Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mother's Day

I am about to write a post on something that is sure to get me shunned out of every play group, PTA board, and Scout organization I belong to.

I am going to write about Mother's Day.

"What?" I hear you saying. "Why would we shun you for writing a post about something as wonderful as Mother's Day?"

And here is why...oh, gentle-but-soon-to-be-shocked-silly-readers...


There...I said it. Let the shunning begin.

But wait!! BEFORE you grab your pitchforks and torches...let me defend myself.

See, I LOVE being a MOM. Being a MOM is completely different than my feelings about Mothers Day. I love each of my children as wonderful, amazing individuals. I love being part of a ever-diminishing breed...one of the very lucky, if slightly nutty, woman that are blessed to stay home and raise my kids. I love play groups, and PTA, and Scouts, and even playing chauffeur and doing grocery shopping (coupons and all).

But in spite of all that...I really, really, really hate Mothers Day.

I can hear horrified mothers all over the world audibly gasping "Why?!?"

There are two reasons...

ONE is because of my husband...and before you all start calling him ungrateful, and a cad, and a chauvinistic swine (or whatever else you can think of)...even though he is one of the reasons I hate Mothers Day...it's still not his fault.

I hate Mothers Day because Mothers Day is the single biggest money-making day in the restaurant business, and, as you know, my husband is the General Manager of a $10 million dollar hugely successful restaurant that does KILLER business on Mothers Day. Which means that he is there from 7am until midnight.

So I hate Mothers Day because all the world takes THEIR mothers out to dinner, keeping MY family separated and me at home, where I will be making my own dinner...just like every other day of the year.

The second reason I hate Mother's Day is because Mother's Day is always on a Sunday, which means I go to church. Now - I love church...and it spiritually centers my very chaotic life. But on Mother's Day, they always have some sort of Mother's Day program, in which well-meaning people get up and give talks with titles like: "What Makes a Perfect Mother", or "My Mother, The Saint", or "Inspirational Mothers from the Scriptures". All these talks, instead of making me feel special and inspired, make me feel like a great big LOSER.

I in NO WAY measure up to divine qualifications apparently needed for motherhood. In fact, there are some days I'm surprised my children are alive and fairly healthy. Depending on the day, I'm pretty sure my home meets all the requirements to be declared a federal disaster area, and I've already started trusts in my childrens names to help pay for the therapy they'll need to overcome the emotional scarring that I've undoubtedly caused.

People tell me that the mothers personified in the talks and poems and scriptures shared on Sundays are just ideals, and that they were undoubtedly as human as me. But I'm not sure...because I know several women who defy explanation in their ability to personify every whit of the person "Mother".

Just to add insult to injury, a member of the bishopric accosted me just this past Sunday and assigned me...me...ME of all people to give the talk on "Inspirational Mother Figures from the Scriptures".

Oh, joy.

Oh, rapture.

Oh, bloody hell.

There is, however, a BEAUTIFUL bright side to all this angst about Mothers Day. And that is that this year, I decided that just because I am miserable and crabby...not EVERYONE should be. Many of you have husbands home to worship you for the day, and your children behave in church, and you don't have to stand in front of 150 people and be a hypocrite when you talk about how grateful you are for Mothers Day. That is MY curse.


For you - I have a gift. I am giving away TWO $25 gift cards for Godiva Chocolate. For FREEEEEEEE (if you've seen Bedtime Stories, you can do the appropriate sound effects on the word "FREEEEEE").

All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog about your favorite part of Mothers Day (to help inspire me to change my outlook). Don't forget to leave your e-mail address so I have a way to contact you if you've won!!

You can get an additional entry by signing up to "follow" my blog. Send me an entirely separate e-mail letting me know that you're a "follower".

Lastly, you can blog about this giveaway on YOUR blog, e-mail me AGAIN (separate e-mails for separate entries), along with the link to your post (so I can check up on you!!), and I will give you a THIRD entry!!


The contest will end one week from today...Tuesday May 5, at 8pm Eastern time. I will let the Random. org integer generator pick TWO lucky, lucky winners, who will get to spend $25 dollars each on luscious, divine, sinfully delicious Godiva chocolate (or give it away to YOUR mother, if you're the selfless type).

