Pricing Mother’s Day

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Every year… it never fails 😉 … we on social media are bombarded with new posts or youtube videos, written by mothers (or their strangely apologetic husbands) moaning and groaning about how horrible being a mom is for them and that it “sucks” that they only get ONE day as a “break” and then proceed to complain that even that ONE day isn’t actually a “break.”  They usually use words like “shitty” of course, though, lol.

Apparently, if you’re a Mom/Grandma/Aunt/etc, Mother’s Day has turned into a week-long, self-indulgent, victimhood-mode of “poor me” attitude for you to indulge in without censorship.  In fact, even bringing up the point that all these posts of moms complaining about how much they hate Mother’s Day (and every other day of the year) because they have to spend it with their kids, isn’t good for them or their kids – if you dare bring this up on social media, you’re labeled judgmental and not Christian or loving like Christ did.

Motherhood is hard.

I totally get many of us moms that were raised in this culture, where we grew up given trophies for just being there (and awesome? LOL), that motherhood feels like too much to handle.  There’s no one else there to “save us” from the sick days, or when our husbands are away on business trips, or when they’re deployed, or working late… and my generation (Gen Y) in particular, aren’t very good at showing grit and the desire to push through difficulties like you’re running an excruciating marathon.

Most of us were just never taught how to have grit or persevere through things we’d really rather not be doing.  We live in a fairly easy, maybe too-accessible culture where everything is either fast and quick for us, or already available.  In my opinion, our culture has created a bunch of weak women.  We’re going to be remembered as the women who every year, took to social media to complain and whine about the very blessings (children!) we said we craved.  

It’s incredibly ironic that in this age of feminism where women are supposed to be stronger than ever, they complain and whine (showing extreme weakness) more than I believe they ever did under a patriarchal “oppressive” society.  Is that what it means to be a strong woman now?  Someone who thinks “Mother’s Day” is her enemy?

***

I think I’m lucky that my mother frequently reminded us that most of life was just doing the boring, hard things that needed to be done.  It wasn’t supposed to be easy.  Raising kids isn’t supposed to be easy.  But that’s not really the point.

The point is that even if you think motherhood really really stinks, you should realize that your kids don’t deserve a mom who always feels that way, or allows herself to fall into “victim-mode.” 

Because it’s going to affect them negatively, it just will. 

What are we teaching our kids when we show them that just being their mom really really sucks? 

Are we helping them to become better humans who suck it up and build a beautiful, and very necessarily difficult, but so needed, civilized structure for this country? 

Do we want a massive generation of more people who don’t believe in hard work, who love to complain as loudly as they can, and in any opportunity that they can, to claim their status of victimhood? 

If you’ve felt this way before about Mother’s Day, I do understand that it’s hard.  Dealing with toddlers who scream and throw things at you, hit you and are completely unreasonable… day in and day out… is VERY hard, and yes, sometimes it really really stinks!  But you have to push through those feelings, because they only last a moment when that toddler is being hard. 

And then 3 minutes later, they want a hug and are sweet and adorable again.

You don’t have to “give in” to feeling like the victim to your own life or like your children are “oppressive.”

Anything worthwhile in life is supposed to be difficult.

It’s supposed to be painful.  Because anytime you sacrifice anything in your life, it is going to be a bit painful.  Motherhood is full of those unmeasurable sacrifices – but you have to try to find the beauty in them, and throw off the feelings of resentment or that you’re being “oppressed” by your children.

Compare it to running and getting your body in shape.  If you listened to your feelings, you’d tell yourself constantly that you “hate exercising” and that “it sucks” and then you’d never feel properly motivated to do it.  It’s the same with parenting.  It’s supposed to be hard.  It’s supposed to have moments of painful sacrifice.  And no, you’re not supposed to just whine and complain on social media (to complete strangers) about how much you can’t stand God’s blessings in your life – because it’s not good for you.

Please… try… just one year 😀  TRY to enjoy this mother’s Day without making a whining post or reminding your husband that you “should” get paid $100,000+ for all your “sacrifices.”

Honestly… if you really understood what that word sacrifice means, then you’d understand WHY you don’t get paid money to be a mom.

Stephanie

 

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26 thoughts on “Pricing Mother’s Day

  1. A quote from one of the articles linked at the bottom:

    “And on Mother’s Day I’ll try not to be a seething mass of bitter resentment about the unpaid hours I put in dragging up my kids. But as I order a particularly expensive bottle of wine over Sunday lunch I’ll do so with a clear conscience as I know I’m saving us a bloody fortune.”

