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Let’s celebrate mothers, not make them feel guilty



Sunday was Mother’s Day. It’s a day I greatly look forward to even though I’m not fortunate enough to still have my mother around. I’m also not a mother, never have been, and even in this woke world am unlikely ever to be. This means it’s not a day that celebrates me in any form. That said, it still requires me to make sure that the mom in my children’s life is appropriately acknowledged and celebrated. As she should be.

Mother’s Day in of itself is a construct. But in a world of commercial constructs, it has to be acknowledged as a pretty good one.

Which is why I want to talk about a disturbing trend. One that needs to stop. Because if it doesn’t, it won’t be long before we’ll be living in a world devoid of any celebration.

I’m referring to the fact that in terms of my social-media feeds, there were almost about as many posts informing us how difficult the day is for some as there were celebrating mothers.

For every number of mother-and-child photos, there was a post about being sensitive to those who no longer had mothers, who couldn’t be mothers, and those who couldn’t stand their mothers (I made the last one up).

The posts were accurate and true. But it was Mother’s Day, and that required all of us non-mothers to stand down and be happy for those who are. It was incumbent on us to celebrate them or ignore them, but not make them feel guilty.

As mothers, I’m certain they spend time enough feeling guilty.

Imagine if the approach applied to birthdays. Birthdays are difficult for those who are already dead. Or Sports Days – hard for those of us who have flat feet and asthma. And Barmitzvahs that are, no doubt, hard for those who aren’t Jewish.

Interestingly, no one feels anything for those who aren’t able to be circumcised.

The trend should come as no surprise. For years, we have wished people “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Xmas” for fear of offending those who aren’t of the Christian faith, just as we now wish “those who celebrate” Eid, in case we create the impression that it’s only Muslims who do so. Because what if someone feels left out?

Along with pain, victimhood is currency. The problem is that the more we spend it, the cheaper it gets. There’s naturally a time for real empathy and a time to acknowledge the suffering of those around us. But there’s also a time when we need to put that on hold and not make it about ourselves. We need to avoid making it about us by trading in the tragedy of others.

My suggestion is as follows. Next Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Sports Day let’s celebrate the mothers, fathers, and sports people. In that order. If we do feel sad for those of us who will never be mothers, who are mediocre fathers, and who have two flat feet, rather send us a private message to tell us you’re thinking of us. Let’s let the rest enjoy the one day that’s about them. The guilt-ridden mothers will thank you for it.

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