So it was Mother's Day today, a day when we (people who are not mothers) are meant to put great effort into helping, supporting and in fact making sure that the women in our lives get some rest and it strikes me as odd, odd and slightly disturbing that we need a special day to make people think and act like we actually give a shit.
What is this? Why is this day even necessary? Surely we should treat everyone well , especially the women in our lives, every day. We do don't we? Don't we? Well, the answer must clearly be no.
So we have days to remind ourselves that others need reminding of how important and awesome they are. Perhaps it says something crazy about us as a modern collective that we have to put a day aside officially to actuate this but its a good crazy, mainly because it shows we still want to be nice to the people that share our lives. That the old 'Mothering Sunday'; traditionally the day we went back to the place we were baptised, has metamorphosized over the years into a day of celebration and thanks for the love mothers give is a good sign. It shows we still want to try.
Now its great for those women that get the attention, gifts and thanks that they deserve but what about the people in the abusive relationships, the single mothers or those that have lost their children? I can't imagine what this day means to them. Another day that shows the world's increasing cruelty? Another day to feel more intensely alone or up against the world? I can imagine it would be hard but how hard I have no idea.
With each day that celebrates someone there will be others that are painfully forgotten. For each spouse that gets up, delivers breakfast with a kiss and sweeps the kids downstairs for some quiet entertainment there are some that don't give a shit, some that abuse their spouses or even mothers, some that see it as a day to remind someone of how powerless they have made them. This saddens me.
I don't know the answers to any big questions like how to deal with people that abuse their partners (male and female), I couldn't give you the magic key to unlock the mystery of why some treat others terribly. There are reasons, studied and documented and known, but there seems to be no 'fix' that can be implemented to drive the arseholes that need 'control' of another person into extinction. So what to do?
Treat people well regardless of what day it is. Monday to Sunday, be as supportive, kind and understanding as possible. Compromise and protect that which is important while still making sure you're not a doormat. It's not an easy mandate, it's not even a fun one some of the time, but I think it's the one that we need to follow. Be as good as we can be and then on the special days focus that effort into a day not of gifts and expense but of care.
These special days should stay, certainly, but they shouldn't be an excuse to not be as nice as we could be normally. That's my take on it. Celebrate everyday if you can and sometimes, sometimes, a day will come up that reminds us that we need to pull our socks up a bit, or just reminds us why we should put the effort in all the time if we can.
These days are important, of that there is no doubt, but they do not replace the attention of the year that surrounds them. They don't make up for 363 days of bullshit, so I suppose what I'm saying is that I believe in Mother's Day and Father's Day and Easter and the Birthdays but I believe that it's the days in between the 'big ones' that make the real difference and it should be those days to which we turn our attention.