The Mother’s Day Dissonance

Dissonance, that is the word that I would use to describe my thoughts on this holiday.  Don’t think that I am going to be criticizing it on its merits or just saying that it’s dumb.  Far from it.  And I also want to point out that I am not in any way criticizing your mothers or what they have done in your life.  There are a ton of amazing mothers in the world who have done great things for their kids.  But at the same time, it must be recognized that there are also a ton of deadbeat moms who mess their kids up and are a detriment to their kids’ lives.  But here is the thing that gives me dissonance about this holiday – why is somebody just being a mother celebrated?

For those among you who want to do the knee-jerk reaction that they gave birth to the kid, don’t.  So do dogs, cats, snakes, sharks and army ants.  If anything, the queen of an ant colony should get a lot more respect if simply bearing children is why this is a celebrated holiday.  They bear thousands of them.  Most queens bear hundreds of off-spring per day.  So yeah, that is not a good criteria for why there should be a special day for them.

Perhaps it is being a parent.  That reason does make some sense to me.  Honoring the parents in your life who make your life what it is is a wonderful thing to do.  But why one parent in-particular?  Since I won’t be making a post about it, I should point out that this post is also a commentary on Father’s Day.  Another day that has the same problems as this one.  Though it can’t be defended as easily as Mother’s Day can.

However, the problem in celebrating this day because of the good mothers doesn’t hold up because as I have pointed out, not all of them are good.  Some of them are pieces of shit.  My late fiance was abandoned at a group home with her little sister because her mother couldn’t take care of them.  Part of me still wants to find their mother and kick the shit out of her for abandoning her kid, because she couldn’t get clean off of drugs and look after them.  But let’s not drill into the past.  I am hashing this out because I am trying to look for a good metric to have this holiday be what it is on merits alone.

When I brought this up to a friend of mine, she pointed out that religious implications.  In most religions, the mother has a special place that is supposed to be honored.  Most religions see them as sacred because they can create new life.  I guess the writers of their text didn’t know that it takes two, and that the father is equally-important to provide both the genetic material but also in creation.  While the mother may carry the offspring, it cannot be denied that the father is just as important in the creation of it.  Not to mention that I am not a religious person.

Since religion means nothing to me, as I am a man of science, how am I supposed to accept that one parental-unit should be honored exclusively for that reason?  Similarly, how can I accept that the other parental-unit should also be given a special day as well?  There is no direct correlation between a holiday and a group of people existing.

So, what do I think should happen?  Well, to be honest, I think that we should scrap both Mother’s and Father’s day.  Instead, since there are some mothers and some fathers who are worthless sacks of garbage who do nothing but bring pain and misery, I have a different idea – Parent’s Day.  A day that honors the contributions of your parents and all that they have given you.  A day that recognizes that you are who you are because of what they gave you.

For those who want to call foul because the same problems that I said before are prevalent here, I think that this holiday undercuts them, to an extent.  If one of your parents suck, then you can recognize the other.  If both of them do, then you only have one day to have that point ground home in your mind.

Like I said, I’m not criticizing your parents or saying that this holiday is worthless.  Recognizing what your parents have done for you is something that we all should do.  But a parent isn’t worth recognizing because they exist.  This is tied into my thoughts on respect.  Respect is earned.  It isn’t given just because of who somebody is, or their relation to you.  Whenever somebody tells me to respect my elders, I want to almost laugh.  Why?  Because they’re older?  That does NOT entitle them to respect.  Similarly, a parent just being a parent doesn’t mean that we should treat them with some sort of unearned respect.

Don’t take this personal.  I mean no offense to anyone.  Just think about it.  That’s all I ask.

Until next time, a quote,

“Get to know your parents.  You never know when they’ll be gone for good.”  -Baz Luhrmann, Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen 

Peace out,



3 thoughts on “The Mother’s Day Dissonance

  1. I spent two hours on the phone with my mum today. I wished her a happy mother’s day and we talked about all sorts of things. Life and living. I have always respected both of my parents. Society creates this day and a detrimental expectation of recognition on this day. If I don’t call my mum, she’ll feel bad or I’ll be a bad child. It’s not a zero-sum game and it doesn’t promote winning, only losing.

    That said, the conversation was great (as always) and I think it helps her self identity/esteem some ways. It was not a grandiose expression, just simple compassion for the woman who gave me so much. Not a once a year thing, but the thing she needs and wants all year.

    • Yeah, I realize that these holidays are too engrained in our culture to really change, but something to think about is never a bad thing. Even if not well-received.

      • I generally don’t like holidays… they are usually about stuff that you should do all year round 😉 The one’s that aren’t are easily justified as a reason to get together with friends and have fun.

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