Mother’s Day Strike

A few years ago, I had a mental breakdownthrough about Mother’s Day.

We were finishing up Mother’s Day brunch where I’d spent most of the time reminding my kids to please eat with their utensils, to please stop fighting under the table.

I didn’t want people to think I was a horrible mother on Mother’s Day of all days.

Their behaviors were amplified, highlighted, and contrasted with the ideals of being the Perfect Mom.

So by the end of the ordeal, when my husband asked sweetly, “What else do you want to do today?” I slurped down the rest of my mimosa, surveyed the disaster on the table, and said, “You know what? I’m taking the day off.”

“What does that even mean?” he asked in confusion, “Are you saying you don’t want to be with the kids on Mother’s Day?”

“No, that’s not really it, although it’s close,” I replied. “I just don’t want to ‘mother’ on Mother’s Day.” 

We were both aghast. And for a second, I wondered if it was the mimosa(s) talking or a deeper, darker truth that I had denied until now.

Turns out it was both. 

My mimosa-inspired revelation was quite clear. I don’t want to “mother” on Mother’s Day.

I don’t want to go home after brunch and be asked to make lunch when they just ate their body weight in pancakes. They should be good to go until dinner. (Speaking of dinner, I don’t want to make that, either.)

I don’t want to go through the Friday Folder (which I do every Sunday night) to find stuff like *surprise!* next week all the third graders need to dress up like Pilgrims.

(What do Pilgrims even wear? Whatever it is, I guarantee it’s not hanging in my daughter’s closet.)

Or your child has been assigned to bring 23 individually sliced pieces of mango for the “Fun Fruit Party.” (Dear Mrs. Teacher, have you ever sliced a mango? It’s a slippery nightmare involving a knife.)

I don’t want to negotiate how many more minutes my son can play video games. Or how many bites of broccoli he has to eat before he can go back to playing video games.

I don’t want to do any of it.

As much as motherhood is celebrated, it’s a lot of work. And as much as moms love their children, sometimes we need a break. What better day than Mother’s Day?

We don’t labor on Labor Day, so why should we mother on Mother’s Day?

Don’t worry. As I established earlier, I am not a horrible mother on Mother’s Day of all days. 

We still have our traditional celebration in the morning where the kids express their love with handmade cards, my husband his appreciation with flowers.

We still go to brunch where the kids eat like wild animals and I down a half-dozen mimosas.

But then, as soon as someone says, “I’m hungry. What’s for lunch?” I go wherever the day beckons, as long as it’s out the front door of my house.

One year, I went to the office to work. I focused on a project until it was actually done rather than when I needed to take my son to soccer practice.

Another year, I flew out to Florida for a business trip. I settled into my clean hotel room with its perfectly-made bed and watched a movie. All. By. My. Self. (And it was rated R.)

Most times, I just wander around Target. Stores are usually closed on Mother’s Day, but Target has the decency to stay open. They probably make a killing with all the mommies half-buzzed on mimosas.

So to all you Brave Moms, hang up that Perfect Mom apron. Take a day for yourself and hold your own Mother’s Day Strike.

Enjoy the one day out of the year when there is no laundry beckoning you to fold it, no dirty toilets shaming you into cleaning them, no children whining for you to fill their bottomless stomachs.

For one day out of the year, allow yourself to be unbound by time or expectations or anyone else’s agenda except your own.

For one day out of the year, have a Happy Mother’s Day.

 

happymomday

74 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Strike

  1. dessysdays says:

    I wish I have the courage to have just 1 guilty free day off. The guild is taking most of my sanity to stand up for myself​. I even feel guilty on having a nap when I still have dishes in the sink and still haven’t prepare dinner. I’m a bad influence for myself 😥

    Liked by 5 people

    • AKO Collective says:

      It took me 13 years to get to this point! It’s especially hard when they’re itty bitty. I totally understand and I hope you will give yourself a little of the love you give so many others – and sooner than I did! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

      Liked by 1 person

    • thejourneywithtshering says:

      I am a daughter and I would always want my mother to have a life of her own apart from being a mother. You totally deserve to live your life the way you want to without any guilt. Please kick away that guilt. The reason you have chosen to be a mother is a reason good enough that you are a good mother. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t ever be guilty for living life on your terms. It breaks my heart to hear that. I am not a mother but I am a daughter and my mom ever feel guilty for taking a nap and not doing the dishes it will break my heart. You deserve to be celebrated not to impose guilt on.

