Friday, 17 May 2013

Spoke too soon?

I should have known.  After I wrote my last post, Mother's Day hit in earnest on FB.  I've concluded that Mother's Day in the US is a much bigger deal than it is here in New Zealand.  I'd managed to avoid any real build-up to the day, thanks to my T-Box that records all my favourite TV shows, and skips all the ads.  We rarely watch live, so I missed almost every single Mother's Day ad there was.  I read the newspaper, but I honestly can't remember reading anything there either.  It was so unheralded here, that I forgot to send my mother a card.  I rang her though, and I'd visited the week earlier, and taken her out to lunch etc, so I didn't feel too guilty.

But then M Day arrived in the US.  A blogging friend (general blogs, not part of the ALI or IF community) blogged nicely about the women who had nurtured her in her life - some of them childless. I thanked her for the recognition that we all nurture.  But after that - oh boy, the annoying FB status updates.  A (male) friend I have known for over 30 years made a particularly exclusive post, and I almost responded to him.  But he's about to become a grandfather, and so I guess he was overcome with the emotion towards the mother of his daughter, and his daughter.  I couldn't bear to rain on his parade.  Is that a missed education opportunity?  Perhaps.  But I really didn't want to do the sour grapes thing either.

It's a dilemma isn't it?  What to say, when to say, and the biggest question of all, IF to say it.  Perhaps there's no irony in the fact that the IF community has to grapple with the question of "if."  What I have concluded however is that there is no right answer to that question.

13 comments:

  1. This year, I offered my advice to a friend who was very sad to be spending his first Mothers' Day without his mom -- stay off of Facebook for the entire day! Do something else, read a book, see friends, go outside, but do not wander down the rabbithole of cheap sentimentality is a Facebook feed on Mother's Day.

    On the bright side, I have a fair number of pastors on my Facebook feed, and I was warmed by a little snippet being passed around that community to remind them to pray for, and not to ignore or alienate, the infertile, those suffering from miscarriage, and all those for whom Mother's Day is not a celebration. So, maybe there is some small inkling of recognition growing out there?

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  2. We do not attend church, nor do we look at FB that Sunday (and this year i avoided the Monday, too) on either Father's or Mother's days. MD especially is HUGE in the US. Having had both experiences - being raised by someone who was abusive and unloving (tho that was not her intent - i'll give that to her) and deeply desiring to be a mama when it has been denied, MD is one of the very hardest for me, and it always has been. My hubby finds FD equally distressing.

    I have a couple of friends i want to crack over the head as they frequently post brags on their grandchildren. Supposedly it is the undying right of mothers and grandmothers to do this, but i'm sick of it. "Cheap sentimentality" describe it perfectly.

    Hugs to you.

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  3. As MD is in March in the UK, I sometimes feel that we have it twice as social media celebrations ramp up in May. I forgot to avoid FB this May (I usually manage) and was consequently hit by all the posts and memes. But I think that each passing year it hurts a little less.

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    1. Yes it does hurt less. I'm just cursing FB - I never had to deal with that before!

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  4. I logged off from FB during the deluge of FB posts about Voldemort Day. And funnily enough, though it's celebrated on Dec 22nd in Indo, many of my Indo friends (there are so many of them in my list) write things about Voldemort Day the same day that it's celebrated here, so it was really a deluge and after reading a dozen or so wall posts or photos or whatever, I just decided I needed my sanity. Enough reminders of what I'll never be. Life feels more peaceful that way he he...

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  5. The U.S. influence is so strong -- although we do celebrate MDay the same day in Canada. I too found it difficult reading one post after another about mothers & the joys of motherhood, multi-generational photos, photos of "my Mother's Day presents" (ugh). It just gets a bit much after awhile. :p

    I'm experiencing the same thing (to a lesser extent) at the moment -- most schools in the U.S. end next Friday, whereas they don't get out here until mid-to-late June. So I get a month plus of FB & message board posts & photos about end-of-school activities & graduations (and apparently they now have pre-kindergarten graduation ceremonies, complete with cap & gown...!!). The same happens in the fall with back to school time, which starts in mid-August in the States & then goes through mid-September...!

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    1. Ah, yes - I never thought of that. Commiserations.

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  6. mostly I stayed away from Facebook, although I do get notifications on my cellphone. Between you and me, I should have avoided looking at the cellphone that day. A friend, out of the blue, sent me a post which went "**HUGS**". That touched me, and I burst into tears. And another friend sent me that poem about mother's day including recognizing ones struggling with infertility. I put aside the cellphone for the rest of the day.
    yeah, I'm same with Loribeth- not looking forward to parents sharing photos/posts about children in summer, and of going back to school. Currently there's "graduations" of kindergarten kids (in my time, they didn't have that crap!), first grades, all up to 12 grade, all awards of graduating from grade, moving to next grade "I can't believe she'll be in the 6th grade this fall! how fast she grew!" All that. *facepalm*
    Ugh

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    1. I'm glad you had friends who were sensitive - even if it did make you cry. Hugs.

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  7. yes, mother's day in the US is a HUGE deal. i did go on FB this year on that day, but found most of my friends were posting photos of their moms and not their kids, which makes it easier for me... but still. we do it up big here (like everything else) and more people end up feeling bad because of it.

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