Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and with it comes the extra publicity for mothers, about mothers, highlighting mothers. I have a mother, and I am a mother, and still find it somewhat awkward to think that all this florally pink marketing is aimed at me. They’re definitely not aimed at my mother. Who is this mother?
My favourites are the ones that try and get something completely irrelevant to mothers on mothers day and then try to tailor their marketing by turning it pink. “Your mother would LOVE one of our (pink for the occasion) stand-up mens urinals THIS SUNDAY!” Decorated in flowers. Then there are the pink supermarket flyers. PINK for Mothers Day – to make the weekly chore of grocery shopping just that little bit MORE. “Here Mum, come grocery shopping this mothers day – we’d love to see you,and look! We have a discount on toilet cleaner – just for you!” Yeah… nah.
Mothers Day also brings with it articles about mothers – like this one, about stay at home Mum Kate Hawkesby, What amused me about this one was the comments that it brought with it on Facebook.
“Bad Example. Find a different family, her husband is too rich”
“Why do they only promote the wealthy?”
“What about us working Mums who have no choice?”
“Way to make me feel wretched Kate and ruin my Sunday”
“Women who work aren’t lesser parents”
“What a crap, unbalanced article”
All that because the NZ Herald chose to spotlight a mother who gave up work to look after her kids. Regardless of your household income it is no easy task. The thing that I find frustrating about the vitriol hurled at Kate, it is impossible to find a high profile stay at home mother. Because those two things – high profile and stay at home – are an oxymoron. While there are many, many examples of high profile working mothers – successful as parents and career women – there are no stay at home mothers in the same position. I become a stay at home mother myself this year after moving cities that and I have since realised that stay at home mothers are invisible.
I know that, in the work I do, I am the most important person in the entire world to my three kids, two cats and puppy. I am the centre of it, I make the world spin, function and run smoothly. I shop for them, cook for them, clean up after them (mostly), ensure they have the things they need to go about their days and run their calendars for them. To a lesser extent this applies to my husband as well.
None of those things serves my profile, or is noticed by anybody outside our little brick house in a suburban subdivision. The world wouldn’t blink an eye if I couldn’t do what I do on a daily basis, but my family would notice and they’d miss me.
A couple of houses down the road is another stay at home mother, and a few houses past that is another one, and across the road from her I suspect is a couple more – but I can’t be sure, because we all do our own daily routine of getting the kids to school, cooking, washing, cleaning, grocery shopping.
We haven’t started our own business. We haven’t run a commercially successful blog. We haven’t opened a fashion house, or a cafe, or hosted a television show, or become comedians. We have simply got on with our lives in a way that matters to no-one except ourselves so you won’t see us in a magazine. We are just getting on with what needs to be done. We are unremarkable and invisible, but no less important.
I guess it’s nice to have a day that can remind of us that – you do what you can with what you’ve got and I don’t know any mother who isn’t doing her very best the best way she knows how.
So here’s to all mothers, everywhere. Happy Mothers Day.