My sister-in-law makes her husband take her to dinner out of town on Mothers’ Day so she won’t have to attend church and listen to the guilt-inducing talks about saintly, self-sacrificing mothers. I understand not wanting to hear the tearful tributes to perfect motherhood, although I don’t quite relate to having to leave town just to avoid attending church. The only thing worse than hearing other people’s kids talk on Mothers’ Day was having my own offspring asked to speak. My kids found great pleasure in describing their less-than-perfect, much-less-than-saintly mother:
“We can always tell when dinner is ready because the smoke alarm goes off.”
“Mom put pepper on Aroo’s tongue when she swore. It didn’t stop her from swearing, but Aroo really likes pepper.”
“Mom once ate a whole box of Twinkies by herself on the way home from the grocery store.”
No wonder I don’t enjoy church. I lost my ward status as soon as my kids were old enough to talk.
But, I’m not the only mother who is less than enthusiastic about Mothers’ Day. A colleague once remarked that she found it embarrassing to be honored for just doing her job. She’s right. Most of us had children because we wanted them, not to fulfill some kind of obligation to society. Another friend laments the “half-assed” job she did as a mother—and I’d like to meet a mother who didn’t do a “half-assed” job. No matter how dedicated, we all raise our children in our spare time—and with faulty, incomplete blueprints.
Still, Mothers’ Day observance is pretty well entrenched in Mormon culture. For every mother who would just as soon eliminate an observance than excludes childless women and induces guilt on the honored, a cadre of those with a sense of entitlement to a day of honor exists. And for those who don’t think a flower is worth sitting through the dreadful talks, coaxing the husband into an out-of-town dinner is a great alternative.