I hate Mother’s Day. I hate anniversaries. I hate birthdays too (mine at least). No, I’m not a horribly negative hateful miserable person. I actually LOVE the little homemade cards and gifts and pictures my kids give me for Mother’s Day and for my birthday. I love all the sweet fawning and hugs. What I hate is the pressure.
On my birthday two years ago, my oldest son fell off his bike and needed stitches. On my last birthday, my youngest son dislocated his forearm and had to make a trip to the ER. On my husband’s last birthday, I don’t remember what happened, but I do remember his telling me later that it was a horrible day. All three were worse because they were birthdays. My oldest son recently turned ten, and he ended his day crying at the dinner table because he got in minor trouble at school and was scolded by his favorite teacher, and on his birthday it was too hard to take. On any other day, it wouldn’t have bothered him. I wouldn’t have been happy that he needed stitches or that my youngest dislocated his arm, even if neither accident had been on my birthday, but I sure wouldn’t remember those accidents as well as I do if I hadn’t noted the irony of spending my birthday in the ER with an injured child.
All I wanted for Mother’s Day was a sunny day and a peaceful family. What I got was a sunny day (hooray) and a spectacular fight with my husband about, of all things, where to put a basketball net in our yard. There was a lot more to the argument than just a basketball net, of course, as there always is when a small disagreement becomes a big argument. And while we haven’t resolved the question at hand, we have resolved the underlying issues that led to the fight in the first place. So I guess I could consider that argument a success. But my eyes are still burning from crying, and I remember my daughter trying to convince us that we shouldn’t argue on Mother’s Day, and I will never forget feeling that I wasn’t particularly deserving of a day in my honor today.
We all have bad days. We all argue with our spouses or upset our children or set poor examples sometimes. Maybe it’s good for it to happen on a day that makes it memorable, so we can learn from our mistakes better than we would on just any old day. But somehow the pressure to make the day special seems to make it more likely to be bad, and I’d rather have my good days and have my bad days and take them for what they are–just good days and bad days–instead of making one day represent all I mean to my family and all they mean to me.
I’m glad my husband and I ignore Valentine’s Day. I’m glad we don’t make a big deal about our anniversary. And boy am I dreading Father’s Day.