Mother’s Day, Father’s Day: a plea to schools and daycares.

(I ran into Tanya in the street the day before Mother’s Day and we had a little vent about Hallmark holidays. She’d walked into a classroom where the kids were busy colouring for Mother’s Day, and she personally knew that a lot of those students had pretty unHallmark relationships with their moms. Later, a friend shared her sorrow on facebook as her social feeds were blowing up with Father’s Day posts from friends and targeted ads – she lost her dad prematurely, and it feels particularly in her face when the internet is spamming her with happy dad moments. Not to be a buzzkill. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the people in your life, especially if you’re blessed to have them close by, in healthy functioning relationships. Nice, though, to be mindful, that that is not necessarily the norm. No matter what Hallmark would have you believe. Over to T. ~ Lisa.)

Let’s stop having classes make stuff for mother’s day or father’s day or grandparents’ day or whatever family relationship day we’re currently highlighting.

I enjoy being a mother, most days. I would think that I have a decent relationship with my offspring. I appreciate them & they appreciate me. Most days.

This is not a war on Mother’s Day. I am not saying that we shouldn’t celebrate our relationship with our mothers. I’m saying that relationships are complicated and forcing everyone to say how much they appreciate their mothers in a classroom is inappropriate at best. As I see it, here are some relationship possibilities for mothers and children (insert father for June):

  1. you have a loving and caring relationship with your mother.
  2. you had a loving and caring relationship with your mother, unfortunately she has died.
  3. you have a neutral relationship with your mother.
  4. you had a neutral relationship with your mother, she has died.
  5. you have a tumultuous relationship with your mother.
  6. your mother has a better relationship with substances than she does with you.
  7. your mother has been absent most of your life.
  8. your mother was/is abusive.
  9. you mother chose to continue a relationship with a person who harmed you, thus choosing their partner over you.

Now, I’m not a big birthday celebrator either, so perhaps I just have an aversion to attention and this is some strange personal belief. But here we are – in a time when we are paying attention to relationships with the kids in our classrooms, where mental health and recognizing diverse experiences play a significant role – and we’re colouring for mother’s day. Stop it. Please?

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