A mother’s day rant

1.  If you’re a full-time daycare, don’t have “Muffins with Mom”.

2.  If you decide to have “Muffins with Mom” anyway, don’t put a sign-up sheet in the lobby where everyone can see which moms obviously don’t love their children enough to leave work to spent 30 min eating store-bought muffins with them at daycare.

3.  Also, the next day don’t ask the moms who weren’t there why they weren’t there and then tell them that they were the only mom who wasn’t there and little DC was so upset.  (Especially if the reason according to DC that ze was upset was because ze had to have grapes instead of muffins like all the other kids because ze’s allergic to wheat.  Or maybe especially if that’s not the reason.)

I wonder how many moms are going to show up in Dad’s place for Donuts with Dad, which I assume they’re also having.  Of course, little DC2 won’t have dad there either because he’s traveling for work that week.

I’m actually only slightly irritated, and mainly at the patriarchy.  And to be honest, I would have checked the no box even if I hadn’t had a P&T meeting scheduled a month and a half in advance at exactly that time.  I am willing to sacrifice DC a little bit so that other mothers can also feel free to check the “no” box if they need to or want to.  (And at the time I checked “No” there were two other “No”s, one with a written “I’m out of town” excuse.)  I suppose that makes me a terrible mother, but I don’t want hir to feel like this is a big deal, and based on conversations with hir the evening of the event, ze was indeed upset by the lack of muffin and not at all by the lack of mommy.  (And yes, a “better” set of parents would have brought gluten-free muffins, but DC2 has gf cookies provided specifically for these kinds of events, and I didn’t really realize that it was Thursday until I got to daycare and saw the ladies setting up for the party, because the end of the semester is busy.)

I have the solace that deep down I believe that these little upsets truly are character building and learning to weather having to eat grapes when the other kids have muffins so as to avoid getting a rash is just one of those things that makes a person stronger.  Obviously we shouldn’t try to create character building incidents because that’s sadistic, but it’s not such a big deal when they happen.  Especially when grapes are actually better than grocery store muffins.

or with music

36 Responses to “A mother’s day rant”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    Also don’t call your 9-3 daycares/camps “full day”. I hate the term “extended care” for too many reasons to name.

    So, on weirdness factor…my 4th grader had to write a poem for Mother’s Day…nice and it was cute and he got to practice writing which he needs badly….BUT the teachers also included the poems of all the other classmates in the packet as well. Is that weird? I felt a little odd and intrusive reading the other ones…although my son wanted me to read them all. I am not sure what it was supposed to encourage, competitiveness maybe?

    • First Gen American Says:

      Reading the others made me feel smug because his was one of the few poems that didn’t just talk about me cooking, cleaning and taking care of people. ..which then led to feelings of guilt for being judgmental.

      • Rosa Says:

        Oh Mother’s Day, the day you can’t avoid feeling bad about something because the ideals are too conflicting to achieve!

        That is weird though. 3 years of daycare and 4 years of school with an annual teacher-induced Mother’s Day poem and I never saw another kid’s poem, except when the teacher decided to hang copies of some of them on the wall (and several of those were to grandmas & foster moms, which I have to believe was a deliberate choice.)

  2. Leigh Says:

    As my friends have started to have kids, Mother’s Day now makes me feel really weird. It’s this day to celebrate the societal norm of having kids, but what about if you’re having fertility issues or don’t want to have kids?

    Also, I went out for lunch with my mom and the host first told me I couldn’t possibly be over 21 and tried to take away my wine glass and then the server wished us both a Happy Mother’s Day and then took that away from me and wished it only to my mom because I was clearly not old enough to be a mother. I responded “no, I am plenty old enough.” Her response? Something about how you can have kids pretty young. It probably doesn’t help my case that my mom looks young, but that really pissed me off. They clearly thought I was in high school or something. I wish they’d just ID’d me, seen how old I am, and then stopped being so damn condescending. I way prefer going to restaurants with my boyfriend – he looks older, so people assume I must be around his age so like 30. That’s better than 16.

    Oh yeah and someone at work recently was confused why I didn’t want to be assumed I was an INTERN. F the patriarchy. No female engineer would ever assume I was an intern.

    • Norwegian Forest Cat Says:

      Ugh, sorry about your rude host! You’d think they would learn to be less offensive in that job, but unfortunately that’s not the case. :( I waitressed for a while in college and got used to rude customers, but some of my fellow servers disappointed me with their tactlessness pretty regularly. Thankfully they never lasted long, so hopefully this host’s manager will catch on soon!

