Mother’s Day 2015: Honoring Mothers in a Culture That Hates Motherhood

Mother’s Day 2015: Honoring Mothers in a Culture That Hates Motherhood

Mother’s Day 2015: Honoring Mothers in a Culture That Hates Motherhood


Everyone says it, but it’s the truth: becoming a mother changed me forever. Right now, as I write this, I can look over and see my two youngest playing happily together in our living room, and I can’t imagine my life without them. The day my oldest was born, the life I had before, the person I was before, was blown away forever, relegated to some distant memory that becomes increasingly harder to remember. Becoming a mother, it fundamentally changes who you are to your core. You think you know what love is before you have a baby; you don’t.

But in between all this love and happiness and the mushy placards about your heart walking around forever outside of your body is the reality, and that reality is that motherhood is hard. There is so much stress, and fear, and second-guessing. It’s a lifetime of putting yourself last, of spending most of your time caring for someone else. So Mother’s Day, for many of us, is a welcome holiday. It’s a chance for us adult children to look at our mothers and say, Thank you. I see you. I appreciate you. For us as mothers, well… having a day where maybe someone else cooks you breakfast, or that you get to sleep in, or maybe go get a pedicure — whatever it is, it’s pretty much heaven. Unfortunately, though, we live in a culture where motherhood, and therefore Mother’s Day, is under attack.

It’s not a stretch to say that liberals hate motherhood. Maybe it’s the inherent selflessness required of motherhood; maybe it just gets in the way too much of their beloved abortion advocacy. But, not surprisingly, they’ve chosen to “celebrate” Mother’s Day by doing their best to tear it down.

Anne Lammott penned a screed about how she hates Mother’s Day:

I did not raise my son, Sam, to celebrate Mother’s Day. I didn’t want him to feel some obligation to buy me pricey lunches or flowers, some annual display of gratitude that you have to grit your teeth and endure. Perhaps Mother’s Day will come to mean something to me as I grow even dottier in my dotage, and I will find myself bitter and distressed when Sam dutifully ignores the holiday. Then he will feel ambushed by my expectations, and he will retaliate by putting me away even sooner than he was planning to — which, come to think of it, would be even more reason to hate Mother’s Day.

But Mother’s Day celebrates a huge lie about the value of women: that mothers are superior beings, that they have done more with their lives and chosen a more difficult path. Ha! Every woman’s path is difficult, and many mothers were as equipped to raise children as wire monkey mothers. I say that without judgment: It is, sadly, true. An unhealthy mother’s love is withering.

The illusion is that mothers are automatically happier, more fulfilled and complete. But the craziest, grimmest people this Sunday will be the mothers themselves, stuck herding their own mothers and weeping children and husbands’ mothers into seats at restaurants. These mothers do not want a box of chocolate. These mothers are on a diet.

Mary Elizabeth Williams decided that Mother’s Day is the perfect time to tell mothers everywhere to pipe down and stop taking up a whole day to feel special:

[I] know that Sunday is not going to be a great day for everybody. It’s hard for people who’ve lost their moms. It’s hard for those who had crummy moms — and believe me, it hasn’t escaped my notice that in our cultural glorification of motherhood, the fact that a lot of women who’ve had children have done a piss poor of raising them seems to get conveniently left out a lot. And it can also be hard for women who don’t have children, in this season of constant reminders that the best and most important “job” a woman could ever aspire to is motherhood. So to all my female friends who aren’t moms, I just want you to know that I call BS on this garbage too.

… I wish we lived in a world that respected all women more, regardless of their reproductive habits. I wish we believed them when they say they know what want — and what they don’t want. I definitely wish we’d stop seeing magazine covers demanding Jennifer Anniston have a baby. She’s done plenty with her life already, guys. Let it go. And if I don’t tell you this enough, my childfree friends who’ve explored the world and innovated in your fields and just plain been the rock stars I am so privileged to know, I admire the living hell out of you. Thank you for sticking around even after I brought these two loud, messy people into the world. And on Sunday and every day, I wouldn’t change a damn thing about you.

The Huffington Post felt that Mother’s Day was a great time to demand greater access to abortion while deriding mothers as angry and bitter:

If you were born before women had access to safe, affordable, accessible abortion, chances are your mother was an angry mother.

… This Mothers Day, I challenge American women to renew their commitment to responsible, thoughtful motherhood.

Let’s protect our liberties, reclaim safe, accessible abortion and contraception as our birthright.

This year – let us commit to a new future and a new promise.

No more angry mothers.

Amanda Marcotte complains about how the country honors moms more than dads while moms still do most of the housework:

For the past few years, we’ve seen a spate of articles noting—often lamenting—Americans’ tendency to open their wallets wider for Mother’s Day than Father’s Day, spending $7 billion or even $8 billion more a year on moms than dads. A new report from the Council for Contemporary Families, timed to Mother’s Day, hints at why: a mother’s “position as most hardworking at home is undisputed.” Wipe more butts, get a better card—the math is not too complicated here.

On and on and on it goes. The message is pretty clear: being a parent is fine, I guess, if that’s what you want to do, but it’s a miserable, terrible, thankless job that really isn’t all that special anyway, and you don’t deserve a day to show gratitude anyway, you selfish whining harpy. If you’d had an abortion, things would have been so much better. While most Americans may not see it this way, the pro-abortion media certainly does, and they’re doing their best to devalue motherhood the best they can.

Here’s the reality: mothers count. All of you who are mothers out there, you are important. You are valuable. And you are special. The left wants to facilitate the breakdown of the nuclear family in any way possible, and attacking motherhood while pushing for more and more abortions is another way to do it. That they would do so on Mother’s Day is even more devious and despicable. But it doesn’t mean that the rest of us should buy into it.

So for everyone who has chosen to become a mother, whether through birth, adoption or mentorship, who make the decision to love their children every single day and to devote themselves fully to another life: thank you.

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