird thing, Australia is one of the few countries that see perfume as a promoted Mothers Day idea). Why don't we get all outraged at those who accept gifts on Mother's Day? It was never meant to be about Motherhood in general. It was about you, the adult, making an effort for your mother, whom you no longer lived with.

Will anyone be posing the question "Is it right to accept a gift from your husband on Mother's Day, or should he only give to his own Mother?" No, because that wouldn't divide women and have them throw on their judgmental capes.

No one is asking "Do you manage to see both your own Mother and your Mother in Law on the same day? How do you decide who misses out?" No, that won't be asked or probably even considered by the media.

But how about those "horrible mothers" that want a break? Why does anyone even care? Do people care if you celebrate Christmas lunch or dinner?

You know what I think is horrible? Using Mother's Day as a tool to divide women for the sake of social media sport.  If you want to celebrate motherhood, don't buy into the debate!


  1. I totally agree !!! I always say to K - don't buy me a present - just work on listening to me ALL YEAR AROUND !!!
    A always buys me presents even though I remind him i'm not his Mom - he doesn't care and really just sees it as another day to spoil me !!
    Have a great evening !

  2. My thing is, if none of us follow what the intention of the day is, how can we judge how anyone else celebrates? And why does the media constantly try to divide women? They would never ask this about fathers day...

  3. Here here, I agree, we should be able to do what we want and no be judged for it. I can't WAIT for a sleep in, not to have to change a shitty nappy and to get my husband to do all the menial crap I do 364 days of the year. But then again, I also can't wait for cuddles and kisses. I long for the days of no social media, but then again, I know I'd be a little lost without, weird I know

  4. I have no issues with social media but I do with cheap shots to make women slag off each other over a total non-issue. It was set up to deliberately cause an argument & divide women...makes me so cross!!

  5. I really love spending mothers day with my own mother and my mother-in-law as a chance to have a combined family catch up. We do it every year. They live in separate towns but everyone travels to a central spot and we have a picnic or lunch or something. I think less about my own role as a mother on mothers day and more about the gratitude I have for the grandmothers to be honest.
    Funnily enough an extra ... not only does my husband buy me a gift on mothers day to thank me for being the mother to his children, but my own mother actually buys me a gift/card to thank me for her grandkids. It's all quite lovely! A great big day of gratitude.

  6. That sounds very lovely, and you manage to tick all boxes too! Sweet that your Mother buys you a present too!
    My issue is not so much with how people choose to celebrate but that social media used it as a way to pit women against each other, just to get comments on their page...

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  8. We don't buy into the schmultz. We'll be remembering the Mother's who are missing their children on Sunday, and the kids who are marking Mother's Day without their mums.
    PS. Happy Mother's Day :)

  9. I agree with you Lydia, I'm over the whole pitting women against women thing in the media. I've missed this latest blow up but things like these always gets bites and always seem to grow bigger than they should. I personally have no expectations for mothers day but I do love getting the handmade cards and the special attention of the day. This year both my mother and mother in law are away but normally I also love getting the chance to spend some time with them too. For me, the day is about family - I hope everyone enjoys whatever they end up doing on Sunday.

  10. Right now I am having 2 glorious hours at home by myself and a tiny bit of guilt is trying to creep it but I'm not letting it! Have a lovely day x

  11. Well we had planned to spend time with my MIL yesterday and my mum today. But, due to illness, yesterday was called off. We still spent the morning with my mum, which was lovely.
    Mainly, I'm excited that Bell gets to surprise me, she loves it! Hope your day was lovely Lydia x

  12. I think do whatever brings you and your family the most peace! I must admit that even after being a Mum for nearly 7 years, Mother's Day for me seems to be mostly about my Mum.

  13. That is so interesting to read about the origins Lydia. And yes, I agree, having debates about motherhood as such is so futile, especially when there are such pressing issues. Let's get back to being supportive and caring I reckon. Everyone need's validation and appreciation. x

  14. I never knew the origins of Mother's Day til now! We never celebrated it growing up as my mum said it was a commercial waste of time, but I think it's kind of sweet to have a day when all children, young and old, pay tribute to their mothers. But using it as an excuse to fuel the 'Mummy wars'? Yeah, no, yuck!