Reasons It Is Better to Be Single on Mother’s Day as Opposed to Married, Partnered, or Otherwise Juxtaposed with A Man*:
Reason 1: No sentiments printed on over-flowered card stock celebrating your gentle spirit, ability to wash laundry and cook dinner, or the fact you’ve procreated.
Reason 2: No overpriced brunch where the strongest drink you can get is a mimosa.
Reason 3: You can buy your own Mother’s Day gift.
Reason 3a: Vibrators make a great gift.
Reason 3b: As do contributions to Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
Reason 4: You don’t feel the need to spend all day thanking someone for doing the most menial of chores in your stead, like bathing children.
Reason 5: You’re proof that single mothers don’t have to just survive; they can thrive.
Reasons Mother’s Day Should Be Co-opted by Feminist Moms:
Reason 1: Mother’s Day shouldn’t be just a day where society pays lip service to motherhood.
Reason 2: Especially when it’s lip service to society’s jacked up ideal of motherhood and what it should look like.
Reason 3: If one of my partnered friends calls me, morose, and for a good reason, with the news that her husband gave her an implement used for cleaning**, I am going to take up arms.
Reason 4: The single biggest indicator that a person or couple will go through bankruptcy is if they have children. There is something vastly wrong with a society when we devote a day to what we think motherhood should look like and be celebrated for (and for that matter, consider Father’s Day in the same vein), and yet families are living this startling fact.
Reason 5: Mother’s Day should be about the realities of motherhood (parenthood). So why do we spin our wheels with quiche and roses? Our own second world nation lacks high-quality, subsidized childcare. And that, to quote the inimitable Katha Pollitt, is why “in Europe childcare was developed as something would be beneficial to children, like nursery school; in this country, it’s seen as something for women—women, who if middle-class shouldn’t have jobs and if low-income shouldn’t have kids. Daycare in America is about feminism.”
Why someone hasn’t co-opted Mother’s Day and turned it on it’s head before now surprises me. The Republicans co-opted “family values,” so I think it’s only fair we get Mother’s Day.
*I purposely didn’t include lesbian partnerships in my critique since the few lesbian-partnered friends I have don’t fall into the same traps us hetero girls seem to face.
**One of my good friends, years ago, got a new washing machine for Mother’s Day and called me upset to tell me about it. Granted, it was expensive. Granted it was new and nice and was even the water and energy efficient model. But it’s not a gift, really. I mean, something for the house? Something that supports housework that benefits the entire family? Please.