Thursday, May 2, 2019

Mother's Day in a Modern Family

There are two days of the year that are celebrated by every region of the country that make many feel very uncomfortable in modern families.  I was uncomfortable in them, long before I realized that I was more aligned with feminine characteristics than male ones, because they bypassed my own contributions and excuded me from the benefits.  Those days are Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Now, I am not trying to take away from your honor, if you fall into the gender stereotypes that those days are built to re-enforce.  If you are a hard working mother that takes care to protect, nourish, cloth, educate and care for your all means...glory in the day.  However, take a few minutes to consider those families for whom the stereotypes do not hold.

Over the last two decades, I have spent a total of nearly 10 years of them at home, doing those things for my oldest child that is no longer in the house and my current home children.  I did all of those things....because I WANTED to do those things.  When I divorced my first wife, a point of contention was that she wanted to be treated as the mom, even though I LITERALLY was the one at home with the kids, raising my youngest from BIRTH to age 2 with almost no help from her.  Then, I worked outside of the house for many years and have since returned to being the actively working house parent, while my current wife works and due to her back injury.

However....every year...we get to this upcoming day, and how do you think it goes?  My EX is STILL trying to be honored as my birth child's "mother" despite rarely taking any motherly duties.  Indeed, this summer will be my child's time with her, and she has already been told that she will be spending that time at an all summer church camp, instead of being with her....yet, SHE wants to be called and treated like a mom.  Side note...I just had to stop blogging to get up to make her dinner, as she came home from her school club late...a school club that will have me taking her to make pottery in a few weeks attended by her and me.

But, even within MY CURRENT family, how do we divvy up mother duties to decide who gets honored or my wife?  As with Father's Day, one of us is GOING to be left feeling neglected, unless WE LIVE ACCORDING TO THE STEREOTYPE...thus, it is a stereotype re-enforcing day that makes many people...divorced or not...every uncomfortable.

So, while you are giving and receiving honor this year, be mindful of honoring and respecting those that fit the bill...or start a discussion about REDEFINING the day, because as it is currently structured, it does not fit many families in our modern age.

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