Whose Mother’s Day is it Anyway?

334207_496956690320518_1327671256_oLast year, I nearly forgot about Mother’s Day. As parents of a preschooler, toddler and newborn, we were just treading water through a sea of cluster feeds, mealtimes, diapers, bath times and bedtimes, just trying not to go under. If there wasn’t a play date or appointment of some sort scheduled, I usually had no idea what day it was.

So when we got home from church and were now painfully aware that we had missed Mother’s Day, I made an effort via email and sent my mom a gift certificate to one of her favorite stores. I made a mental note to call in case she hadn’t checked email that day, but I figured she’d probably call me at some point and I would tell her about it then.

But she never called.

It wasn’t until I spoke to her the next day–she brightened when I mentioned the email gift card, which she had not seen—that it hit me. My mom didn’t call me, not because she forgot, but because she thought that I forgot her.

I think Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparents’ Day are great days. Sure, you can chalk them up to the greeting card industry and just another reason to buy flowers and candy, but I want to use days like these to teach my girls the huge importance of telling people that you value them. Especially people like moms and dads and grandparents, people who pour their very heart and soul into you each day so that you feel confident, secure and loved. I also try to let them see me acknowledge people around me without waiting for a holiday to say thanks. Gratitude is a practice, not a special-occasion behavior.

But I think there is a time to let go of Mother’s Day, and I have decided that when my girls are mothers, I am passing the torch. They will have full schedules, full brains, full hands, and full hearts, and it will be time for me to turn and appreciate them in their important role as mother, without giving them one more thing to remember—or forget.

I will still be their mom. They will still call me mom, always. But it will be time for me to give the day to them.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three who lives and writes in Queensbury, New York. 

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2 Responses to “Whose Mother’s Day is it Anyway?”

  1. Melissa C. says:


  2. Amber says:

    I love this post. Don’t get me wrong I adore my mother but, Mother’s Day has become a source of stress to me. I am a single mother to three children who workes full time. On top of it I have to plan Mother”‘s Day dinner, gifts, etc. it is tiring. Maybe this sounds selfish but, at the end of the day, I did not get to celebrate a day that is supposed to be celebrating me, too.