Now, this is my VERY FIRST giveaway people...so be kind while I work out the kinks!!

Good luck!!


Mel said...

Up until 2-3 years ago, I had grown HATE Mother's Day as well. I would have definitely joined your M.D.H. "Mother's Day Haters" group. I hated having to stand up in church and be recognized as a "mother" and be handed a flower and candy bar as I stood there, a childless phony and usually alone, since Stephen worked most Sundays...hospitals NEVER close. I couldn't swallow that sappy crap people tell you about how "every woman is a mother." Blah, blah, barf.
Then, even before I became pregnant with Kyle, I had a moment of enlightenment. I had to stop focusing on *my* hang-ups about Mother's Day because it wasn't about me. It was an opportunity for *me* to recognize and honor and pay tribute to and show some appreciation for *my* mother and grandmother and all the women who were important in my life. In that moment, I forgot about me and feeling sorry for myself about what I was missing or about the children I wish I had or about how Mother's Day sucked because it had no meaning in my life other than another way to make me sad about the things that were not part of my life...yet. No matter what I didn't have, I became even more grateful for what I *did* have....a mother who is a great example and a strength and friend to me. I try to do all I can to focus on my mother every day, but to make a big deal on Mother's Day.
Not long after this acceptance of and maybe even excitement about Mother's Day, I found out I was soon going to be a mother for the first time. However, even on my first Mother's Day, I still tried to keep it about my mom...not me. It's taken a long time for my mom to be able to be a "queen for a day" on Mother's Day; she had 6 kids, a busy husband, she sang in the Mo Tab Choir on Sundays, had to get a job, had to live in a crappy house with all kinds of problems, etc, but her kids are nearly all grown. We are out on or own, which suddenly improves eyesight; you see how good you had things when they are no longer there all the time. I'm sure there were years that Mother's Day was just another same old, same old day for my mom, but she ALWAYS made a point of making Mother's Day a special day for her mom. Thus is the circle of life. You make Mother's Day a day to celebrate your mom and someday your children will do the same. I guess it's one of those things like, in Matthew where the Lord talks about losing your life to find it.
You, like every mother out there, tries to do the best she can, with her circumstances, on one of the hardest, most thankless jobs in the world. I'm sure most mothers feel inadequate and stressed and not always successful, and may not always have a spectacular Mother's Day. The joy is found in looking through the eyes of her children. I bet your children see you as better than you think you are and I *know* there will come a time when they, as I do now, look back and wish they could pay you back. I wish I could make my mom know how grateful I am; I wish I could take back all the hell I gave her and for all the times I wasn't grateful or didn't give her the respect she deserved. Now that I am a mother myself, I am beginning to understand more and more how important she is to the woman I am and how much she did/continues to do and that I will never be able to pay her back. (Just like we can, no matter how hard we try, ever pay back our Savior for what he has done for each of us.) I can't take back the mistakes I made, but I can try to show her my love and to be the kind of mother she was/is to me. I can continue her legacy. Thus is the circle of life. You find your life (or your love of Mother's Day) by losing your life in others, whether it be in your own mother or in just being the best mother you can be to your kids. They will remember. And, they may even thank you and do something amazing for Mother's Day, even if it's not until 2020.

Rami, Danielle, Eva, Jacob and Libby said...

Shannan, Yes I do read your blog regularly, but I am a terrible commenter due to google reader. (Sorry!) LOVE the program but because I read it there, I hardly ever (once I can remember but maybe another time too) have left a comment. Despite my lack of comments on your blog, I love it and laugh through your witty writing and can picture it all happening.

Just so you know, I had to speak in Coronado Hills on Easter right after Eva was born. I had taken a few weeks off and on one of my first Sundays back, Brother Miller asked me to speak on "What Easter means to me as a new mom." What? It was a mess of a talk, but I muddled through.

