When I was growing up, my father always made a big deal out of Mother's Day. He got us excited for the day, too. My little sister and I would make my mother cards, and we would head out for a special high tea at a local hotel. Once we grew up and left the house, the handmade cards were no longer, but I still sent my mom cards and called her on Mother's Day. However, the “magic” of the day had disappeared for me.
Mother's Day had become a commercial holiday in my eyes–exploited by capitalism and retailers to extract as much money (and sense) out of everyone as possible. I became nonchalant about the day. It was just another Sunday in May.
However, my feelings changed when I became a mother–of course they did. Everything changes when you birth a child. I began to see Mother's Day as a day to be treated and to be reminded of how lucky I am. I finally understood why my mother loved Mother's Day so much.
I asked a few friends what Mother's Day means to them now that they are mothers themselves.
“Now that I'm a mother, I truly love Mother's Day. From the handmade invitation to have breakfast at my son's preschool, to the excitement leading up to the event, to the way he “shows me off” to his classmates (even though I see them day in and day out). The adorable gifts he's made for me will always mean more to me than anything store bought I've ever received. It's such a sweet holiday.
“My own mother has been gone for almost seven years now, but I have a very fond memory of the last Mother's Day [that] my sister and I spent with her. It was rare because of where she and my father lived and worked … She was home (in the States) for the holiday. I'm grateful I was able to spend that last one with her. I know how touched she was, too.”
“It's not just a cliche: handmade gifts from the preschoolers are the ones that I crave the most (and the ones that bring me to awkward tears). First runner-up? An impossibly long nap. Save your money, husband. Just let me get at least two REM cycles in there.”
“What I've realized about Mother's Day is that I never showed my mom NEARLY enough how much she meant to me on Mother's Day. I do remember one time my sister and I made a cake for her and put too much food coloring in the frosting and it turned an unappetizing shade of gray. She ate it, valiantly. Now, honestly, it's a card created by my son in his own hand that I love the most. It's all I need.”
“Before I had my children, when we were trying so hard to get through the infertility, I didn't think I'd ever think of Mother's Day as the day that I just want to be able to sleep in, lounge around, and not have to take anyone anywhere. Now that I've been a mom for eight years and blessed with three girls, the bottom line is this: I don't need fancy presents, or presents at all. I'd love a homemade card, a hug, and just a nice, quiet day.”
“I always try to remind my friends who have young children that Mother's Day with little kids is HARD. It's not personal; they're just young. Last year, when they were 5, 5, and 3, it was the first year I felt Mother's Day was actually enjoyable. They really got it and really wanted to make me happy. We went hiking, ate dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and gorged on gourmet donuts from a food truck. Whenever they started acting up, I'd make a meter with my arms and say, ‘Uh oh! My Mother's Day meter is going down!' It worked every time.”
Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, she traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison is a former blogger (Writing, Wishing), and her writing has been featured on Mamalode,On Parenting at The Washington Post,The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, Club Mid, andDrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists ... More