I just deleted a litany of reasons “Mother’s Day” is problematic.
Instead, I would rather take us on a journey, a rabbit hole, of archetypes, and, specifically, the archetype of The Mother.
A quick one sentence “what is she talking about” explanation: Carl Jung, an early psychologist, believed that all humankind shared a “collective unconscious” aka ideas we are born with about a person or role that is found across all cultures and languages.
The Mother is an archetype (there are several). Regardless of your feelings on the collective unconscious, or psychology in general, it is inarguable that throughout recorded history, as well as in prehistoric times, across diverse cultures, a “mother” role with remarkably similar duties and attributes is identifiable. Similarly, diverse spiritual and religious practices recognize a “mother” role.
Words emerge that describe this “mother” role: nurturing, present, attentive, caring, persistent- also stubborn, wrathful.
Throughout mythology, and modern spiritual and religious traditions, the “mother” is fertility, newness, growth- and also incomparable destruction.
Stepping backwards from the Mother’s Day cards, brunches, gifts; from problematic stereotypes, assumptions, political correctness and commercialism- the purpose of a “Mother’s Day” becomes, to me, clearer. To look within ourselves, and in our own circle of loved ones, to acknowledge these traits and characteristics holistically- is valuable.
Happy Mother’s Day.