As Mother’s Day approaches I get increasingly fed up. It happens every year, this is not new for me. I am easily disappointed in the world when it comes to how mums are portrayed in the public sphere.
If I see another freaking fluffy, pastel dressing gown, I will vomit on my ‘made with love, healthy snack’.
If I see another cheesy commercial where Mum gets ‘the day off’ to cuddle her children and radiate joy, I will kick a bagless vacuum cleaner.
And if I see one more sign asking me ‘to show mum how much I care’, I will repeatedly bang my head against the local florists’ wall.
Get excited girls, we’re about to have a morning free from our responsibilities to eat cold bacon and fake excitement that we’re off to cram into a second rate pub with every other family in the neighbourhood.
That’s if you get anything at all. If martyrdom could be a national sport, many mums would be gold medallists.
Don’t get me wrong, Mother’s day is an awesome idea. So is Father’s Day. One day to not have to empty the dishwasher or make your own cuppa. One day to lay in bed and read or watch Netflix is awesome.
One day to tell your own Mum how much you love her. Or to spend time reflecting on the good moments you had with those no longer with you in body, but always with you in spirit.
And for those without kids, it’s a day to go to the supermarket or laundromat, because we all know mums who are doing it right won’t be there. That’s right isn’t it mums? (Sorry, I just made myself gag at that.)
Mums are so much more than shopping and lounging and caring and cooking and cleaning. Mums don;t need to ‘be congratulated’, they need stiff drink and access to decent superannuation.
You wouldn’t know it during the Mother’s Day lead up, but mums actually live full lives.
Mums work. Mums study. Mums own businesses. Mums roller-skate. Mums play football. Mums plasterboard walls. Mums cook in five star restaurants. Mums are CEOs.
Mums watch porn. Yeah, Mums wank, just like dads.
Mums like the colour black. They swear. They drink beer. They do trail running. They go to war. They knit pussy hats. They are political activists. They are even politicians. (audible gasp)
Mums also bake and get pleasure out of getting all the scum off a dish pan and they wash lots of laundry. So much laundry. And they fantasise about Matt Damon or Ruby Rose. Yep, mums can be gay too.
Mums can be anything they damn well want to be and they’re proud of it.
But too many mums continue to buy into the cookie cutter Mother’s Day bullshit. And I say it’s time we stop perpetuating the tired old stereotypes. We only have ourselves to blame and decades of misogyny, but let’s keep this light..for the mums.
It’s time we stand up and say enough.
It’s time we say, I don’t want a freaking pink nightie and hot water bottle. I want something more.
I want new noise cancelling headphones for interstate work trips (and when the kids talk too much) or a membership to Business Chicks or Tracey Spicer’s new book The Good Girl Stripped Bare or a new basket for my bike or a blowtorch for baking or a Nasty Woman t-shirt from Champagne Cartel. Or for those that want for nothing then ask for a donation to the Domestic Violence Resource Centre of Victoria.
If you still want some slippers, go and get yourself a pair while the sales are on, but save Mother’s Day for something that you actually desire. Show your kids you’re more than just a freaking pastel lady. That you’re layered and complex and intelligent. That giving you a ‘day off’ means that being a mother is your full time job. and that simply is not your duty in life. Even if you are working as a mum full time, you are more than just a mum. You are a woman with needs and desires and plans for the future. You have interests and thoughts that extend beyond what margarine you buy and if your kids are engaged in the classroom.
If we continue to settle for narrow confines of what motherhood is and the role we play in society and we continue to settle for damn soap and putrid rose smelling candles, then it’s our fault.
It’s time to stand up and expect more. Use your voice. Use your ‘mum’ voice if you have to. Stop playing the martyr.
And above all embrace the day. God knows we all work damn hard. All of us – mums, dads, carers, grandparents. All of us, because it takes a village to raise kids. Take your day when you can get it and make it count. I know I will.