Mother's Day seems like such a great idea, but for single moms it rarely delivers. Who's going to bring us breakfast in bed—a toddler?
There are many paths to single motherhood, and I think among my friends we cover them all. Whether we were surprised by motherhood, by divorce, or just by everything that came after the sperm bank, one thing we all share is that Mother’s Day is not all it's cracked up to be. That’s not because we don’t love being mothers—being Mom is the part we love best. And the concept of celebrating motherhood is a fine thing. But being responsible for teaching someone else—someone small and self-centered—to make a fuss over us? That feels like more trouble than it's worth. Or, to put it as concisely as one of my friends does, “Kids ruin Mother’s Day.”
Of course we're joking. Kind of. How could kids ruin a day all about our joy in having them? Maybe it's because Hallmark builds this thing up as big as Valentine's Day and makes us think that someone is supposed to shower us with champagne breakfasts and roses. In a two-parent home, the responsibility for living up to that fantasy at least falls on an adult. Of course, friends readily tell me how often the adult can fall short (I don't think the Mother's Day deep fat fryer episode ended my one friend's marriage, but it clearly didn't help). Enough dads do seem to get it right, though, to leave a single mom feeling like she's alone in a world of mimosa drinkers come Sunday morn.