  2. So true! How one looks at things, and their attitude, can make the exact same experience a joy or a burden. Not that every moment will be bliss (and expecting that is part of the problem today!) but motherhood is only drudgery if women drink the “it’s all about me, me, me! These kids are dragging me down” kool aid.

    If nothing else, be thankful it’s not 100 years ago, when mom would spend mother’s day and every day washing diapers by hand, with water she hand pumped from a well or hauled from a creek, and heated on the stove, etc. Things could be a lot harder than they are today!

    Or one could be staring at yet another negative pregnancy test after years of trying with no luck, with mother’s day as a yearly reminder.

    Or…instead of getting a few hours off, one could be sitting in the hospital, watching their child succumb to a terminal illness, knowing it would be the last mother’s day spent together.

    Not to be morbid, but things could always be way, way, way worse. Reminding myself of that on days I am in a funk can really help turn my stinking thinking around! Weird, but it works!

  3. Wow. Why even bother having kids, then? Why not stick to cats or dogs with limited lifespans so that, when they expire, you’re off the hook unless you want to pick up another? That statement is so FULL of bitter resentment not only is she failing in her goal of “trying not to be” but I feel sorry for her kids if they ever found this quote. This is nothing really new, though, and the sentiment of “awful motherhood” has been permeating society for a few decades now:

    What a drag it is getting old.

    “Things are different today,”
    I hear ev’ry mother say
    Mother needs something today to calm her down
    And though she’s not really ill
    There’s a little yellow pill
    She goes running for the shelter of her mother’s little helper
    And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day.

    “Things are different today,”
    I hear ev’ry mother say
    Cooking fresh food for a husband’s just a drag
    So she buys an instant cake and she buys a frozen steak
    And goes running for the shelter of her mother’s little helper
    And to help her on her way, get her through her busy day.

    Doctor, please, some more of these
    Outside the door, she took four more
    What a drag it is getting old.

    “Men just aren’t the same today,”
    I hear ev’ry mother say
    They just don’t appreciate that you get tired
    They’re so hard to satisfy. You can tranquilise your mind
    So go running for the shelter of your mother’s little helper
    And four help you through the night, help to minimise your plight.

    Doctor, please, some more of these
    Outside the door, she took four more
    What a drag it is getting old.

    Life’s just much too hard today, ”
    I hear ev’ry mother say
    The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore
    And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose
    No more running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
    They just helped you on your way through your busy dying day.

  4. Here’s a good poem written by Rachel Stafford about how her unhappiness transferred to her young daughter, and the way she changed things, involved her dealing with those unhealthy emotions and creating happiness within herself:

    “THE DAY MY CHILD LOST HER JOY
    In an especially chaotic rush out the door to go on a family vacation, I sat in the passenger seat fuming. Mad because I didn’t have time to put the dishes in the dishwasher. Mad because we were late getting on the road. Mad because the garage door was acting up. I’m talking trivial, insignificant, minor inconveniences here, but that was the state of a distracted woman who could no longer see the blessings, only the inconveniences, of her life.

    Before we were about to pull out of the driveway, my husband looked at me as if someone he loved very much had died. In a barely audible whisper he said, “You’re never happy anymore.”

    I wanted to defend.

    I wanted to excuse.

    I wanted to deny.

    But I couldn’t.

    Because I knew he was right.

    Where had that happy woman gone? The one who smiled at people she passed on the street just because. The one whose friends often spoke of her positive outlook on life. The one who felt happy simply because she heard her favorite song or had a pack of strawberry Twizzlers in her purse. The one who could laugh off mistakes because mistakes happen, and they are certainly not the end of the world.

    Where had she gone?

    And that’s when I glanced to the backseat to see if my children, then ages six and three, had heard my husband’s words. Staring back at me was my older daughter picking her lip with worry the size of a small boulder weighing down her small shoulders.

    As she pinched that tiny piece of fragile skin on her upper lip with wide eyes, I could practically read her mind:

    Mom’s mad.

    Mom’s tired.

    Mom’s stressed.

    But there was more. I could practically hear how a young child would interpret her mother’s unhappiness.

    Mom’s mad at me.

    Mom’s tired because of me.

    Mom’s stressed because of something I did.

    That’s when an even more powerful question hit me.

    Where had my happy little girl gone? The one who woke up with the most gorgeous bedhead and good morning smile. The one who beamed at the words “sprinkler,” “cotton candy,” and “pet store.” The one who laughed so hard tears came to her eyes. The one who licked beaters with sheer pleasure and danced happily to any song with a beat.

    Where had she gone?

    I knew.

    Because my happiness was based on external measures—on tasks being completed, plans running accordingly, goals being met, hairs being in place—I was continually disappointed … upset … impatient … and stressed. In the process of making my own life miserable, I’d funneled my unhappiness straight into my daughter’s once joyful heart and spirit. Her pain was a direct reflection of the expression I wore on my face.