I hate Mother's Day too. I feel awkward with all the attention focused on me and people at church wishing me Happy Mother's Day even though I AM NOT THEIR MOTHER! So obligatory and annoying. And more, toting home some strage gift that I have to stand up at the end of sacrament meeting to get and then feel bad because most of the time I want to ditch it before it even makes it home. (Like the lone petunia that you have to find a home for.) I cook dinner and do the dishes even though Rami is here. The more I rant the less I can come up with a good reason why I like Mother's Day.

I think that this year I will take the day to thank my Heavenly Father for the opportunity I have to be a mother. I am blessed with two kids that keep my smiling and I can see a bit of heaven through them. Not everyone is a fortune as we are, some by choice and other not. It is a tough job but Heavenly Father knew I could do it and trusted me with his child. That is amazing to me!

I miss you guys and love seeing what you are up to these days and I have been looking for a good excuse to make the moulton lava chocolate chakes that you posted the recipe for. They looked so delicious.

BTW, I will work on the commenting. Don't feel like you are the only one left out. I rarely comment on my mom's blog and I am pretty sure I am her only reader!

Rami, Danielle, Eva, Jacob and Libby said...

And yes, I follow you on google reader religiously!

Tara said...

I decided I am skipping Mothers Day this year. I actually crossed the day off the calander. In the past it hasn't been a day I loved, or a day I hated. This year I want it to go away completly. As you know I just lost my Mom, and my Grandma's are all gone as well. (Except for one, my most favorite person in the whole world, my Grandma Lorraine who is stuck in a nursing home and suffering from major dementia.)

I am a Mom but my husband is deployed and on the other side of the world. I'm not exactly going to wake my kids up early and say "Go make me breakfast in bed" or "Here buy me this gift for Mothers Day"

As everyone else is feeling inadaquite or happy or honored or spoiled, I will probably be sitting in a cornner crying, not because I want to be honnored but because the women I loved and admired all my life are not here any more.

I am so grateful for the knowledge that I will get to be with them again, and when I am, I will gladly celebrate every Mothers Day missed, but for now, I will remember them and try to be a better Mom myself.

This year it's not feeling like a very "Happy" day. So to all the Mom's out there have a "Happy" Mothers Day, but for me I'll just have a Day.

Mel said...

Hey there. Here's my blog's post:

Mel said...

I'm a follower!

Marlowe Mania said...

Do you mind short responses???? Could I still win the chocolate???? MmmmmmmMMMMM...Godiva!!!
I once had a friends that was heartbroken on Mother's Day because she hadn't been able to have a baby after 8 years of marriage. Well, she has a baby now and I would dare say that Mother's Day is a welcome day to her, even a delight!
I do love that flower I get on Mother's Day and I am definately looking for the the fantastic speaker that will tickle our ears with amazing "Mother's from the Scriptures". Undoubtedly, I will be making my families Sunday dinner...but, I will most assuredly recruit my family for dishes. Perhaps, Mother's Day will be remembered, but if not I know that it is only because my husbands mind is completely wrapped up in BOARDS (test on the 16th).
I have a wonderful mom, I have sisters that are amazing mom's and I have friends that are super at this job that we wouldn't give up for the world. One of those FRIENDS is Shannan Johnson...a friend that never ceases to amaze me at her love for inspiring, encouraging, and molding her kids and every other kid that she comes in contact with...whether it be through Girls Scouts, Boys Scouts, Summer School, Primary Music Leader...should I go on?

So, on May 10th...
bring on the flowers and chocolates...

Lacey said...

I'm not big on Mother's Day but my favorite part is making homemade cards for my mom and MIL. My mom appreciates it, but my MIL loves it. (And these are cheesy homemade cards, like tissue paper flowers, not the cool scrapbook kind.)
So I like that my MIL appreciates and loves the cheesy things we give her and she's happy with so little. It makes me want to be happy with little and not always want more.

And I do follow, and so does Jon, so can he be entered as well?

Lacey said...

OK, I'm a follower, just private.

Julia said...

