Whiny Wednesday came three days early for me this week.
I left the house well armed to face Mother’s Day (which I intended to embrace as Nurturer’s Day). Aside from calling the mothers in my own family, I had no need to recognize this Hallmark holiday. My husband and I enjoyed a long bike ride together, ran some errands, went out to lunch at a busy casual restaurant. While I noticed more women than usual carrying flowers, there was no announcement, no one stood up and asked everyone to join in singing to celebrate an individual, like we would if there was a birthday. Just another Sunday.
But the slights came in from odd angles, like the “Free Treat for Moms!” at the confectioners (How would they know? Should I go in and take one?) and the posters advertising “Gifts for the Special Woman in your Life…Mom” (I have lots of special women in my life, some who are moms, many are not). I spotted a magazine for women that looked interesting until I read the subtitle: “for the woman in every mom.” A barrista at a coffee house handed a drink over me to a woman further back in line, explaining to everyone else, “Moms should be served first, don’t you think?” (Do I have “Childfree” stamped on my forehead? What the fruitcake?!)
Maybe I’m oversensitive, or maybe I spot these things because on some psychologically twisted level I’m looking for them. Maybe I need to acknowledge that, for many women who are moms, this is the only day out of 365 that they are appreciated for their sacrifices. Maybe I just need to get over myself and stop whining.
Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She’s mostly at peace with her decision to be childfree.