    I desperately wanted to bring a smile back to my daughter’s face. I knew I must bring it back to my own. I began praying for small steps I could take to become a more positive, present, and peace-filled person. On brightly colored sticky notes, I posted daily goals and positive mantras that came to me during morning prayer time. Especially prominent on my mirrors and cabinets were these two go-to phrases: “Only Love Today” and “See Flowers Not Weeds.”

    I used the phrase Only Love Today to silence my inner bully. Whenever a critical thought would come to my mind or my mouth, I’d cut it off with Only Love Today. I used See Flowers Not Weeds as a pathway to gratitude, to see what was good in situations and people.

    As Only Love Today and See Flowers Not Weeds became a daily practice, I felt a profound transformation occurring in my heart and home. No longer were my goals exclusively items that could be measured or checked off—they consisted of immeasurable items like listening, laughing, dreaming, playing, connecting, and loving. With a more meaningful daily goal, I was able to see the blessings in my imperfect self and in my imperfect life. My eager-to-please, helpful older child looked different too. I saw her for who she was, not an annoyance or a bother, but a loving child with clever thoughts and ideas. For once, I could see all the things she was capable of doing—not perfectly, but good enough for today. The tightness in my face relaxed and the smiles came more easily for both of us.

    One morning, I looked out the kitchen window to see her making a little garden right there in the middle of the yard. I watched as she tended to her miniature plot. Her joyful smile made me take pause. Clearly, she was at peace tending to her garden. I took a picture and sent it to my parents. Nothing could have prepared me for the response I received. My parents wrote:

    “Thank for this precious picture of our beautiful granddaughter. Over the last two years, we have seen a tremendous change in her. We no longer see a scared look in her eyes; she is less fearful about you being upset or impatient with her. She is much happier and more relaxed. She is thriving and growing into a content, creative, and nurturing person. We know for a fact the changes we see in her coincide with the changes we have also seen in you.”

    I covered my mouth to muffle the sobs.

    When I was struggling to breathe beneath the weight of perfection, distraction, and self-induced pressure, my child was too.

    My daughter had absorbed my tension.

    She had absorbed my frustration.

    She had absorbed my anxiety.

    She had absorbed my unhappiness.

    And as my negative emotions were being filtered down to her, they impacted her ability to grow, thrive, and blossom.

    If I didn’t know it before, I know it now:

    Our children are our garden. They absorb our stress, just as they absorb our peace. They absorb our negativity just as they absorb our joy. And we have the power to control what they absorb, but first, we must tend to ourselves.

    It might sound like this:

    Dear one, you have feelings. They are worth listening to and acknowledging.

    You have limits. They are necessary to keep in place as a means of valuing your time and honoring your health.

    You have dreams. You are worthy of time to pursue what makes your heart come alive.

    You have needs. You deserve affection, rest, sustenance, and grace.

    Perhaps you forgot that it is necessary to look after YOU. It’s okay. I forget too. But we still have today. Thank God, we still have today.

    Today let’s tend to ourselves as we do our loved ones. Perhaps we can make it a habit. We’ll never know how much we can grow and flourish until we take time to tend to what is most precious.
    by Rachel Macy Stafford (Only Love Today)

  5. “Or one could be staring at yet another negative pregnancy test after years of trying with no luck, with mother’s day as a yearly reminder.”

    That’s so true, Bloom. I always wonder what those women who aren’t able to get pregnant think about these Mother’s Day posts where the women are complaining and writing about how much they hate it.

  6. @Snapper, wow! So she commits suicide in the end of that! Sad!!!! Honestly… giving in to these negative emotions and letting them just rule over your thoughts and words and actions… it’s not psychologically healthy for women. That used to be a known thing, but somehow it’s not mentioned anymore.

  7. just so I am clear, my STBX is entitled to $100,000/year for never doing laundry, paying someone else to come and clean the house, and always seeming to be taking a nap whenever I came home for lunch?

  8. I probably don’t need to mention it, but in case someone isn’t in the know, these are the lyrics to a Rolling Stones song, “Mothers Little Helper”, released in 1965. If that was the sentiment then it is no doubt much, much worse now.

  9. If your a man, then, in someone’s mind, yes. Don’t think this is something new, for years and years there have been annual “news stories” about how much wives WOULD be making if they were paid based on the services they render. If only their husbands didn’t expect them to do it all for free!

  10. “Our children are our garden. They absorb our stress, just as they absorb our peace. They absorb our negativity just as they absorb our joy. And we have the power to control what they absorb, but first, we must tend to ourselves.”