Let's see - what's my favorite part of Mother's Day? Well, I'm not a mother yet, though I'd love it if I were. But I'm not hung up on the fact that I'm not. And I'm sure I'll stand up at church again this year, and one of the young men will hand me a chocolate bar.(It's already a given that I love chocolate, since I'm commenting on your blog!) So I'll take the chocolate bar and eat it and won't want to share it with my husband because it was given to me for mother's day. But I am not a MDH, as you might say. I, too, have had to speak in church on Mother's Day, and, as so many of the other comments so far have mentioned, I was able to think of my mother and how she taught me to be a good person. (As a teacher now, I really appreciate that! I want more mothers out there who teach their kids to be good!) I don't remember mentioning any "overly sweet" or "sickening" "isn't my mom so great" stories (although I'll tell you right now that she is!!!) I remember reflecting on how she taught me to live my life with the gospel in it. And I know I'm not perfect at that, but I sure do try to do what I can - just like I know you do. (I hear good things about you from Mel; that's how I know that!) Another of my favorite things about Mother's Day is that I get to see the love that my husband has for his mother. He is always so willing to serve and help, and he can always make her laugh, and I just love to see that. I love that because I hope that someday our kids will feel that way towards me, and I have every reason to believe that he will do his best to instill that in them.

Julia said...

Here's a link to my post about your post! http://cooperconnectionjj.blogspot.com/2009/04/free-chocolate.html

Mandi said...

Ok, so I'm not doing this for the chocolate because I live in Germany and we have plenty and to spare here.(and I think it's better than Godiva anyway...did I spell that right?) I would like to however share my thoughts with you. (just saw this on Julia's post and thought I'd do it anyway)

The longer I'm a mother, all of 21 months now, of my 2 adorable, sweet little kids (no they are not twins just a very quick, surprise 2nd) the more I wish there wasn't a mothers day for me. I feel like a huge failure right now and just wish I could give them something better than me. They love me anyway for some crazy reason. I'm sure that will change but for now it keeps me going on the really hard days. Now part of that might be my major health problems that started with the pregnancy of the first, or hormones that are seemingly permanently out of whack, or the fact that I feel completely isolated here in Germany since we've been here all of a year and I don't speak the language even though my kids and husband do. (yes my 21 month old has better german than I do) Or maybe it's just the fact that I'm so exhausted that I can hardly see straight and I'm living in the basement of my inlaws who, as wonderful as they are, I CAN'T stand. Fortunately they are in Kiev at the moment and only come back for a while every couple of months. Yes we are house sitting. So basically, I can't enjoy it for the fact that... "WOW, I'm such a great Mom!" cause I'm not and never will be. I feel insanely awkward with the attention and am kindof dreading that part this year.

However, I've always loved it for the fact that I can honor my mother. Now she is far from perfect and if I ever had to give a talk on my mother I think I'd point that out so the poor people who think they have to be perfect don't feel that way. But she always did her best and taught me the gospel. I don't think I know of another woman as amazing as her for ME. She was the perfect Mom for me growing up. The house was always a disaster and still is but I always knew she loved me and would drop anything for me even if she got upset with me sometimes. She got frustrated and had bad days like everyone, but she has more faith in her little finger than most do in their whole body and she shared that with me. She loves her family and the Lord and does the best with what she has. I could make her sound like a super mom if I wanted to and I think that's what most people do out of a love for their mom and desire to show the world how wonderful their mother's are. Everyone is imperfect including those at the top(our wonderful Pres. Hinckley even said he was inspired at conference and wanted to be a little better.) We could turn him into a saint if we wanted to go on about how perfect he is too but ultimately we are all a little or more flawed and are here to work on that aspect.

So basically to sum up, I love mothers day in the sense that it gives me one more opportunity to thank my mother for all she does for me. When we got older we made dinner and cleaned up. If we were really crazy we did desert too, but it usually didn't happen that way. Mostly we just did little gifts of the homemade sort, usually cards, to show her how much she meant to us. Now a homemade card is about all she gets these days since I'm not creative enough to do something cooler but I think that's what she likes the best anyway. I love having a day when I can look back and feel complete gratitude for all she has done and sacrificed for me. It helps me be better and try harder. I also like to think about my grandmother's and what they have done too and feel gratitude for the fact that I have 2 amazing little ones when many of my friends can't have their own. Basically it's a time for me to show gratitude, learn and strive to improve myself for the next year so maybe I can be worthy of the tiniest bit of gratitude in the future, especially if it's just a handmade card from my son or daughter.

