Hi all, today I will write a piece attempting to solve the following question: What’s the point of Mother’s Day? Or Father’s Day? Or National Pancake Day? What does it mean to consecrate a time in honor of a general concept? As always, I will respond to any comments. This post was going to be longer, but I used the Hemoglobin A rather than Hemoglobin B matrix for Salmo Salar in my Biology Report and now I have to redo the whole thing. Anyways, I don’t want to infect anybody with my sour mood so, here we go!
Because this is a Mother’s Day post rather than just a general “celebratory days post” I am going to look specifically at Mother’s Day before I zoom out. So, what is the meaning of Mother’s Day specifically? What are we celebrating in mothers? I think it is more than just a contribution to raising a child; after all, all you need for that is something that can provide the necessary recourses. A robot. Rather, mothers provide an actual role in a child’s life. This topic has been explored a lot, so I am going to look at what it means to have roles in raising a child. People are used to roles; we have hundreds of them. Yes, obvious things like Jobs, Friends, Partners, and Coworkers, but also more specific things. Bringing someone coffee every day. Being the person that makes someone sigh whenever you walk in the same room as them. You can have a specific role that only one person knows, or that nobody knows but everyone subconsciously experiences. Anyways, I’ve gone down a bit of a rabbit hole, but the point is, having a role in someone else’s life is complex.
So what specifically do we, as a society, admire in the role of a mother? Well, as I said, it isn’t just their material contribution to the raising of a child – it is something in their relationship which we find admirable. Devoting years of one’s life to a little piece of flesh, in the hopes that some day it will not only do the same but also be an interesting person who contributes to society. I think we admire, (subconsciously, ) this commitment; this investment. It comes from the same place as how it feels good to put money in the bank, rather than keep it in a wallet; it creates a sort of supplemental “you”. Now, this might seem cold and uncaring – but obviously, you are spending years just helping something develop, so it really isn’t.
Now, switching gears, what does it mean to devote a day to this idea? Devoting a concept temporally is much like devoting one spatially – it’s a bit confusing. Obviously, you can make people think about something in a time or space by advertising it. but what does it mean to really devote a day to an idea? How can we make that day somehow a manifestation of that? Well, our current solution is simple: flood it with celebration. Every store, every website, every establishment of any kind puts up a sign, or a greeting, or something of the like. Now, is this effective?
Well, it depends on what your intended effect is. If you just want people to remember Mother’s Day, making them see reminders of it constantly is certainly effective. And it can even help with getting gifts. But there is something I dislike about it. It feels… artificial. Less thinking about the purpose of motherhood, and more about the existence of it. “Best Mother’s Day cards.” “25 Top Mother’s Day Songs Playlist.” It feels like people aren’t being genuinely appreciative, and by appreciative I don’t just mean saying thanks or giving a cheap card – I mean thinking about the purpose of being a mother. Once you understand this, you can thank Mothers more sincerely and in a deeper way.
1 branch of this is originality in gift-giving. Just buying a card printed in an office by someone you’ll never meet isn’t enough. People often understand this, so they try to alleviate it buy spending more. 30$ box of chocolates, 100$ dress, whatever. As much as this is very kind, I think people should go above and beyond, and give an actually meaningful gift. Now, I don’t want to tap into this too much, because I plan on writing a separate post on effective gift-giving at some point. I consider it an art in it’s own. But for now I’ll just say this – there is no one material quality that makes a good present. It can be pricey, homemade, and beautiful – but a good gift on Mother’s day should really appreciate the recipient’s qualities as a mother.
So, what is the conclusion here? Seems I’ve disqualified a lot and contributed very little. In my opinion, the best Mother’s Day gift is calling your mother or writing her a card – no sparkles or color necessary (though if it’s my mom then that is very much necessary), and thanking her for exactly why you think she has been a good mother to you.
Because I have decried saying “Happy Mother’s Day”, I will instead end this post with:
Experience a most Joyous & Virtuous day of the Maternal figure!