Ahhh… Mother’s Day! Just typing those words conjures images of my little ones serving me breakfast in bed, presenting cards drawn in crayon, and a drinking glass filled with an arrangement of freshly cut flowers from the yard. For nearly 30 years, my sons have recognized the second Sunday in May by treating me like a Queen for a day. So why would I dread Mother’s Day this year? Dreading Mother's DayAccording to Wikipedia, Mother’s Day is ‘a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.’ The entry explains the organizer’s original intention was to ‘appreciate and honor your mother by writing a personal letter, by hand, expressing love and gratitude.’ Of course it wasn’t long before the greeting card industry hopped on the bandwagon. The founder was so disgusted by the commercialization; she organized boycotts and threatened lawsuits. Almost 100 years later, the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Mother’s Day Spending Survey predicts Americans will spend an average of $162 on mom this year and total spending may get to $19.9 billion. Yes, that’s billion with a ‘b’! Commercialism aside, there are other reasons why our country should reconsider this national holiday. Many friends and family members aren’t looking forward to Mother’s Day and I can’t really blame them. In all honesty, I wonder if our culture should even continue to support the tradition as it stands. Moms receiving lots of hugs and kisses from those little ones with the hand print poems may not agree, but what about all those other people? Many will experience nothing but pain and despair on a day designated to celebrate motherhood. There are those coping with the loss of their mother, women who have either lost a child or who are trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. There are women without children—by choice or not—that cringe when strangers wish them a Happy Mother’s Day. There are moms like me, who feel we should be honored every day of the year. Appreciated. Respected. Empty Nesters, children with absent mothers, moms who feel like failures… I could go on and on listing those who may dread this holiday. These people deserve our sensitivity. We can’t know everyone’s struggles but we can love each other. Instead of celebrating an overly commercialized event to honor Mom on just one day of the year, let’s celebrate the Giver of Life each and every day in our hearts and our actions. We can lift each other up and offer our friendship. We can pray for each others’ peace. And to my sons… if you really want to get me something this year, write me a letter!

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