This post was originally posted last year, but when I wanted to do another one this year it turned out this one already said everything I wanted to say so I just reposted it.
Supposedly Mother’s Day is a wonderful happy day when loving families get together to celebrate the mothers in their families. It doesn’t pan out that way for all of us.
If your mother died and Mother’s Day is an agonizing reminder, I see you. If you are trying to become a mother but feel like a failure because your body isn’t cooperating, I see you. If god forbid your child died I see you. If you’re read as a woman but don’t identify as one and feel dysphoric or erased on Mother’s Day, I see you. If you’re a trans woman who wishes she could give birth one day, I see you. If you are a mother but don’t know where your child is or if they’re safe, I see you (and don’t judge you, it’s impossible to love a mental illness or addiction away). If you have a hard time with Mother’s Day for any reason, I see you.
Most of all, if your mother doesn’t love you, I see you. If ignorant jerks are appalled that you aren’t going to call or visit your mother, I see you. If you do visit and hate it, I see you. If self-centered assclowns won’t drop the fucking subject when you try to talk about something else, I see you. If you feel like an unlovable monster, I see you.
For me, the worst part of Mother’s Day is the assumption that all mothers love their children and that everyone is delighted to celebrate with their mothers. It’s technically not impossible that my mother loved me in the “I feel a feeling!” (that post is mostly about romantic love but the basic idea of “I feel a feeling!” love versus the real love of actions that make a person feel loved still applies) sense, but who really gives a shit when I spent my entire childhood wondering if this was the day she’d start hitting me too. That’s not love.
My life is better without that woman in it, but dates like her birthday and Mother’s Day still kinda suck for me. I’ve been estranged from her for a long time and I’m largely over it, but the Mother’s Day barrage makes me feel like everyone’s mother loves them except mine. The societal programming that says you have to do certain things on those days is also a real pain in the ass to root out even when you know that you can’t have contact with your mother and be happy.
Try to take care of yourself. You have this random internet asshole’s official permission to hide in your home all day and not interact with the outside world if that helps (either the permission or the hiding). It’s okay to have a rough time, it’s okay to excuse yourself, it’s okay to change the subject, and it is definitely okay to give people an extended icy glare and/or extremely blunt statement that you don’t want to talk about it if they decide to be prying assholes.
You are not alone. You are not weird. You are not broken (heads up, that link includes a story from someone whose mother loved her before she died young). You are not unlovable. Your mother not loving you is not about you and never has been, it’s about her.
Finally, here’s how to not be an asshole to people who have a hard time with Mother’s Day for any reason:
- Stop fucking assuming everyone loves Mother’s Day.
- Stop fucking assuming that everyone has a mother. Sometimes people die tragically young.
- Stop fucking assuming that everyone’s mother loved them.
- Don’t directly ask what someone did for Mother’s Day unless you know they have a good relationship with their mother/kids. Just ask how their weekend was, they’ll tell you about what they did for Mother’s Day if they damn well feel like it.
- If you do ask someone what they did for Mother’s Day and they change the subject, for fuck’s sake let it stay changed. Don’t be a pushy asshole.
- If you find out someone is estranged from their mother, do not ask why unless you are very, very close. There is no happy answer to that question, you prying fuck.
If you have a mother who loves you and are looking forward to Mother’s Day, that’s great and I’m genuinely happy for you. Just don’t be an asshole to people who aren’t as lucky are you are. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones, I hope this post gives you something to hang on to – that’s why I’m publishing it early.
Moderation note: I had to turn on moderation for all comments because my spam filter has been having issues lately so comments may be slow to appear. This should go without saying, but if you decide to be an asshole in the comments for this of all posts, you will be permanently banned. Do not tell me or anyone else that their mother loved them when she clearly fucking didn’t.