By Laura M. LaVoie
I know Mother’s Day 2017 has come and gone, but I have a quick PSA for us all to consider before the next annual holiday for Moms.
I am not a mother, and I don’t need anyone to go out of their way to figure out how to wish me a happy day on the second Sunday of May (in the U.S.).
I am not talking about strangers who see me out on the streets that Sunday afternoon and assume that just because I have lady parts I must be a Mom. That is something akin to saying “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” throughout December. If a big deal isn’t made about it, I’ll say thank you and move on.
I am talking about the growing number of people who feel the need to make up a reason to tell me to have a wonderful Mother’s Day.
- You’re a cat mom!
- You inspire others.
- You nurture in other ways.
- You’re kind and wonderful.
- You’re a guiding light.
Here’s the thing: these are all wonderful things to say to me. But, saying them to me only on Mother’s Day makes me feel as though the other person thinks I need to be acknowledged on a day that is decidedly not for me.
When did Mother’s Day become a contact sport? In the weeks leading up to this year’s holiday, I saw so many social media posts that quickly grew in scope, and it felt women were pleased to out-Mom or out-offspring everyone else in the feed. So, OK. Honestly, I think Mother’s Day is best celebrated with and for those it most affects.
I can call my Mom on Mother’s day and wish her a happy day. I can send her a small gift and card. That’s appropriate. I don’t need to do that publicly so everyone knows that I have participated in this annual custom. I don’t need to prove it to anyone else.
My point here is, I don’t need people to go out of their way to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day because they think I might feel left out. I am not a Mom by choice, and that is completely and totally OK.
Don’t stop telling me I’m wonderful, but please don’t tie it to a special celebration that is clearly not mine. Just text me on a random Wednesday in September to tell me I’m a good person and that you’re glad I’m in your life. And I’ll do the same for you.
Gratitude for each other doesn’t need to be tied to any specific day, especially one that doesn’t apply.