A Different Kind of Card for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is always hard for me, as a woman who can’t have children. 

Picking out a mother’s day card for my mom and mother-in-law is bad enough. I always feel uncomfortable in that card section and the sticky sweet sentiments make me gag. It’s like happy Christian pop rock to my shaded rock ‘n roll soul. It’s not me.

After watching friends have kids – and listening to their sordid stories – I realize that motherhood is not this idyllic 1950’s ad campaign concept. It’s my understanding that although there are precious moments, there are far more vomit/poop/tantrums/utter chaos/cringe worthy moments. It feels weird to gloss over all this with a flowery mother’s day card. The day is to celebrate moms, no? 

I decided to do something different a few years ago. I sent my mom and mother-in-law emails in lieu of cards, with a short blurb. The sentiment? Happy Mother’s Day and thank you. 

For my mom, I thanked her for being strong. She raised us without any extended family support, without a church family, and had no help from my father in terms of child rearing. She really went at it alone. I thanked her for all she did in those early years that I didn’t notice then.

I thanked my mother-in-law for raising such an amazing son. With his dad constantly traveling for work, she too raised her kids alone. I told her that I know my husband turned out so well because of her influence on him – his kindness, love for animals, and amazing cooking abilities.

I got replays back, both of them thanks in return. My mom said she got teary eyed. I heard from my sister-in-law that whatever it was that I wrote, really made an impression on my mother-in-law.

I challenge you to write a thank you card rather than a Mother’s Day card this year, especially if Mother’s Day is difficult for you. And if you are a mom, you know how much a simple thank you goes to such a thankless job.

Take a moment to thank them for their beautiful sacrifice and acknowledge their impact in your life.

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