Today is Mother's Day in many countries, and mothers everywhere are being honored and appreciated for the invaluable contribution of mothering.
That's the bright side...
For many families there's also a subtle dark side of Mother's Day: focusing on the sacrifices mothers make for their families.
Mothers' self-sacrifice is typically celebrated by reversing the sacrificial current. For one day, the other family members take over the mother's "duties" so she can be free (theoretically) to focus entirely on her own pleasure.
Don't get me wrong: I think one of life's simple pleasures is contributing to the pleasure of others, and that includes the good feeling of pampering mothers. It's the undercurrent of guilt that so often taints the fun.
When the subtext is, "We're doing this stuff for you today because you can't have what you want the other 364 days of the year," it actually perpetuates the cycle of self-sacrifice, resentment, and guilt.
So here's a radical proposition for every mother who has ever bought into the idea of self-sacrifice as a virtue:
Decide that EVERY day is Mother's Day! Don't settle for anything less than a predominantly pleasureful path of mothering, and remember that the best way to raise kids who enjoy life is to let them see your commitment to enjoying life yourself. :)
(Note to self-sacrifice addicts: If you think I'm saying you should force yourself to be happy... think again!)