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i hate mother’s day

I am using this title because I don’t know what to call this post. The original title choices were:

Called a Psycho Mom on Mother’s Day and am proud of it

but that would leave nothing of substance for me to write because the title is basically the story.

or

Possibly One of the Best Mother’s Day Cards

and that would most likely make my youngest child sad because he’s been planning his awesome mother’s day gifts for me for days

Mothers Day 2013 I love my youngest for remembering how to fold the crane after I showed him only once, and what my favorite candy is after I mentioned it in passing…

 

while his oldest brother admitted, with pride mind you, “Hey, mom. I made this card more than two hours before. Aren’t you proud of me?”

 

Mothers Day Card 2013

 

 

We all got a good chuckle again because we watched Psycho together last night and found it ironic and hilarious and maybe even fitting that Psycho was our family movie night choice on the eve of Mother’s Day. A discussion over “What is the best Mother’s Day movie?” continued over Mother’s Day brunch (yes, yes, how typically suburban…) and the Alien movie franchise was agreed upon as the best cinematic tribute to mothers. You want proof?

The fundamental myth in mothers (even surrogate ones) genetically coded to do anything to protect their young is obvious in this image chosen to promote Aliens.

Aliens poster

 

Just look at Ellen Ripley, so deliciously played by Sigourney Weaver. (Most of us cheered when she uttered that famous line, “Get away from her you bitch!”) From the other side, didn’t the Queen Mother (the matriarch alien) fiercely protect the survival of her offspring? Not to mention all those scenes of forced cesarean births…

Instead of leaving you to ponder the above, I thought I’d leave you with something more lighthearted: Mother’s Day Cards That Should Exist” (Thanks to Mary Lee for a great chuckle!)

 

[Disclaimer] I am fortunate enough to have a great mother-in-law. In fact, sometimes I think I like her more than her son… Those cards though funny do make me a bit anxious from imaging my future daughter-in-law wanting to send me one of those…

[Sidebar Convo]: Being an overtly protective 21-century mother who feels guilty if not doing some helicopter-parenting and also if not providing my kids with sufficient independence that I am, I have not allowed my kids to watch any scary movie such as Fridays the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. They can decide to watch crazy horror films from Asia such as Ringu when they are adults, but never ever when they are still under my watch in my house. I’ve seen similar horror films when I was little and I regretted ever since. Till this day, the memories of horrifying images and scenarios stay with me, and they always resurface to the top of my consciousness when I am alone in a hotel room while on business trips. It’s very tough to be on intensive business trips if you can only fall asleep after 3 or 4 am from watching all the  reruns of Law & Order you could find on cable. It’s ridiculous.

[One more thing] After the kids presented their mother’s day presents, we all looked at my husband. “Hey, I made you a mother!” I guess we should thank all the dads on Mother’s Day.

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Yes, I am the Grinch, Mother’s Day version. I wrote a whiny, bitchy, grouchy post on/near Mother’s Day every year. I thought about restraining myself this year because as we all know, bitterness is extremely unattractive. The problem with bitterness is that it easily borders on envy, and as we also know, envy is one of the seven deadly sins. (That being said, I still call bullshit on the killer’s motive in Seven…)

Unlike the optional Father’s Day that celebrates the underprivileged, undercelebrated fathers of the world, Mother’s Day is an internationally recognized holiday. My memory of Mother’s Day was forever ruined when I was a kid back in Taipei. In grade school, for Mother’s Day every year, a period would be scheduled for making carnations out of tissue papers and wires. Sounds fun, right? Now consider this: There is a suggested “rule” for the use of carnation: wear a red carnation if your mother is still alive; wear a white one if your mother has passed away. And imagine this: someone in your classroom had just lost his mother… Picture this: on every desk was laid out pieces of red tissue papers, except one.

I cannot recall whether the boy cried or not. But whenever I think of Mother’s Day from that day on, I see the white tissue papers on his desk.

And then I want to go back in time and punch those stupid teachers.

 

As I said, I was going to shut up about Mother’s Day and join in the festivities at least online. (IRL, I am working, and nothing has been planned to mark today any different from any other Sunday. In fact, I completely forgot about it for myself, and therefore I forgot to get anything for my MIL and my own mother. Yes, I can be a heartless bitch. I am very sorry, Mom. I really really am… One more thing, if I may ask, why is it MY job to remember Mother’s Day for MIL and Father’s Day for FIL? I love them dearly but still.)  That is, until I saw this Forbes article about the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Marie Jarvis. I knew that Jarvis campaigned to have a day established to commemorate mothers all over the world per her own mother’s wish. She asked people to wear carnations on this day in memory of her mother because carnations were her favorite. What surprises me, and should everybody else, is that Jarvis was outraged by the gross commercialization of Mother’s Day soon afterwards. “Jarvis detested the commercialism of what the day had become. With her sister Ellsinore, they spent their family inheritance fighting the day’s designation.” She dedicated the rest of her life to campaign against Mother’s Day, or probably more accurately, the gross commercialization of Mother’s Day.

A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.

So there you have it.