I hope this helps.

Tasha said...

Hi! I was referred here from Julia's blog. First, I have a question. Could your family not just celebrate Mother's Day on Saturday or another night of the week? They could stay home and worship you all day and take you out for lunch/dinner on a day when the restaurants will not be as crowded! Just a thought. :)

When I think about Mother's Day, I do of course think about my two children but mostly I think of it in reference to my step-mom. She has been one of the biggest influences in my life and especially when it comes to motherhood. She married my dad when she was 21 and my brother and I were 5 and 7. I couldn't even imagine having a baby at 21, much less 5 and 7 year olds! And of course she has made her share of mistakes, big and small. But I am always amazed at the unconditional love that she has had for my brother and me when she never had to love us at all! She could have said, "You know what, I just don't think I can handle being a mom yet" and moved on with her life. But she didn't. She took on a ready-made family. And I'm glad she did because my life would have turned out far different without her in it.

Nicole @ Nicole's Nickels said...

My favorite part of Mother's Day is having as many generations of my family together as possible!

Nicole @ Nicole's Nickels said...

I blogged about this giveaway - http://www.nicolesnickels.net/2009/05/top-10-giveaways-of-week.html

minishoes1 said...

My favorite part of mothers day is spending time with my mom she will be 88 this May 5. I feel so blessed to still have her around! She is the best mom! Anyways, we usually buy her flowers or pick some from my yard.(lilies)and maybe lunch some where. My sister will be down from california-so all 6 kids will be here and some of her grandkids. I used to hate mothers day because I couldn't have my own kids. I excepted the fact a long time ago that wouldn't ever have any, but I have 2 adorable, spoiled dogs and lots of nieces and nephews. Thanks for the giveaway! jacquecurl1@gmail.com

minishoes1 said...

i am a new follower. jacquecurl1@gmail.com

staciefrost said...

After trying for several years, my sweet husband and I had our precious little boy, Sidney. He is our one and only and every Mother's Day I realize how lucky I am to be his mom. (Well, I realize that almost every day anyway! :o) ) I will never have the opprotunity to have another child, but my precious little boy makes every day special! I, for one, love Mother's Day. It is my favorite day of the year!

staciedfrost at hotmail dot com

Julie said...

Breakfast in bed, that's about it. B/c even if I do get breakfast in bed and Paul does make dinner, usually dishes just get piled in the sink and I still have to do them the next day, is that really a holiday? But that's ok, Paul is over the top enthusiastic about celebrating holidays so you can imagine how nice a day he gives me (usually I get a guaranteed nap:) but other than that I hate all the recoginition for just doing what we were meant to do. It just feels wierd! Love ya!

Julie said...

I'm a follower!

Julie said...

Check out my post too!


Amy said...

I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE Mother's day! Not because of the special treatment I get, but because I now, finally understand what it means.

I lost my mother in January of 2000. She was only 61, and left this earth WAY too soon. By mother's day that year, I was probably more depressed than I had ever been. I didn't have a mom to give presents to. I didn't have a mom to take to brunch. I didn't have a mom to oogle and ah over the perfect card I had picked out especially for her. My children lavished gifts and love on me that year, and through the haze, I thanked them and tried to hold back the tears.

It finally hit me: I didn't necessarily find it exciting to be a mom on Mother's day, I found it fun to be the child/gift giver. All-of-a-sudden, I saw things in a whole new light. Every single second of Mother's Day became a treasured moment for me, because I knew that all those special moments "oogling" and "ahing" over the perfect gift or card my children gave me, would eventually become priceless memories for them.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mother's Day!

amyis300 AT hotmail DOT com

Jennifer said...

I'm a follower.

Jennifer said...

One good thing is that you get presents for Mother's Day!


P.S. Don't ask me where the pomegranite comment came from! I'm new at this. :)

fashionfrugality said...

