Mother’s Day Posts On Social Media: Why They Give Me The Ick
If I scrolled back over the years through my social media I’d undoubtedly find lots of gushing Mother’s Day posts. Ones to my own Mam, saying how lucky I am to have her, how she’s the best thing since sliced bread.
There’d be plenty dedicated to my own kids too, saying how blessed I am to be their Mam. How proud I am of them and how much I love being a mother.
And those posts were all true. I meant, and still mean, every word of them.
But I won’t be looking in the archives to check out those posts today, because I know they’d make me feel a bit uncomfortable.
The thing is over the last few years I hope I’ve tuned in much more to how bloody hard and painful this day must be for so many people.
For the mothers navigating their way through the shitshow of parenting without their own mothers.
For the people who are experiencing their first Mother’s Day without their Mum, and for those who know that this will be their last one with her.
For the people who have really crap Mums, not the type who you can write long loving captions about on Instagram.
For the people who are trying desperately to become a mother.
For the ones who have tried and tried until they have literally nothing left.
For the ones who, sorry, just don’t want kids and are made to feel ashamed about that choice.
I hope you’re all either having a well-earned social media break today… or that you can see through the #happymothersday hashtag and remember that nothing is ever all it’s cracked up to be.
Mother’s Day posts on social media kind of remind me of the Christmas Eve present pile photos. You know the ones I mean right?
Ok so it’s not exactly the same. Those photos of presents are just cringeworthy and insensitive, and obviously the Mother’s Day posts come from a place of genuine love and wanting to celebrate these wonderful women.
But if you’re one of the people I just talked about who find Mother’s Day hard… it must be like being a Jehovah’s Witness child in December. Shot after shot just reminding you of all the fun you could be having. But you’re locked out of it. Sorry. This fun is not for you.
The thing is; those Christmas Eve present pile photos don’t show the full picture do they? No trace of the stress it created running round the shops all month, the hours you sat up wrapping gifts until your back ached. The extra hours you had to work to finance it, the fact that it might take you a year to pay off the credit card bill and the hours of sleep you’ll lose worrying about that.
And in the same way, the Happy Mother’s Day posts on social media don’t give us the full picture either.
Motherhood (and sometimes daughterhood/sonhood – which I’m guessing aren’t real words) ain’t no bed of roses and we do each other a disservice if we say it is.
And although there is joy to be found in so many corners of mothering, there is also exhaustion and a level of self-sacrifice which can leave you wondering who you are and forgetting who you used to be.
Sometimes it’s cuddles, and laughter and the feeling of ‘I love you so much I would die for you.’ And sometimes it’s driving to gymnastics at 8.30am on a Sunday morning with the hangover from hell, listening to your beloved child telling you your new jeans ‘make your foof look massive’
So yes, I find it a tricky one, Mothering Sunday. While I want to have a day to celebrate the sheer graft and love mothers pour into their kids, to thank them for all that they have done and continue to do… And while I’ll scroll through Insta myself today smiling at all the lovely dedications; I just wish it felt more inclusive, you know?
For some people it’s probably more smothering than mothering.
*** Liked this post? Then you might enjoy this one, on what I’ve learned from a decade of bringing up boys.
*** If you’re in need of a shoulder to cry on for anything to do with motherhood or parenting; visit Netmums to be signposted to services who can help.