Not all moms deserve a “Happy Mother’s Day”


Photo provided by Kayla Mondry, edits made in Canva

Though Mother’s Day is often recognized as a day to honor and appreciate our mothers, it can also be a gloomy reminder of what some wish they had.

Veronica Iseminger, Perspectives Editor

Apologies if my title threw you off. Before continuing, I want to assure you that I’m writing this out of my own account, as well as from those close to me who have similar thoughts towards this. I’m sure the idea seems rather absurd that a single mother out there doesn’t deserve a “Happy Mother’s Day” or an expression of thanks for what they’ve done. But, I want you to first think, what defines a mother? Is it a woman whom you look up to? Someone who loves and supports you unconditionally, protects you from harm all the while supplying your basic needs of life? Or, of course, at least that’s what the assumption tends to be, right?

 Now, where does that same woman stand if you take away some of those unofficial standards of motherhood? Does she allow her temper to exceed her self-control? Does she let a spanking or a smack become the only way to express her feelings? Or if not her doing so, does she turn a blind eye when others do? If neither of those applies to you, but she jumps at the chance to mock or belittle your emotions and experiences out of her own inclinations, you are equally entitled to question the deservingness of a mother. Then again, these can always be excused as simply discipline and one “hard-love” type of parents’ secret to parenting success. If you deny it enough times yourself, you might not see much wrong with this either. “I was hit and yelled at as a kid and I turned out fine,” you may be thinking. “Doesn’t mean my mother doesn’t deserve a card on Mother’s Day.” Well, to be fair, I’ve overused that saying myself too. Especially after being told, “She is still your mother” to rebut any negativity I’d spew about my mom. What I’ve been able to reflect on and realize is that it’s easier for other people to ignore clear signs of an issue and offer a saying like that, than to deal with the parent themself or relieve any pressure for the child. 

When grown-ups act up, there isn’t a higher-up waiting to slap their wrist. Imagine if every time someone made a mistake in life, the solution lied between violence and derision. Where would that leave us then? If you ask me, I personally don’t think that the lesson of resorting to bodily harm or emotional manipulation when we’re frustrated is appropriate for impressionable minds. It leads to unhealthy habits that develop young and can be hard to break if you’re not carefully aware. But, at the end of the day, some of you will continue to write it off, because maybe her parents did it to her and you’ll think to yourself, “She doesn’t know any different,” or that she’s just traditionally valued and absent-minded to change. Maybe you feel as though what she says is true, that you deserve it.

But as you begin to find ways to justify whatever her reasoning could be, you wrap yourself up in a harsh cycle. You get into a routine of rewarding the said person’s behavior and convince yourself into accepting the treatment you’ve received as ‘normal.’ It’s true, that she is your blood, and I encourage you to try and hold on to what she HAS given you, but you don’t have to forgive or forget the mistreatment you’ve faced, nor should Mother’s Day be a day where you feel the need to glaze over the past and piece together some sort of over-extended appreciation for something you may not have ever received.