I love Mother's Day because it's an opportunity for me to REALLY tell my mom how much I appreciate her. She's not a real lovey dovey person so it's not something I do often during the year. She cries every Mother's Day without fail - but out of happiness - which I love! :)

kkondek at gmail.com

Gertie said...

Mother's Day will always remind me of my mother when I gave her a some bookmarks that I made and how much she loved them so. She has passed away, but I will always have that memory.


Tamara B. said...

My favorite thing about Mother's Day is it is the only day my two tweens don't fight with each other. Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

Tamara B. said...

I follow

Rajee said...

My favorite mother's day is kids listen to their moms.

torytory said...

I too have hated mother's day for a long time, but now that my oldest is old enough to do something for me on her own (which she's apparently been planning for a while now), I think I'll like this one. Doesn't matter what it is, just that she wants to do something for me.

Dave said...

Hey you! I do not need a gift for leaving a comment on your awesome blog. Your blog is always fun to read and that is good enough for me. I am sad because you guys moved from Allen, TX before I had a chance to try your hubbys restaurant. I loved reading your Mother's Day blog! What will change your outlook on Mother's Day is that this year my wife and I will not be skipping church on Mother's Day and Father's Day. We started this little trend in 1998 when my Dad passed away. When you have been married for 12 years people treat you differently because you do not have kids. I have since learned that they also treat you different when you adopt kids but enough of that for now. This year we will get to be celebrated as parents! I am looking forward to honoring my wife as a Mother! Adopting 2 older kids is not easy but we sure are having fun!

queenoftheclick said...

The reason I like Mother's Day is because it's my birthday! I love my birthday and every year it falls on or around Mother's Day. So I would love to win and get some chocolate strawberries. Actually, I hear they make an amazing chocolate shake.

Mother's Day, just like Valentine's Day was overtaken by Hallmark and every other company that takes out money.

I kind of agree with your husband about the day. Like why do we need one day set aside to appreciate mothers. I think that you husband appreciates you most of the days of the year. I bet he's also a good father and husband to you most days of the year. Some men that I know haven't been such great husbands (cheating, mean, poor providers who gamble), but they will celebrate Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and Christmas because they think that makes up for their poor behavior all year.

SOOOO on Mother's Day wake up and take it as a day to appreciate the great family you have. You have a good husband and children. You have a good life and you are going to share about some great women who like you, appreciated the good life God made them.

I love that you were choosen to speak about Inspirational Mother Figures from Scripture. I hope you will share you speech or outline with us here. I'd love to read it.

dillfam said...

I hated Mother's Day for a number of years since I did not have my mother any longer. Now my daughter is a mother and I really enjoy Mother's Day again as a mother and grandmother.

Susan Dill

Nicole said...

Mothers Day to me has never been a very important holiday. But my family always try and make a big deal about me on that day (so I let them) :). My husband makes sure I don't cook or clean, the kids always have some little gift for me. It is never extravagant but it is always clearly something they have chosen so that is even more special to me.
anfranzone at yahoo dot com

Heidi said...

Shannon, I am afraid you DO have to entice me with chocolate to post a comment, but not to READ your blog. I do that for fun!

I like Mother's Day. I wouldn't put it anywhere close to my favorite. But I do think it is important for a society to celebrate the importance of mothers. I wrote a bunch more, but just deleted it.

I completely understand people's reasons for hating it, but doing away with it would send a pretty bad message don't ya think?!

P.S. I do have an awesome Mom who was great because being a mom mattered to her than anything else--not because we thought she was perfect.

A few factoids about The Ozzyfam said...

Shannon, don't faint... I am actually posting! You picked the right topic... the hatred of Mother's Day! I went camping last Mother's Day. I planned another trip for this year but had a conflict and had to reschedule. Why, you ask, do I like to camp on Mother's Day? Because, like you, I feel that Mother's Day should be a day of rest, sleeping in, breakfast made by others, no meetings, no phone, no dressing up, and the reading of a good book!
Last year, I saw the light... a way to get all of that!Unfortunately, this year I will have to pretend that the next Sunday is Mother's Day as that is when we postponed our camping trip!
Gook luck with your talk... you are so creative that you will come up with something...