Monday, May 9, 2011

Post-Mother's Day post

So you may have noticed I didn't write a post for Mother's Day.  This Mother's Day is the third one that's passed since I started writing this blog, and I've never written a post for Mother's Day here.

Truth be told, I've never been very fond of Mother's Day, even before infertility.  While I love my mother, we have an unconventional relationship, and at times over the years, especially when I was a child, that relationship was strained to one degree or another.  As I've mentioned here before, my parents divorced when I was 9, and thereafter I lived with my father and paternal grandmother (who was more of a "mother" to my sister and me, in the typical way in which that word is meant, than our actual mother was).

My granny was Irish and had lived in Ireland all but a year so of her 69 years until she came to live with us when I was a toddler.  She didn't believe in what she called "made-up" holidays; only religious holidays like Christmas, Easter and various saints' days where important to her.  (And Mother's Day doesn't even fall on the same date in Ireland as in the U.S.)  So honoring my granny, who really was the one who filled the role of "mother" in my life, on Mother's Day wasn't seen as necessary in our household.

Mother's Day got even more awkward for me when my father married my stepmother when I was 18.  I was a college sophomore at the time, and as such, I never lived at home with her as my "mother". . . . and yet her expectation has always been that I should remember her on Mother's Day.  I have long thought this is ridiculous, given that she has her own children and grandchildren (and now even a great-grandchild), but after a few years of resistance, I gave up and started sending her a card and calling her for Mother's Day, just to keep peace in the family.  (As a side note, my own mother doesn't care and wanted me to remember Stepmom; she has her own stepdaughters and knows what it's like to be ignored on holidays by them.)

So now I have the pleasure of enduring two difficult card-buying experiences every Mother's Day: a card for my mother which doesn't talk about her selflessness and sacrifice--and let me tell you, these can be hard to find--and a card for my stepmother which doesn't actually use the word "stepmother" (which she dislikes) and yet does not refer to her as "Mom" or "Mother" (because to me, she is neither).  Mother's Day is one time of year when my usual joy in going to a Hal.lma.rk store is significantly diminished.

Actually, buying a card and/or gift for my MIL--who I really like and think is a wonderful mom--is a walk in the park compared to buying cards/gifts for my own mother and stepmother.  How sad is that?

I think that adequately explains why I dislike Mother's Day and why that dislike long predates my infertility.  ;-)

Maybe it is because of my dislike of the holiday that it has never particularly been a hard one for me to get through, even being childless and infertile.  Sure, I have been annoyed on occasion when someone has wished me a "Happy Mother's Day," when the holiday doesn't apply to me at all.  But I have taken these comments in the spirit they are intended--much as I suppose a cheerful non-Christian would react to being told "Merry Christmas"-- and now that I don't attend church on Mother's Day, the opportunities for that are actually fairly limited.

Likewise, I haven't ever spent much time thinking about how wonderful it will be to celebrate Mother's Day when I finally *am* a mother.  So I'm sure that's a factor, too.

I hope all my readers had an enjoyable and peaceful weekend, whether you are mothers in fact, expectant mothers, mothers who have lost children, or mothers thus far only in your heart.


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  2. It is definitely understandable why Mother's Day has never really been a blip on your radar. If the cards get too hard to find, you can always go for the blank inside ones to write your own message.

    I'm catching up on your other posts (as you post faster than I can make it to the blogosphere - LOL) and am glad to hear that you are a go for your cycle!!

  3. 1. I love your Granny! I hate "Hallmark Holidays!"

    2. Finding a father's day card for my dad is very much like finding a mother's day card for your mom. I TOTALLY get the "which doesn't talk about her selflessness and sacrifice" part!

    3. You struck yet another chord with the stepmother issue! Reminds me of my SMIL, who married DH's father WELL after DH ever lived with his dad. Yet she gets all butt hurt if we don't acknowledge her on mother's day. I allow her grandparent's day, but mother's day is a STRETCH -- as you know.


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