May 12, 2012

Happy (Single) Mother's Day!

Did you know the celebration of mothers on the second Sunday in May was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, WV, following earlier attempts by Julia Ward Howe in 1870?  With the help of a wealthy Philadelphia merchant named John Wanamaker, she promoted the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made it an official national holiday in 1914.  Interestingly, she later opposed the holiday because it had become so commercialized.  Her dream was to make it a celebration of all mothers, not a "Hallmark holiday" (It's amazing what you can learn on Wikipedia!).

Having been both a married mother and now a single mother, I can testify there's a big difference between mothers day celebrations for the 2.  As a married mother, you'll most likely receive a card from your husband and kids saying how wonderful you are.  You might even receive breakfast in bed.  Flowers, chocolates and a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant.  How lovely.

On my first Mothers' Day as a single mom, my children's father bought me a card signed by my children and gave me some money to go out to eat.  I hesitated before accepting, but since it was presented as coming from my children I said thank you and my kids and I had a great time.  When Fathers Day rolled around, I chose not to buy him anything, whether from me or my kids.  Just like Mothers Day, Fathers Day is a day to celebrate fathers who play an active role in supporting and nurturing their children emotionally, spritually and financially.  At that time, and to an extent now, I did not feel he met that criteria and so I chose not to celebrate him.  My kids made cards at school and I felt that was more than enough.  Needless to say, he was not a happy camper that his kindness had not been reciprocated and I received several text messages to the effect of "I bought you a Mothers Day gift so you should have bought me a Fathers Day gift".  I explained my logic, of course he disagreed, and the next Mothers' Day, guess what I got?  An already burned candle that literally smelled like poop.  Very mature.  On Mothers' Days since then I haven't received anything from him.  I like it better that way.

As a single mom, Mothers Day can easily be just like any other day, especially if you have younger kids.  I encourage all single moms to take the time to enjoy and spend time with their kids even more on Mothers' Day than on any other day.  Make breakfast together, go see a movie, take a walk in the park and let the kids play at the playground longer than usual.  You might not receive the stereotypical Mothers Day gifts, but you have the best gift of all - your beautiful children.

Happy Mothers Day!

1 comment:

  1. I am not a mother but I agree with everyhting you have said. Every day is Mother's Day and like you say enjoy the time with your children after all it is the children that make Mother's Day.

    Happy Mother's Day.