      Liked by 3 people

      • AKO Collective says:

        Wow! I am so honored to have a daughter comment on this piece. I know my daughter is watching me, especially when she asks questions like, “Why do the boys get to go outside and do stuff and the girls have to stay home and work?” Those innocuous comments teach me what I am in effect teaching her. And I am trying to change those lessons. Thank you for your comment. You are wonderful and must have quite a fabulous mama to be thinking this critically about these issues. xoxoako

        Liked by 2 people

      • thejourneywithtshering says:

        You are welcome and I know you are awesome mom. Take pride just for the fact that you have given birth and rest is what you do out of your goodness not because you have to. I am sure your boys will understand this some if not today. I am old enough to understand that but they will get there. Thank you for choosing to be a mom.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Kathy Chenault -- World Witness says:

    Great perspective. Being a mother is all-consuming. And Mother’s Day has become yet another commercialized observance. I started my day with a similar view as the ah-ha moment you had at the restaurant. My daughter, just weeks away from high school graduation, had to be reminded to put her sheets in the washing machine. She chose weekends as they only time that she wanted to do laundry. She has yet to do the sheets without being reminded. Then, I realized because I was busy with work this week, nothing has been done to clean the bathrooms. Oh yeah. And we have a plumber planning to come in two days for some non-emergency work. The basic vacuuming and dusting got put off last week by those who agreed to do it weekly, so the place REALLY needs it now. And on and on. It would have been so nice to awaken to the discovery that those tasks were being pursued independent of my involvement. I applaud your approach. And now I’m dreaming of finding a way to do the same for myself. …

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Mollie Ressler says:

    You wrote everything I think about! Such a great blog! Laundry and picking up the house is staring me down but I’m choosing to put my blinders on and walk away. Now, what does my heart really want to do??

    Liked by 4 people

  4. thejourneywithtshering says:

    Wow that’s like girlboss mom and I love it. I am not a mother but I totally believe that all mothers should get some day offs from being a mother. I can imagine how difficult it must be being a mother. I have been guilty myself of making it very difficult for my mother and I have written a post on mothers’ day and if you think you should read my post please do check it out at http://www.thejourneywithtshering.wordpress.com . I am trying to make all the mother understand that they have every right to live their own life and always play the role of a mother. Thank you for your post. I hope all mothers learn to relax and take it easy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • AKO Collective says:

      Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. This was my favorite part: “Our mothers carrying us in their womb for nine difficult months should be reason enough for them to get the credit of being a good mother. They should not have to carry the “mother guilt” for not playing all the roles we expect them to play. The difficult part of being a mother is not just the birthing part but expectations we burden them with.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Honest K says:

    i love the sound of mother’s day actually being about the mother. And I like the sound of mimosas even more! Next year I think I will kick daddy and kid out the house so I can lay in bed all day, maybe order a pizza and nap. That is my kind of perfect day! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. nicolegrabner says:

    This right here! Why do I feel any guilt for wanting some time to myself or to have to explain that maybe I don’t want to run full blast on the one day a year that is supposed to celebrate and appreciate all that we do? I should have left to wander around Target or something! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • AKO Collective says:

      Totally! My aunt sent a text to see if we were planning to go to brunch with my 94 year old grandma, etc., etc., and I texted back, “I don’t do brunch on Mother’s Day.” It’s heretical and wonderful all at the same time.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. nomorenarchole says:

    This made me laugh. I did end up mothering yesterday, Mother’s Day. However, it was just looking after my daughter on a day out with her and my mom. We don’t get to go out that much anymore. So it was a special day that way. And I didn’t cook, I didn’t do laundry, nothing of that! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  8. roberta m says:

    Loved reading this–even though I read it the day after Mother’s Day! Took the time to myself to even include a break from non-verbal communication. But–that’s over–LOL–and normalcy returns. 🙂 Thanks again for writing this!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. maecurrell says:

    Agreed! Our small daughter asked what Mother’s Day is, and my husband said, “it’s a day that mama gets to do whatever she wants.” It didn’t actually turn out that way this year… but we’re working toward it! Also, I love this quote from your post, “I focused on a project until it was actually done rather than when I needed to take my son to soccer practice.” That sums it all up.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. hildamalham says:

    It’s hard to have a day without being guilty, glad that I’m not the only one out there lol. I loved reading this, it was funny and true. I did mother on mother’s day, but I definitely didn’t do laundry or dishes. Those are waiting for tonight 😐

    Liked by 3 people

  11. littlebitoffreetime says:

    This is great. I actually thought about writing a post just like this on mothers day. Yes we all want to spend the day with our littles who gave us the name mom but we also need a break and on Mother’s Day of all days – why not! Just take a break so you can be a better mom?! LOVE. So true even though a lot of moms will argue on the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

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