    Soooooo powerful! So true!

    I have a magnetic note pad on my fridge that says “To Do.” I wrote on it::

    * Listen
    *Laugh
    * Dream
    * Play
    * Love

    Thanks for sharing that! 🙂

  11. I know, I have seen all of those over the years as well. what’s surprising is that they actually still believe that they deserve it, when they haven’t actually done any of the things they claim they did.

  12. I guess I have a good bunch of social media friends! I hear they’re ready to send the kids back to school after the summer, but they all treasure their families and really celebrate their gifts on Mother’s Day. Motherhood is a Ministry. Yes, it’s a sacrifice, but if we can only have the wisdom to look forward to the dividends that our families will experience with perseverance. 💟 Thank you for a thought provoking message.

  13. well … that’s certainly how my mother felt, and i was a baby when that song came out. she told me once about twelve years ago, “You have no idea how many times I wanted to leave you when you were growing up.” i guess i should be grateful she never did. then … last year after she ditched the kid she was helping to raise (literally, she ditched him), she said to me, “Well, now that I have no more responsibilities, I can spend time with you!” i will not state publicly what i thought, but basically, not only no, but hell no.

  14. i went thru infertility – it sucked. i’m sooo thankful for my babies! my heart breaks on mother’s day for those who long to have a baby but can’t.

    i will add, though … that those were days that i learned so much about God, and i would often go back to them when the dark years hit. i learned so much about His faithfulness during dark times.

  15. Stephanie – that is SO beautiful and so true.

    when my first was little, i was always so obsessed with my weight – battled disordered eating most my life – and i would weigh myself multiple times a day. i knew every time my weight would fluctuate even one pound. then i saw her stepping on the scale and knew right then and there those days were over. the scale went in the trash.

    they really watch and absorb everything we do.

    my aspie girl is keenly in tune with all the emotions around her. i’ve often joked i never even got a pms day to myself with her around! i do love her, but she mimics me daily – however i’m feeling or acting, she is, too. it does become weary, but it’s a great, real-time mirror 😉

  16. LOVE!

    you’re a great Mamma, Bloom.

    you, too, Stephanie 🙂

    – – –

    your children will all rise up and call you Blessed, and it will be beautiful indeed 🙂

  17. for one of my Oldest’s college assignments she had to make a list of her virtues. i was stunned and humbled reading her list. i would never have been able to make a list like that of mine when i was her age. i am so humbled. she knows and loves herself and is confident in who she is. i still don’t know that i can say the same about me 🙂

  18. I’m mostly writing against the people who write those articles calling motherhood and children “oppressive,” like the first article linked at the bottom, but also the videos moms are making now that vent about how much they hate Mother’s Day. It’s like a new “thing” sadly, even for women who are Christian. When you’re a writer, you have so much power to help people see truth… but to me these articles are really leading people astray. It’s something that’s been bothering me for a few years now.

    And Facebook is weird in that it shows you articles promoted by it’s own media feed. So I’m glad none of my friends have shared them. But hundreds of women usually comment on these articles or videos agreeing with the sentiment :/

  19. That’s part of the reason why I don’t have kids, the probability of me being one of those moms. I love being an aunt, and that’s enough for me. I’ll celebrate Mother’s Day for that.

  20. :/ I think you’d be a good mom! You had a great example for a mom, and you’re honest – which is 97% in my opinion.

    To me this is not so much about who should be moms, rather than helping women (mothers?) realize that this attitude just isn’t good or healthy for them or their kids longterm. BUT I really do need to point out that EVERYONE feels those feelings at times because it is really hard, especially if you stay at home and kind of are responsible for holding down the homefront. What I don’t like is how these unhealthy emotions and feelings are becoming just so accepted into our society, that it’s now the “norm” to see these articles and videos made each year, and that we all are expected to imbibe that message that “motherhood really sucks.”

    Yes, it’s hard or distressing at times, and in different stages… but allowing yourself to just dwell on those negative emotions is NOT going to help the situation. Maybe going to counseling will. Maybe finding a group of friends to do POSITIVE things together (not vent because that’s proven to make you actually feel worse sometimes). But they need to realize that life doesn’t have to feel that way. They can make changes, allow for those negative feelings – validate them even (yes! It’s hard being a mother! And painful!) but they shouldn’t just stay there infecting everyone else with toxic emotions (including their kids).

    But you, Ash, I’m sure you’d be great because you can see these things. It’s really sad how many people are blind.

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  23. no, but probably $50,000. and half of the proceeds from the sale of my truck, two motorcycles, and all of the guns i had bought and had either already given to, or were going to leave for the three kids in my will.

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