      I had similar feelings about Mother’s Day this year…I have a number of friends who have recently miscarried or who opened up about their difficulties with infertility, and it breaks my heart to see them struggle on a day that makes (some) other mothers feel all warm and fuzzy inside. On top of this, I am not the least bit interested in reproducing at this point in my life (or maybe ever) and am dreading an upcoming family wedding because my relatives all had multiple children by the time they were my age and can’t understand how anyone would ever not want to have babies. I’ve managed to (hopefully) prepare my SO for lots of questions about when we’ll get married, but I still haven’t figured out how to distract them all from being so interested in that particular topic….

      • someone Says:

        I had pretty yucky feelings about mother’s day this year. I’ve been trying to get pregnant for exactly the length of the average pregnancy. I made myself go to church even though I felt really sad and then my husband and I babysat so his brother and hugely pregnant SIL could go see a movie without their toddler. I feel pretty badly that I didn’t wish SIL a happy mother’s day, but I think I would have started crying if I had tried.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Infertility sucks! Good luck ttc. And reproductive endocrinologists tend to be better than OB/GYN if you decide to seek intervention.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        “When are you going to have children?” “Yours put me off forever.”

      • Leigh Says:

        I’m not looking forward to my ten year high school reunion as most people I went to high school with have 2-3 children by now, or at least 1, or are married. I have a Bachelor’s degree, a condo, and a boyfriend who I live with? But most definitely no husband or kid(s). My answer on the question “When will you get married?” is now “I’ll be in grad school for the next three years while working full-time and SO doesn’t want to plan a wedding by himself.”

        My SO’s sibling’s SO warned us that his grandmother would take my ring finger in her hand and ask us where my ring was. Even though I was warned, I still wasn’t prepared for that happening and I didn’t like it one bit. My value as a human isn’t based on whether I have a ring or not aka am engaged/married to a man or not. My value as a human is separate from having a man in my life. At least that I can defer to my SO since it’s his family…

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Maybe it’s dementia and she thinks it’s still the 1950s? I can’t think of any other reason that something like that would even seem funny. Or maybe she’s a religious fanatic.

      • Thisbe Says:

        “When are you going to have children?” “Gosh, that’s none of your business.”

        Something that actually occurred, although it did not involve me:

        Alice: “Happy Mother’s Day, are you doing anything with your mom today?”
        Bobbi: “My mom is dead.”
        Alice: (awkwardly) “I’m so sorry… do you have any kids of your own to celebrate with?”
        Bobbi: “I miscarried last week. Thanks for reminding me.”
        [Bobbi was telling the truth, which made the whole think even more awkward and awful]

        A different friend recently told me that her current favorite response to the do you have kids/when will you have kids family of questions is, “Thanks for asking! We are actually currently trying, unprotected sex is really great.”

  3. middle_class Says:

    I thought society already made women feel guilty about putting kids in daycare in the first place. Why do they have to add to the guilt by scheduling events during work hours?

  4. Ana Says:

    Thank the universe our daycare doesn’t do those types of events. They do have stuff, during the day, like the Halloween parade or Christmas party, but my husband can drop in most times, since he’s a block away. Or we just don’t go, we aren’t the only ones. We do have our kids in full day daycare for a reason!
    Mother’s Day makes me feel ambivalent, first for the reasons Leigh mentioned—the celebration of complying with cultural norms and being lucky in the fertility department. The stuff my kids came home with from school was ridiculous cute—and could’ve been given to any female caregiver. Lots of friends posted things on facebook, though, like worksheets filled in with Q&A about Mom, that would be really hard to pass off as being about any other “mother figure”. I feel really bad for what kids without moms/dads must feel during the run-ups to mother’s and father’s day. I could do without the dough bead necklace and tempura painted picture frame if it spared these kids from embarrassment or sadness.

  5. SP Says:

    It is a bit silly that daycares do these things, especially when presumably almost everyone who brings kids there works during those hours. At best, it seems thoughtless to the daycare’s clients (the parents). Who do these events help? The could do off-hours open houses, or at least title the events pastries with parents (alliteration is important) to allow some families to divide & conquer. I honestly can’t believe the daycare tried to call you out for not attending. If/when we go down that road, I expect many other kids will have two-career parents, so I hope that will normalize it and make me and hypothetical kids fit in. But maybe I have unrealistic expectations.

    I did notice a lot of the men I work with who have young kids (I do still work with many more men than women) have non-trivial child care responsibilities, and it is not uncommon for one of them to say they can’t make a meeting at a certain time due to child care pick-up or drop-off. It makes me really happy to hear, and everyone seems to respect it.

  6. SP Says:

    What is the IBPT tag for? I can’t figure out the acronym, but it seems like rants against the patriarchy. :)

  7. Tree of Knowledge Says:

    When the daycare I worked at did stuff like this, it was with breakfast, making it part of the drop-off routine. So parents who wanted to participate could do so without cutting into the work day. Or if they wanted to carve out 30 minutes, it was actually only 30 minutes and not 30 minutes plus travel time to and fro plus the time explaining why the kid doesn’t get to go home early because Mommy has to go back to work. Parties we did starting with snack time in the afternoon, and they basically lasted until closing, so all pick ups were part of the party.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I think that may be what they tried to do by starting at 9:30, which I think is the latest we’re allowed to drop kids off, but daycare opens at 7:30 (and it’s between my work and DC1’s school which starts at 7:40, so I’m an early dropper-offer).

