On Mother’s Day: My Ambivalence

People love Mother’s Day.  And I don’t mind it.  But it does make me a bit pensive about the women who have either chosen not to be mothers or who can’t be.

And it also makes me pensive concerning those whose experience with their mother’s wasn’t exactly memorable for any positive reason.

What are people to make of Mother’s Day- a day honoring dear old mom, when mom was mommy dearest?  Are the children of alcoholic and abusive mothers supposed to be glad that mom was a massive failure?

Mother’s Day is, for a lot of people, just a painful reminder of their own childhood- when mother would rather drink and carouse than care for her children.

To be sure, a good mother is a treasure.  But by the same token, a bad mother is a curse.  And in spite of Hallmark’s dizzying fixation on the glories of motherhood it must, it has to be said, that not all moms can be called mothers.

So on Mother’s Day, to those of you who have had the great fortune of having Mothers worthy of the name, have a great day and be very, very thankful.  To those of you who had or have the misfortune of drawing a woman without any true mothering instincts, my most heartfelt condolences.

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5 thoughts on “On Mother’s Day: My Ambivalence

  1. Bitsy Griffin 8 May 2011 at 9:09 am

    Mother’s Day is, for a lot of people, just a painful reminder of their own childhood . . .

    Thank you for that recognition.


  2. Donna Womack 8 May 2011 at 9:36 am

    As one who chose not to have children due to having had a less than stellar example, I always feel very alone on Mother’s Day. It’s an unwelcome reminder that I just don’t fit, and of the things I’ll always miss because I was too afraid of failure. I appreciate your thoughts.


  3. Laine 8 May 2011 at 12:07 pm

    You know what I hate? The fact that I have to buy a card because if I don’t then I’ll hear about it. Trying to find a card that doesn’t glorify her for stuff she never did is even tougher.


  4. Ann Raper 8 May 2011 at 12:51 pm

    dittos. Bitsy. Thanks, Bitsy for linking this article on FaceBook, and thank you Jim for writing it.


  5. […] year, around this time, Jim and others will post about their experiences with mothers and Mother’s Day. I don’t […]


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