Thursday

After Mother's Day Blues


The media, churches, retail store clerks, relatives, and friends stimulated mothers mentally for weeks about Mother’s Day. Even children were pressured by teachers to create projects to honor their moms. Partners worried over what to do for Mother’s Day since paychecks went to bills. There were so many reminders and so little money and time to find something to make Mom happy. Some of you pulled it off while others couldn’t. There were mothers who received something on Mother’s Day even if it was a simple phone call, while others received a little of something or nothing at all.

Expectant moms, senior moms, divorced moms, single moms, moms in jail and all other moms were desiring something—anything that said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” But it just didn’t happen and now some are bitter. They bad mouthed the holiday, cussed a partner, yelled at the children, and vowed that no one would get anything for a year! Some mothers may have got something last year, but this year they got nothing because someone had vowed last year that, “Mom isn’t getting anything because she didn’t give me anything for my birthday! I am tired of buying for people and they don’t buy for me!” The Mother’s Day blues has set in and it doesn’t go away until certain people honor the mother who feels like she has done so much for everyone else, yet they can’t even bother to say, “Happy Mother’s Day!”

I have been on both sides of the fence--the mom that receives acknowledgment on Mother’s Day and the mom who doesn’t. Years ago, I had freed myself of the burdens of holidays only to get suck back in by media hype and family pressure. I went back to buying people things and sometimes I got things back and sometimes I didn’t. It hurts when you spend your last money on someone that should have been allocated toward a bill. That’s why I have to remind myself to pray first about gift giving no matter what time of year!

I started talking to my children about acknowledging me on Mother’s Day now that they are older with the hopes that they will do the same for their partners once they become adults. The last thing I want are disgruntled daughter-in-laws accusing me of not raising my sons up right over the simplest of things.

As I write, I realize that when someone else’s great idea ie.) Mother’s Day, begins to burden you, your finances and upset your household, you have to break free! I don’t believe the originator’s intention was to cause a problem for some with the Mother’s Day concept, but many have turned it into such because they are angry at: a partner, ungrateful children, a selfish parent or someone else who made the holiday ugly in their sight.

When I thought back to how free I was mentally, physically and spiritually from man-made holidays once upon a time (before starting my own family,) I was happier. I didn’t have to worry over what to buy mom or wonder what a partner would do for me. Everyone knew, “She doesn’t celebrate holidays.” However, once I got myself wrapped up into gift-giving, not with prayer and fasting, but just because everyone else was doing it, I didn’t feel so good about what I was doing. So what happens when you start to feel this way? You don’t want to keep doing it, but you do it anyway sometimes with feelings of resentment and worry. What happens when I can’t celebrate Mother’s Day next year or I have nothing exciting for Father’s Day? Will my own mom talk about me? Will the children’s father try to pay me back next year? What about those days that aren’t holidays that I do for others, will those times be remembered? These thoughts and more went through my mind.

I understand it is hard when one isn’t acknowledged on a day like Mother’s Day, like I said before I have been there, and I know you can’t help but think about all the things you have done for your family and others. However, realize that when you allow what someone does or doesn’t do to affect your mood, you are putting yourself in bondage. There will be other holidays and this person or group may not acknowledge you for those holidays either, but don’t worry, expect nothing and you won’t be let down.

As mothers who are trying to instill positive values in our children, we must remember that we can’t allow our disappointments with our partners or others to affect our parenting. There are those of you who are thinking, “Out of all the people, he should have at least got the children to give me something…” and maybe he should of, but remember people have their reasons for why they do what they do. Some things you might want to do in the future, if you are one of the ones who expect to be honored on Mother’s Day, is to prepare those around you in advance, but you can’t do this with a sour attitude.

Let your family know that you think that Mother’s Day is important. Tell them that even if they don’t have any money or can’t make it to your home on that day, you would be open to another day of acknowledgment at their convenience. As much as some of us would like things to happen when we want them, we must remind ourselves it isn’t always so. If you communicate your feelings to those around you in a polite way, who knows what next year might bring.
However, you may be changing, like I am, and if you are headed in that “take it or leave it” direction, then we must remember that we are letting those around us know that Mother’s Day and other holidays are unimportant, so we must stick to it. When we say one thing, but expect another, we will only be causing upset in our households. People will begin to think, “Well which is it? Celebrate holiday or not?” We also have to remain open to holidays that we might be acknowledged and we might not, but whatever happens, it should always be okay.

I think we paint ourselves in a box when we bad mouth holidays, talk about what someone does or doesn’t do for us, or criticize their gifts, because what we are telling others is, “Don’t buy for her, she’s negative and ungrateful.” Eventually, that painted box will become a wall around us and then when someone comes along with his or her best intentions, they bump right into it! He or she will unfortunately be shut out of our lives with all our negativity. I think God allows this for good-hearted people’s own protection. Once they see that negative wall, they stop coming around.

So I leave you with “Happy Mother’s Days” all year round! May you be blessed with sales, bargains and convenient parking when you go out and honor yourself each payday!

Nicholl McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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