I don’t celebrate mother’s day

I don’t celebrate mother’s day. For one, I’m confused as to what is actually celebrated on mother’s day. The fact that a woman is not “only” a woman anymore, but now also a mother (=a woman’s deed to society)? Children honouring their mother’s hard work? Men appreciating the work their partner does in raising their offspring?

Whatever it is, it just doesn’t sound quite right to me.

#1: A woman being a mother

If we celebrate mother’s day because of #1, women becoming mothers, then I disagree with the celebrations because a woman can be much more than a mother and shouldn’t have to define herself solely by the fact that or if she is a mother.

#2: Children honouring their mother

If celebrating mother’s day means reminding children to honour their mother, then I also disagree. For one, not every mother (parent/caregiver) provides a nurturing relationship to their children. For another, if a mother works on having an honest and working relationship with her children (because that is what she wants to do, not what she’s supposed to do), then there’s no need for celebrating mother’s day because the relationship will be a mutual one. Her children will remember to call her up or visit her or nourish that relationship in other ways, and not only on one day of the year. It puts mother’s into a box, and children too (“every mother has to be of the ‘mothering type’, and every child has to honour their mother, no matter the relationship”).

#3: Men appreciating a woman’s work

If this is about #3, then I think we still have to go a long way until we have reached a point where men and women are more equal in regards to raising their children and sharing household chores. A partner making coffee or breakfast for you on mother’s day and taking the kids out so you get to enjoy some alone time is a nice gesture, but hardly enough compensation for all the work a woman might put into keeping things running on most other days of the year.

I don’t celebrate mother’s day

I don’t celebrate mother’s day and my husband knows that. I don’t not celebrate it because of its commercialisation. You can still celebrate a non-commercialised mother’s day if that is what you prefer.

I don't celebrate mother's day

Yesterday, I made English breakfast and my husband washed the dishes. Today, he made Japanese breakfast in exchange and I washed the dishes. I prefer it that way. No congratulating me to my “happy mother’s day”. We’re not totally equal in regards to who currently does more household chores (this one is also connected to the fact that we don’t have the same amount of free time), but we both make an effort. As to my relationship with our son, I try to have a respectful relationship with him and hope to thereby nourish his being respectful of himself and others. The relationship between a mother and her child is a personal one that doesn’t need to be shown off to the world or even just the inner family circle (together with a few hundred million other people) on one special day. I honestly don’t care if my son will ever give me anything for mother’s day. To me, that’s not what our relationship is about.

Do you celebrate mother’s day? Why or why not? I’d love to read your thoughts on this.

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Hi, I'm Ruth, welcome to China Elevator Stories! I have been living in Kunming and Shenzhen in the past and am now staying in Northeast China with my Chinese husband and our baby and toddler son. Join us on our journey bridging worlds!


  1. There are years when I would happily do away with Mother’s Day, but that’s because mine died when I was a teenager. I think a lot of Mother’s don’t get appreciated for many of their thankless tasks, and so it’s nice to have a day where their work is acknowledged.

    But it is very hard on those mothers who have lost children and the children who have lost mothers.

    • Yeah, I can only imagine that this will be even harder if you have lost your mother or child. I do agree that a lot of mothers don’t get appreciation for the thankless tasks many do on a daily basis, but the idea behind what I have written is that a child or husband will show that appreciation in other ways and on other days if they appreciate that work and have a working relationship.

  2. We celebrated it when I was smaller as it got kind of propagated in kindergarten and primary school. After growing up, I realized that loving and appreciating my mom/parents is not limited to one day of the year only anyway, so we stopped to “celebrate” it long long time ago.

  3. Drew

    I call my mother and say thanks for being a great lady and friend. If I’m in the same city, I’ll take her out for coffee. I also celebrate Fathers’ Day the same way, where I’ll call my dad or go do something with him he likes to do.

    I agree that equitable splits of the household chores should be the rule, not the exception. It amazes me not everyone sees it that way.

    • I’m sure you appreciate their work not only on those two days, so that’s what counts! I don’t think household chores can be split a 100% equally, but it’s important to communicate about who does what and try to make it kind of equal (and adjust if the situation changes).

    • Rice, shrimps, veggies, flowers, wasabi, the little “bag” was made of an egg omelette (or whatever you’d call that). It’s actually rather complicated, but hubby likes to make it from time to time because it’s delicious.

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