When I first had children, it was an absolute honour to be spoiled with gifts and flowers and to hear those words that made me feel special: “Happy Mother’s Day!” When the kids started going to school and came home with handmade gifts, it brought me to tears and I can’t thank teachers enough for these darling projects. But, lately, seeing the date on a calendar, makes me cringe. Firstly, I’ve always hated going out to restaurants on wide spread celebration dates; they are crowded, you have to co-ordinate with so many schedules, and expectations of gift giving and receiving makes my stomach turn.

Then I heard Terry O’Reilly’s “Under the Influence” episode where he talked about examples of “inventions” that grew into massive machines that the originator ended up rejected and, most often, despising. One such story was that of Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis created the day as a time of reflection for those mothers that were gone and to spend some time with the ones that remained. It was a day of appreciation that turned into a commercialized guilt trip. Suddenly, companies raised rates on flower sales, candy, Hallmark became a power house, all in the pursuit of the all mighty dollar AND as a way of providing an “out” for people. Instead of actually spending time with their mothers….they could just send some flowers.

Anna spent a great amount of time and effort getting May 14th to be declared Mother’s Day but spent a lifetime and her entire fortune trying to eradicate it, but by then, it was too late. Anna died alone, blind, and penniless in a sanitarium, regretting ever having created the day.

This mother’s day, I was thrilled to get my cards and handmade gifts and I still tip my hat to the teachers who make this an activity in the classroom so that all moms will get something extra special, but there was no restaurant, no expensive jewelry expected from the hubby, no flowers on the table that would die within a week. My oldest son paid for an order of Chinese food for everyone, my mother came over and we talked for hours. I got four loads of laundry done and my four kids and I took the dog for a long walk. I did the dishes, packed lunches and then watched some TV. So, in short, it was almost the exact same day as every other day, (with some extra chatting with my mom). Because EVERY day is Mother’s Day, because we are mothers…every day.

About the Author

Stephanie Herrera is a comedian, writer, producer, teacher, singer, actor, mother of 4, and shallow philosopher. She runs the Durham Improv & Acting Studio in Oshawa, Canada, is a professor at Durham and Fleming Colleges, and is an award winning performer.  www.durhamimprov.com / www.stephanieherrera.com / info@durhamimprov.com / (647) 899-3342  Durham Improv Group and Business pages can be found on Facebook and follow @durhamimprov & @antimommy