March 26th. This time of year returns. Mothers’ day is like Valentine’s day as in it deceives us into thinking that by neglecting to appreciate people the rest of the year, we can make up for it with an empty gesture. What it further fails to grasp is that people all have flaws and make mistakes. But of course we must idolise mothers every spring. After all, they must be super-human and faultless. Their elevated yearly status not only causes stress to parents as they aspire to meet the advertisements’ image of perfection but also to the children of parents who haven’t always been there.
As a daughter that was routinely locked-out of the family home and sent to live with my dad, mothers’ day has always been a time of trepidation. It is not that I don’t love my mother, it is that I struggle congratulate her on a job well-done as it was on a pretty part-time basis. Months would go by without any contact from her and yet I would always send a card and put on a façade to hide my inner conflict. I often thought about why I should display affection publically to someone who declared their hatred for me the last time we spoke. But still I did.
I feel that we need to address how our society chooses to celebrate these special day’s. By creating this image of perfection nobody wins, and it only serves to alienate those whose childhood didn’t conform and a large proportion of self-doubting and vulnerable mothers.