I’m sitting on my worn leather couch guzzling a Corona and soaking in my 14th episode of Love and Hip Hop. The sun slips through my dollar store curtains and my living room is bathed in a light of relaxation and comfort. My feet have not hit the floor since I got up to get this last beer and I am happy; content in my laziness and satisfied in the gift of a quiet house for spring break.
And then it plays. That commercial. You know the one. It’s for Zales or Jared or even Walmart. The diamonds glisten across the screen like tiny stars scattered across a night sky and the teeth cluttered in her fake smile match their brilliance. A doting husband surprises her by hiding her diamond necklace, or bracelet, or nose ring by tying it to the baby’s head and sending the kid out to the living room in a toy truck; ridiculous kisses ensue. The loving and perfectly coiffed mother tears up at the gestures of her loving and perfect family and it is complete: the Mother’s Day commercial.
Whenever I see these I waver between puking and stabbing someone. Who the fuck thought this was a great idea? These commercials are why I don’t have cable. Why? Because Mother’s Day is bullshit. How Sway? How can the most sacred in flower giving, chocolate buying, massage offering holiness of holidays be complete trash? How can one you respond to a day that appreciates, celebrates and inebriates mothers everywhere with a resounding “Fuck Mother’s Day”!?
Well, you know how people feel on Valentine’s Day when they don’t have a significant other? It seems like every commercial and store window is taunting you and the thought of roses brings you to tears. Now imagine that feeling and double it. Single mothers who are also single women get a double screw you on Mother’s Day. Not only do we already struggle to do double duty on regular days but looking around at everyone else so happy on this holiday that was “created for you” and realizing you can’t participate in any of it is a slap in the face. Because the truth is single mothers don’t get to celebrate Mother’s Day. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself these 4 simple questions:
Who gonna remember the day?
Who is actually in charge of remembering that it’s Mother’s Day in the first place? You think kids, the same people who forgot to put socks on before going to the park or forget their book bags in a Chuck E. Cheese are gonna remember that it’s Mother’s Day? Hell no! The only thing they remember is that they want stuff. So my normal Mother’s Day breakfast in bed consists of rolling over at 7 am to find Miles staring me down and groggily asking for pancakes; the breakfast is when I make the pancakes and the bed is when I hide under the covers until he asks me to make some lunch. Most years it’s been, “What? It’s Mother’s Day? Oh yeah…. um….love you Mom! Can I still have a PS4?” He can barely remember to brush his teeth let alone appreciate me which I don’t even fault him for because HE’S A KID. The person who is responsible for rallying the troops is the one person completely absent from my life: MY PARTNER. And even some married moms get shafted on that too if they have a partner who can barely remember what day it is. So, until a miracle drops from heaven and we all get calendars implanted in our arms we’re stuck with being the only people who even remember the occasion.
Who is paying for these gifts?
Ummmm, in case you haven’t noticed, child labor is illegal. This lends itself to three important truths: 1) I don’t get alone time in the house because Miles isn’t off working an 8 hour day 2) Nobody else is helping to pay my ginormous Verizon bill and 3) NOBODY buys me gifts. Unless I use my own money. Yeah, all moms know the joy of passing your kid $20 so they can buy you a card or some flowers or even a box of candy (and you better hope that candy is not half eaten). I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even do that anymore. For all my trouble, I can just take myself to H&M and buy those jeggings I’ve been eyeing for weeks. At least then I’ll end up with the right size and not a Hello Kitty t-shirt. Damnit, Miles.
Who is going to this dinner?
Have you ever taken your kid on a date? I mean just you and he/she/them and you looking into each other’s eyes over a softly lit, mildly musty Applebee’s table? Yeah, it seems like a cute idea at first. That is up until they’re 3 and spilling Sprite all over the table. Or when they’re 8 and telling the waiter that you think he’s hot. Or when they’re 12 and they completely ignore you for the entire time while they play Temple Run on your iPhone (hence my humongous bill). Plus, once again, you’re paying. It’s like dating that loser from high school who peaked in eleventh grade and now you’re just with him cuz it’s too hard to let go of the fantasy but really he’s sucking you dry of all your resources especially emotionally, mentally, financially… Whoa! Sorry. Haven’t been to therapy in a minute. Dial it back Morgan. Let’s just say paying for a chance to yell at someone over the dinner table isn’t the bees knees.
Who is watching these kids?
The one thing that EVERY mother really wants for Mother’s Day whether single or nah is really alone time. An empty apartment or house, some Jill Scott and/or Erykah Badu, a nice bath and loads of Chardonnay on deck. This is the ultimate in charity and appreciation. Basically, it says, “Mom we love you so much so we left you the fuck alone.” The thought of it makes me giggle with glee inside. Every moment alone to a mother is like a precious flower, ripening and blossoming into the warm sun, delicate and fleeting in its beauty and profundity and cherished for its rare delights. Single moms don’t get this luxury because WHO IS WATCHING THESE KIDS? If you don’t have a spouse, cousin, friend, aunty, grandma, sister, godparent or nanny, who is going to take the kids off your hands and out to a space where you can pretend they don’t exist? Mother’s Day is usually spent trying to figure out how to please the kids so that they’ll be docile enough to at least not jump on your last nerve. You only have one left and we moms intend to do whatever possible to keep it!
The only thing worse for a single mom than Mother’s Day is Father’s Day. If one more of you jerks sends me that card that says, “A single mother is the best kind of mother because she has to be the mom and the dad!” I will shove it down your throat while dancing on your crippled legs after running you over with a car. Okay, too far, I get it but seriously guys. 1) Miles has a father. You may not know him but Miles does and he’s the only one who matters. Call his dad and tell him Happy Father’s Day. And the all important 2) I’M NOT A DAD. I’m a mom who spends her life trying to balance motherhood and womanhood and I’ll be damned if I let you take away my femininity!
So, what have we learned today? Mother’s Day can be like St. Paddy’s day for Jehovah’s Witnesses: we’re not really allowed to celebrate it and really we only wanted to participate for the drinks. Please, on this Mother’s Day, find a mom, give her a hug and slide her $1000 and a hookah filled with vodka infused tobacco. I promise, she’ll love you forever.