I hate Hallmark Holidays. I was raised that way. Thank you Mom and Dad. I also do not live in a bubble, and am susceptible to peer pressure and socialized expectations in spite of the fine raising that my parents did.
My first Mother's Day, as the new mother of a 6 month old, I was tired, and desperate for recognition. My recollection is that I had purchased a wooden box with a frame for a photo and presented it to my son's other mother. She presented me with... nothing. I cried and got angry. Let's not forget; I had a 6 month old-I had a heavy dose of that sleep deprivation/hormones gone crazy/new mom joy cocktail. I cried and got angry with a degree of regularity, I was also over the moon happy with a degree of regularity. I did make her take a picture that day. (And, yes, we do have on matching overalls. And yes, I am brave to post this despite that fact. And yes,thank goodness, this was the only time ever that we dressed like this.)
So, what did I do? I put our son in his stroller and bought myself an ugly silver bracelet with gold flavored trim that said "mother" on it. I felt better. That day I learned an important lesson in parenting: Take care of myself. Expecting anyone else-my spouse, my kid, even my own beloved mother-to do it is just a recipe for resentment. All of those people do nice things for me. Not always on my time table. Another good lesson. I am thankful when they do. A couple of years ago, driving my older son home from college, we stopped at a local not-at-all-fancy Dennys-type restaurant in Grant's Pass, Oregon for breakfast on what it turned out was Mother's Day. They gave me a red rose. My son looked at me and said "I love you Mama". It wasn't the first time that he said it, and it wasn't the last. That was it. Simple. It was a great day, and it happened to be Mother's Day. I loved getting that rose. I put it on the dashboard for the drive home and put it is a vase when I got there. It made me feel special. So, every year, we hand out roses. Just doing what we can, every day in every way, to make moms happy.