To the Rest of Us on Mother’s Day

I was walking through the grocery store the other day, passing through the produce section which also happens to be the flower section, when I got this overwhelming urge to buy a bouquet of carnations.

I don’t normally even like carnations that much, but I was practically giddy at picking out a bouquet of purple carnations.

And then I remembered, oh yeah, it’s Mother’s Day.

My church used to hand out a carnation to every mother on Mother’s Day, and one of my longest standing though really-not-that-serious wounds was wanting one of those flowers soooooooooo badly as a little girl but not being allowed to have one because I wasn’t a mother.

I’ve tried my best to forget Mother’s Day in the past several years. As so many of us know, it can be the most bitterly painful holiday–whether it’s because we wanted children and couldn’t have them, lost a child of our own, lost a mom too young, never knew our moms, or had moms that we probably would have been better off not knowing. It’s a pain that can’t be expressed in words, and we’re assaulted with our pain for weeks leading up to this day.

This isn’t one of those “It hurts, I know. Let’s sit around and cry together” kind of posts. I’ve read my fair share of those and drunkenly sobbed my way through The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (which is just unrealistic enough to make it all the more appealing when it comes to mother-daughter relationships).

But I’m really not feeling that today.

I don’t think the pain is inconsequential, but I also don’t feel like it’s fair that the whole world gets so focused on this overly idealized archetype of a perfect mother while all the rest of us have to sit in dark rooms trying to avoid reminders of how our lives failed to bring us that ideal in various ways.

So, I’m declaring a new holiday to cover Mother’s Day, and I’m calling it Radical Self-Indulgence Day.

Man or woman, parent or not…

Go out and buy that fucking bouquet of carnations.

Make yourself a card or a nice dinner.

Take a luxurious bubble bath and declare a strike on chores for the weekend.

Go out and take a hike—celebrate Mother Nature.

Have a Harry Potter marathon. He probably hates Mother’s Day too, fyi.

But get away from the fucking hype and do something awesome for yourself—with yourself.

It won’t fix whatever it is that makes Mother’s Day suck, but we all need a little extra love this weekend…if only because of that. So find some way this Sunday to let yourself know that you are loved and worthy of good things.

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