Jarvis would have been an awesome blogger, imo.

Did I ever mention that I have a pathological need to be liked? Ok, it may not be obvious considering how paradoxically I cannot help being a sarcastic bitch. Anyway, that need extends to my children as well. I don’t doubt that they love me, but LIKE is something else. You need to earn it. (Except on Facebook, I guess.)  My decidedly unsentimental sentiment towards Mother’s Day aside, every year on this day, instead of expecting some obligatory adoration from my family, I become even more paranoid about how I have been performing as a mother. The self doubt becomes overwhelming as the day progresses and I just want it to end so we can all get back to our regularly scheduled programs. I was rescued from myself when Mr. Monk handed me a hand-made card with a twenty dollar bill inside. I burst into tears as I read the words. Maybe Mother’s Day does not suck that much after all.

 

 

p.s. But wait. What does he mean by “inside every dark world”? Is he saying that his world is dark? That he is unhappy? He’s not even 10 years old yet. What have I done to my child??!! Oh lord… The saga of my guilt trip continues…

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I am so glad Mother’s Day is finally coming to an end. In less than 30 minutes.

I was not going to write anything about Mother’s Day today. Apparently I have written several posts on how and why I hate Mother’s Day ever since I started blogging. The act of “Oh I don’t really care if you guys do anything for me on Mother’s Day” is painfully obvious to me yet maddeningly unrecognized by the others in this house.  The angst is palpable.

The good thing is: The Husband happened to be out of the country for a big meeting attended by hundreds of engineers (yes most of them men) every Mother’s Day for several years now. This actually helped me relax. If he is not here, well, he cannot be expected to bring me breakfast in bed, can he?

To be fair, he did surprise me with a package from FTD this year:

 

I was not expecting anything, and fortunately I recognized the FTD logo on the box and decided to open it right away.

I remember the last time I received a proper bouquet was in 1995 when we graduated and moved into an apartment together. Giddy with excitement at the sight of these flowers sitting on the kitchen table, I was content with half an hour of this this morning and considered today a success…

 

 

Really, life is what you make of it. Make no big deal out of today, then today is not a big deal.

I cooked. I cleaned. I did the dishes. I picked up the house. I did the laundry. I folded and put away clothes.

Just like any other day.

It worked out better this way really since I’ve been wondering “What’s the point if I have to clean on the Monday AFTER Mother’s Day?

 

Except that I am happy for The Husband that the following conversation did not happen today. Well, because he is not here so he could not have on Mother’s Day.

 

“Look at my arms! They are not that flabby, right?” I pinched my right forearm with my left hand and show it to The Husband. I continued, “I wonder why my arms always look so HUGE in pictures! They are actually kind of firm when I do this.” I then pinched my forearm some more.

“Maybe it is like the Kobe beef,” he said, after declining my invitation to pinch my forearm and see for himself.

“Huh?”

Pause. “Made with muscles and fat.”

5 seconds after I hit his face with a pillow…

“How about you treat me like Kobe Beef [sic]…”

“What?”

“Feed me beer and give me a massage!”

I did neither. It was not Father’s Day.

 

p.s. I do sincerely wish all the mothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, guardian angels out there a Happy Mother’s Day. I hope your day was full of relaxation and joy. More than that, I wish you a Monday After with NO increase in workload.

 

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Running Away

May 6, 2011 therapy in session

Did you ever consider running away when you were a child? I thought I was the only one until I read this post by Matt Posky, talking about his failed attempts at running away (often thwarted by his mother’s playing along). Running away. When I was in kindergarten, I often wished I were adopted. (Let’s […]

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Mother’s Day Double Feature: Why I don’t deserve a holiday in my name

May 9, 2010 no manual for parenting

This is the second part of a rare Double Feature, in celebration of Mother’s Day. No, my dear readers, Chef Ping’s was sadly not on my itinerary… Not that I haven’t tried though. I decided at around 4 pm that yes, we are going to go to Chef Ping’s because It’s my party and I’ll […]

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What’s the point if I have to clean on the Monday AFTER Mother’s Day?

May 9, 2010 no manual for parenting

Sure I can take a rest today. Sure I can go out and have fun and enjoy myself. (Well, I actually can’t since my husband left for Canada this morning… So I am single-parenting for the next ten days…) But really, if things are not taken care of at home TODAY, I know I have […]

19 comments

My mommy cooks. My mommy cleans. My mommy loves me.

June 8, 2009 no manual for parenting

    It is almost a month since Mother’s Day and therefore I figure it is safe to ruminate out loud what I thought when I saw these loving and lovable pictures drawn by my 6 year old, with lots of love, without the risk of being accused as mean-spirited, bitter, spoiled, jaded, or worse, […]

My Mother’s Day Phobia

May 13, 2009 no manual for parenting

It is the Wednesday after Mother’s Day and therefore I figure it is safe to reflect upon the impact of Mother’s Day on me personally, without the risk of being accused as mean-spirited, bitter, spoiled, jaded, or worse, unfit-to-be-a-mother…     Although I have always been moved by the origin of Mother’s Day, an internationally […]

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