Google+ Authentic Parenting: What's Wrong With Mother's Day

Monday, May 10, 2010

What's Wrong With Mother's Day

How can anyone take offence in a day designed to appreciate mothers and pay them some consideration? Here's why:

  • Mother's Day creates expectations
  • Opens a window to judge one's child
  • It is consumerism-driven
  • It's another form of coercion
  • It is higly unnatural and breaks family dynamics

Can you tell me you didn't expect some form of consideration on mother's day (if you are a mom, that is), a kind word, a congratulations, maybe a gift if your child is old enough. What happens if those expectations aren't met? Do you feel sad? Angry maybe, but certainly frustrated. Maybe you did get some consideration, but you were hopng for something specific.

Mother's day is an open invitation to judging ones child. If your child forgot, isn't he a good child? Maybe the pressure to 'perform' makes him feel like rebelling it, does that make you think your child does not love you any more.
Does the time and effort your children put in making you a card, a gift, a special day... make you compare them?

Like Valentine's day, there is a serious lure-to-buy with mother's day. Maybe you should get some special mother's day pie, or breakfast or your kids should buy a card, your husband might have to run to the florist...

One cannot deny that Mother's Day forces children to do something for their mom, albeit psychological. The feeling of being forced does not sit well with human beings. And while a small child might not grasp the mental submission he is set up to, an older child might rebel this feeling of force, which in turn might make mother question his behavior.

Any 'special' day that creates these emotions are unhealthy, because they destroy family dynamics, even if only for one day. Tey create hopes an expectations an woe on thou if these aren't met.

Side note: you are not a bad person if you like or celebrated Mother's ay, nor if it raises expectations. Of course we like being given presents and attention, but 'feeling special' and loved does not come from a one day gesture, it lies in the small unprompted daily considerations.

photo © Adrian van Leen
for CC:PublicDomain



  1. I took a bit of a diferent slant with Mother's Day. I didn't expect any gifts from my kids. I did get little homemade ones from most of them though. I took the day to focus on BEING a mother. I know we all strive to do that everyday but it is easy to get into a rut. I bought myself some gifts that I liked and celebrated my children instead of having them celebrate me. In the end we had a great family day!

  2. Wow Susan! That's a great and healthy attitude towards Mother's Day! You really are an inspiration! If I had come up with it, that might well be the advice I'd give of the attitude to adopt! Guess it takes your experience to come up with something this wonderful! Maybe one day I'll have that too

  3. I remember as a child giving my mum lovingly hand made presents and then her telling us that she would rather have children who weren't horrible than have us give her those presents. My three year old gives me presents and tells me she loves me all the time so I see no need to have fixed expectations on one particular day of the year.

  4. Although I usually agree with most of the posts on your site. I do not agree with this. Mothers day/Fathers day are an opportunity for a child to show appreciation for there parents and in turn for others who help them through out there lives. I also highly doubt any decent mother would ever be upset at her child for not meeting there expectations. Do you not believe in birthdays either? I think it is normal and healthy to celebrate the people in your life who you love and care for. Also after working with children for many years I have seen most children if not all LOVE mothers day! and love the opportunity to show there mum how much they care. Just my opinion, and I do agree with the consumerism part but I believe a day to celebrate with your family and to show appreciation and love towards your children can't be all that bad.


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