  8. Bardiac Says:

    IBPT = I Blame the Patriarchy. :) Which, I always do, too!

  9. hypatia cade Says:

    I’d like to add to this organizations (church, schools, daycare, etc) that decide on Tuesday that they urgently need you to provide X by Friday. Uhm. I work. I grocery shop etc. on Saturday or Sunday. It’s not actually possible to get things like that done on a week night without fully disrupting our household routine. I might appreciate our teachers more if they considered the schedule of someone who works…

  10. xykademiqz Says:

    I think I was born without the holiday cheer/celebration gene. I don’t even really care about my kids’ birthdays and Christmas, but I make myself pretend I do, because the kids do and because presents and parties for kids then need to be organized. I don’t care about the wedding anniversary or Valentine’s Day or my own birthday. We never had Mother’s Day where I grew up, we just did the International Women’s Day on March 8th. So Mother’s Day means zilch to me, and I tell my kids not to buy me anything, but that I like their cards and poems and art (which I do!) So that’s what I get and it’s cute.
    But for the life of me I can never remember when Mother’s Day (or Father’s Day) is until it comes.

    As for muffins with mom etc., our daycare constantly asks for parents to come chaperone field trips (in the middle of the day of course). My Middle Boy was always sad I never came, but I would always tell him that I have to work and that because I work we have the nice house and all the toys and the trips and other things he enjoys. And he seemed to get over it. I think we need to emphasize moms working as a positive thing, not an awful thing that takes mom away from what she really should be doing.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That is a great line about “I work so you can have a house and toys”

    • Ana Says:

      I use that line too! It shuts the whining up but quick.

      • First Gen American Says:

        I was asking a close friend with teenagers what I should do that the kids would remember. He said take days off from work to go on school field trips with your kids. I would have never done it if I hadn’t gotten that advice. Kids do like iit and I try to do one thing a year now.

  11. Cloud Says:

    The Mother’s Day Tea in our 2nd grader’s class was also attended by two Dads. They happened to be a couple of the more blue collar families in the class, and the moms couldn’t come because their work isn’t as flexible as mine but the Dads did have some flexibility or happened to have that afternoon off. There were also a couple of grandmothers and aunts. And there were a couple of kids who didn’t have anyone come, but they seemed pretty OK with it.

    I still think it was a bad idea to do this sort of thing, though. Our day care does an ice cream social in June, and that is at the end of the day. I like that approach. Put it at the end or the beginning of the day, which you can do in day care, but not so much at an elementary school. The tea WAS at the end of the school day. It just happens that my daughter usually spends another two hours in after care after the school day is over!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Last year based on the pictures at least a third of moms didn’t show up at the other daycare’s muffins for mom. Also there wasn’t a sign-up sheet in advance for everyone else to see. Hypothesis: Publicly shaming moms works.

  12. Leah Says:

    You make me love our daycare. They don’t schedule any of that kind of thing. Maybe because it is county subsidized, so they know many parents are hourly and literally can’t take time off.

  13. crazygradmama Says:

    Our daycare requires that parents volunteer for a certain number of hours each year at special events, or else pay a fine. It’s irritating because it presumes the ability/desire to take time off work, but at least it’s not explicitly gendered.

  14. Jay Says:

    I HATED that stuff. The daycare didn’t do it, but the preschool did. The preschool was a separate program at the same JCC and enrollment was required if you had your child in day care, but it was SEPARATE because it wasn’t (evil unmaternal) daycare and they made sure you knew that *your* kid was a “day care” kid and not a “preschool” kid. Never mind that they had a “lunch bunch” so the preschool kids could stay later – THOSE mommies didn’t use (evil, unmaternal) day care. The day care kids lined up and went back to day care while the lunch bunch kids ate in the preschool classroom. 10+ years later, it still makes me start to cry in anger just thinking about it. They had Mother’s Day events and little shows and they never gave more than a week’s notice of any of them. I have a fair amount of flexibility if you let me know in advance. I have none at all a week ahead of time. It was always the moms, of course, who were expected to show up. One year they made a big chart of all the volunteer “opportunities” and hung it in the classroom so all the kids could see who volunteered to help in the classroom and who volunteered to do things at home in the evening. That one got enough negative responses that they actually took it down. My husband, who is much more available during the day, was always the one who showed up at school. It confused people.

  15. Donna Freedman Says:

    But….but….if you’re not made to feel guilty then you aren’t really a mom, are you????

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