Friday, April 11, 2014


We've never been much bothered about Mother's Day in our house.

My mother never bothered. If we asked what to do on Mother's Day, she tended to say "Don't bother about it". Her view was that she knew how much we loved and liked her, and she didn't need time and money wasted on schmalzy offerings. Nor did she go much on breakfast in bed, although me and my brother did enjoy being downstairs unsupervised one Sunday morning, making a pig's ear of boiled eggs and toast.

I took the same view with my children when they were small, but I was very alive to the fact of children finding it hard to articulate the depth of their emotions towards their parents, and I always celebrated any efforts they made, which usually began and ended with a card they'd made at school.

The school card.

I always thought it was the whim of a teacher, they're invariably lovely in a mumsy way, aren't they, Primary School teachers? 

But as a foster parent I find myself floored every year, left reeling and having to pick up the pieces as children from disintegrated families have their noses rubbed in their deprivations by this plain stupid annual event, and I've had enough.

Turns out, (and shame on me for only discovering this recently) that it's a cross-school compulsory activity, especially in Church schools.

It's a crock of you know what, "Mother's Day".

Anyone who thinks it's worth a light is dead from the neck up.

I've looked it up to see if it's based on anything concrete.

Some woman called Jarvis got it rolling in the USA (where they know a thing or two about commercialisation) back before WW1. She walked away from it a few years later saying it was too commercialised, that was back in 1920. 

The church suddenly woke up to it when they noticed it had something in common with one of their thousand and one mysterious ceremonies. They rolled up "Five Loaves Day" and "Rose Day" and other odds and ends of hokum and pinned it to the fourth Friday of Lent. They dropped the bit where the congregation kissed the wall of the church, and claimed that their Mothering Sunday dated back to medieval times and had been a Christian fixture since the days when a girl was eligible for marriage aged nine. 

I'm not making up any of the above, this is the crock of you know what it's based on.

Schools, the Church, Hallmark, Cadbury and garage forecourt flowers in a plastic bucket are locked into an annual cycle of marking "Mother's Day" because they always have done and therefore always will do.

They don't go further in their thinking than to picture the bog standard nuclear family of their own childhoods. 

The existence of fostering isn't on their radar. They have their fingers in their ears and are humming la la la to drown out the utter brutal stupidity of making a child who is living away from their natural mothers dwell lastingly on that specific and gigantic part of their life.

It's not just fostering families, there are plenty of different family units nowadays.

How dare the world stick this on everyone like everyone is the same?


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