Why I deserve to be left alone for Mother’s Day, and you…


Terri Rupar staff photo

I’m not going to brunch. 

That’s not how I do Mother’s Day. I want to sleep in, I want to binge “Couples Therapy,” I want to eat cheese for lunch. I want to do it all without another person talking to me or touching me or asking me for something. And that’s the plan, to chill out and not feel guilty, and not feel guilty about not feeling guilty. 

Family brunch is not a break. I want a break, and experts back me up. I called sociologists, and research supports the idea that I and other moms deserve this day alone. 

Of course, we don’t always get what we deserve, and single parents in particular are probably muttering at me right now. I get it: I am lucky I can claim this time. I am married, we are both employed and we have both been able to work from home during the pandemic. We (mostly) don’t have to work on weekends. I have just one child and she’s 7, old enough to not need constant minding. 

But that feeling of being lucky is actually kind of complicated, and a sign of how little support many parents, particularly mothers, have. 

Working moms in the United States who are better off financially tend to turn to a “discourse of luck and gratitude,” said Caitlyn Collins, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis and the author of “Making Motherhood Work,” which compares the experiences of mothers across different countries. These moms, like me, understand that they’re fortunate to be able to pay for child care or work from home — and that their ability to do that is connected to the fact that other parents cannot. 

The pandemic has heightened that feeling, but it has also made the work of parenting more intensive, more nonstop for many of us. 

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