It was recently “National Teachers Day”. Do you know what I posted on social media? I wrote a message saying:
To all those who have had lousy teachers, to all those who couldn’t be teachers, to all those who are bad teachers- I send a shout out to all of you.
I did the same on Nurses Day. And Veteran’s Day. And every other “day” where someone gets a shout out for the work they’ve done.
I mean, we don’t want anyone to feel bad because they aren’t “something”.
Empathy means making sure that no one ever feels bad about anything.
On Mother’s Day I saw a whole bunch of social media reminding us to remember all the people who are not Mother’s. or who have a bad association with Mother’s.
Remember those without Mother’s. Remember those with lousy Mother’s. Remember those who can’t be Mother’s.
I get it. A day like Mother’s Day can bring up bad memories of things that you don’t have. But to be fair, Tuesday can bring up the same thing.
When we set out a day to honor something, it probably means that these people have been forgotten in the past. It means that maybe they’ve been overlooked. Perhaps underappreciated…
it doesn’t mean that they are any better or worse than anyone else. It just means that people are saying – “We appreciate you and the job that you do.” This is why there is a “day”.
If you want to celebrate a day for all those people who have issues with a day, by all means come up with your own day to celebrate that group. Why don’t we have the first Sunday in May be dedicated to all those who hate Mother’s Day? Sort of like we now have Galentines Day…Let’s give that group a voice, let’s allow them to be heard. They have a legitimate point- no one takes their feelings into account. Let’s just give them their own day.
When you try to make things fair, when you try to make sure that no one “feels bad” are you really doing anything? By making sure that no one ever “feels bad”, are we conversely making sure that no one ever “feels good”? Does taking away from one group make another group feel better?
I know. I know. Right now you are thinking that I am a horrible, non empathetic person who just wants her day. Who doesn’t care about anyone else. If you think that, well, there’s nothing I can do to change your mind.
But here’s the fact: Motherhood is hard. Motherhood is thankless. Motherhood is putting yourself last every single time.
I completely feel for everyone who feels bad on Mother’s Day because their experience hasn’t been quite what they wanted. But I also feel for every single Mother who celebrates the day, because really, we don’t actually know how anyone feels inside.
Sure, they might get breakfast in bed, or flowers, but Motherhood sucks 66% of the time. I did the math and wrote a post.
Being a Mother means forever being identified as “Mother”. This isn’t so easy for most Mothers…even the one’s who get big cards and post a big “Happy Mother’s Day” banner on social media.
This is why we have a day.
Please don’t assume that every Mother is having a good day just because they present themselves to the world that way. Look behind the smile, the laugh. Look in her eyes. See how great her day, her week, her year has been. Really look.
And allow her to just think about herself this day. Because it might be the only day all year that she does. And it might not even be the whole day. It might just be an hour, or a minute, or a second…