I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day: You're Doing It Wrong

I keep trying to figure out why I dislike Mother's Day so much.
I've commented on it here and here.

I am not close to my own mother, but throughout my life I have blessed by wonderful women.  I've written about this here.

Pretty much every Mother I knows dislikes Mother's Day.

Why is that?

Is it the card companies with their sappy commercials?
Is the talks in church about their perfect moms?
Is it because we (choose one)

  • Had an imperfect mother
  • Don't have children or feel the holiday isolates women without children
  • Glorifies Motherhood in unrealistic way

But I don't think that's the whole story.
When I think about how we celebrate Father's Day, there are all the same notions, commercials, and cards, and yet most of the men I know think they are pretty decent Fathers.  Sure....they're not perfect, but who is?

I think it is us.  And by us, I mean, the Mothers.  We cannot accept that the job we are doing is good enough.  We all know that women are ridiculously hard on themselves and judgmental toward other women.  I'll bet if I asked every Mother I know right now (including me) to list off the things about themselves right now, off the top of their head what makes them awesome, they would laugh a little nervously and maybe, list one or two things.  If I were to ask those same women what they didn't do well....I'll be they could list off a myriad of inadequacies a mile long.

But if there is one thing I've learned in my generous (but not too generous) amount of time here on earth...everyone has it rough.  No matter what they look like on the outside, no matter how well kept their house is, no matter how clean their kids look, no matter if their hair always done...life is a constant battle.  Some of it we see, but most of it we don't.  That perfect woman that we hold up with a glimmer of hope that somehow, someday we'll be able to be...she doesn't  exist.  She really doesn't.

Parts of her do--in individuals.  Someone you know is a really good cook and manages to cook healthy meals for her family on a regular basis.  Another one is able to keep her house pretty clean.  Another has a great career.  But no one has it all together.  And often the person who looks like she's got it all together on the outside is suffering another private kind of pain.

So maybe this Mother's Day we could give ourselves a little gift.  Set our preconceived notions about what we think we are celebrating today aside and say

I am good enough.
I am a good enough mother, wife, friend.
I am thin enough, beautiful enough, faithful enough, kind enough.
I am good enough.

I remember being pretty depressed and sad a few years back because there was no one around to celebrate Mother's Day for me.  My kids are young and there is no pampering or house cleaning or dinners.  And I was sad all day because that is an idea that has been perpetuated and that I had bought into and my day didn't look like that. But you know what?  Lots of other silly ideas have been perpetuated throughout the ages and I don't always buy into those, so why this one?

Today I will let my family celebrate me in any old way, because I am pretty damn awesome.
Today I will celebrate the women around me for their strength, their courage and their sometime inappropriate humor.  Not because they are perfect, but because, like me, they aren't and yet we all just keep on moving forward.  One Mother's Day at a time.


  1. You are pretty damn awesome La!- I think you hit the nail on the head here. Happy Freakin' Mother's Day to you my friend :)

  2. Wow, yeah. I work for a company that capitalizes on unrealistic expectations for all of the sappy, de riguer holidays; and I'm nearing an age where motherhood is looking less and less likely. So, although I won't say it aloud, I hate MDAY too.

    However, from where I'm sitting, you look like a pretty damn awesome mother. Happy Freakin' Mother's Day.

  3. Awww...thanks guys. I AM pretty awesome.

  4. I think you're pretty damn awesome, too. Which is high praise coming from someone who doesn't even really know you at all. ;)

    I had to give a mother's day talk yesterday. I did NOT give the usual mother's day talk, which is why I think I didn't get the usual empty platitudes afterwards. I think the fact that I mentioned that women who work outside the home are actually more kick-ass than those who stay home all the time was off-putting. You can find the post here, if you're interested:


    What I would really like is a women's day, rather than a mother's day. Because I think that's more appropriate. More encompassing. And probably more fun.

    What I didn't put in my talk is that my mother was abusive, raunchy, moody, and could cuss like a sailor. I know. I was in the Navy. She threw a truck at my head when I was four - I still have the scar - because I couldn't find my sunday shoes. She fought often with my father. She is still a martyr, loves attention, and is the most real, genuine woman I know. I call her all the time just to chat. I love her deeply and truly. I am not ignorant of her flaws and the damage she did to me. But I wouldn't trade her for the world. She taught me to be generous. She taught me to ask for help. She taught me to QUESTION EVERYTHING, and yet be faithful. She taught me that it was ok to have a Dr Pepper. She tells dirty jokes. And she is amazing.

  5. You are pretty damn awesome. This I know.