I might be mildly excited about Mother’s Day if I was getting a real treat this year – just for me – TIME OUT from my kids, say?
Does that make me bitter? A Mother’s Day Grinch?
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but I spend the other 364 days of the year worrying about them, so ONE day to myself would be a real treat for me.
As you know, my two aren’t cute little knee-highs still innocently and naively worshipping their Mum.
They’re big, scary teenagers, resistant to parental demonstrations of love.
And if Mother’s Day is indeed ‘a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society’, (Wikipedia), I can think of no better way for my ‘orrible teens to ‘honour’ me, than by orchestrating a day off for me.
It’s been an interesting week month at Dysfunctionality House, as you are probably aware. So it’s hard not to be a tad cynical about the circus of Mothers Day.
Mothers Day is in danger of metamorphosing into the commercial carnival of Halloween (Halloween Humbug) and Valentine’s Day and it’s getting harder to avoid being sucked into it. Tried booking lunch in a decent restaurant on Mother’s Day? Think again. There are now special Mothers day menus created especially for us, althoughI have yet to discover the perfect restaurant that serves three courses of Chardonnay, cholesterol and chocolate.
As I said, my attitude might be a little less misanthropic if Mother’s Day hadn’t fallen during this particular month.
Sometimes it’s hard for us paragons of motherhood virtue to celebrate the joys of parenting with offspring who consistently cross every parenting boundary, or your endurance for door banging, and who rip apart the fabric of the moral code you’ve spent fifteen years painstakingly trying to teach them.
Does that sound bitter?
Of course I DO realise that in the very wise words of Chris Martin, ‘no-one said it would be easy’.
But did you know that turtle and snake mothers abandon their young at birth? That fact used to sadden me in the days when I had babies, was still lactating, still believed my children to be the most beautiful things ever created and even found pride in watching them pee in the toilet as opposed to on the floor.
Before they reached the age of 13.
Human mothers, like us, and Wolf Spiders (go figure!), protect and nurture their young for much longer. Our kids can remain in the fold as late as their mid-twenties before we turf them out, (or are forced to buy a one-bedroom unit).
I’m beginning to understand some of the logic behind the ‘abandonment at birth’ method of ante-mothering now, although I have no doubt that Kurt will be residing in the local correctional centre before next Mother’s Day anyway.
Typically I have begun questioning my own parenting skills, like all mothers do daily occasionally. Should I have been tougher with him? Should I have said ‘no’ more?
Perhaps our generation is guilty of mollycoddling Generation Y as has been suggested.
I blame those new-wave paediatricians that told us to educate our children through love, encouragement and play; they were obviously misleading us.
Our family is lying wounded in the trenches after Kurt’s recent ventures into ‘spreading his wings’. The Urban Dictionary’s definition of a teenager as ‘someone who has everything but appreciates nothing’ is particularly apt at the moment. Not that I don’t remember that feeling – of being young, invincible, self-important and able to conquer the world single-handedly (before responsibility and empathy finally kick in).
As you know if you follow my blog, this month he has managed to violate any deep-seated hope that he is not some mass murderer in the developmental stage.
Lest I forget, I am a mother, not a saint.
And hormones obviously have a huge amount to answer for. His, and mine. Teenagers and menopause are about as compatible as oil and water. God screwed up his timing there.
Teenage angst or mental unhingement, I have yet to decide which my son is suffering from?
So back to the point of how exactly I’m expected to sit through a pleasant Mother’s Day lunch without growling threateningly at Kurt over my Prawn Cocktail? Especially after his forage into the ‘mean’ dictionary this week, where he has sourced every hurtful adjective to sling back at me.
At least I know I’m not alone. There are as many mothers of teenagers out there suffering in silence as there are mothers of toddlers revelling in mummy worship. Feral teenagers are on trend at the moment – it’s almost becoming a contagion.
It’s a phase we have to go through on their journey to adulthood.
Admittedly retaliation was immature, I realise that now. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am the adult. I never said I was perfect mother and ‘little git’ just popped out of my mouth in the heat of the moment. To be honest, far worst adjectives were queuing up in my vocal chords in that moment of intensified frustration. But of course he hasn’t let me forget those words. Especially when that lovely advertisement for Mother’s Day comes on the radio with those angelic little children recounting the virtues of their own mothers with, ‘I love my mum because….’ – Kurt finishes it with, ‘she calls me a little git.’
‘Unconditional love’ says, that I have to love him no matter how badass he is towards me. And of course I will; wearily.
All I’m saying is that sometimes it’s brutal.
So, for just one day, I’m closing the door on good parenting, unconditional love and spreading the love on Mother’s Day. I am celebrating being a Mum, a good mother (given the respect I deserve), who will be back, fully committed to the role on Monday.
The Mother’s Day Grinch can be found in Pitt Street Mall on Mother’s Day. Her friend, ‘mother’s guilt’ has enforced that she will be watching the new Star Trek movie with aforementioned ‘ferals’ in the evening.
Mistaa Grinch by Alexa Fades Away courtesy of Flickr.com.