Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Mama Bear Moxie: Not your Mother’s Day

By Kristina Phelan For The Spokesman-Review

Mother’s Day is a day to stop and appreciate the mothers or motherly figures in your life. It is a day to pamper and show some extra love to the one in the family who usually is the last to be served, the last to taken care of and the last to be seen. A day to focus on the person who makes sure everyone else is well cared for above her own needs.

I don’t live close to any other family, so the second Sunday of May in my household is pretty great. It is quiet and involves some spoiling as well as a few phone calls to the other mothers in my family. In smaller communities, where multiple generations live in close proximity, Mother’s Day is an entirely different event. Last year, I overheard a conversation where a young mother was asked, “What are your plans for Mother’s Day?” and she quickly responded, “Oh, it’s not my Mother’s Day. Its grandma’s day. Maybe one year I will get a Mother’s Day.”

My heart was so sad. I could tell that she was ragged with little ones at home and a day to be spoiled was greatly needed. Here in the Midwest, you’ll find multiple generations of families living in or near the same small community, which is what makes the culture so special.

This close proximity would definitely have its advantages: there is always a helping hand when you need it, always someone who can come babysit and always lots of food, love and laughter during holidays. However, I would imagine that it also comes with some disadvantages: having to always share or split up your holidays between sides of the family and lack of privacy. The advantages would definitely outweigh the disadvantages, but the idea that a young mother has to wait to have a true Mother’s Day until she’s a grandma is sort of sad.

I understand all mothers should be honored on Mother’s Day, and that getting multiple mothers together would be the best way to do so. But I found this mom’s comment also yearning for something: the opportunity to have her own day. If you have found yourself in this situation, I encourage you to fight for yourself. Set aside some special time where you can do whatever you want to do. If you don’t feel comfortable foregoing the normal festivities, then make up your own Mother’s Day! Heck, why not make Saturday your day? Declare it a Mother’s Day Weekend and take advantage of opportunity to be pampered.

No matter the day, every mother should be able to have their own day, sans relatives, to take time to be recognized for their sacrifice and relentless care of the family.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you fellow moms out there. You are amazing and your work doesn’t go unnoticed.

Kristina Phelan is a former Spokane-area resident now living in Illinois. www.mamabear Visit her website at