Happy UnMother’s Day

Mother, on your special day, we’ve come to say – hope it’s special in every way!
– Hallmark Greetings

“Honey, I called everywhere and can’t get reservations for brunch on Mother’s Day,” my husband said apologetically.

Good thing, I thought glumly, because the last thing I want to do on Sunday is to spend the morning monitoring my kids in an all-you-can-eat buffet line. The very thought gives me heartburn. Nagging my children to use their forks, sit up straight and stop kicking the table is not how I envision my special day.

It’s not that I don’t love spending time with my husband and kids, it’s just that my ideal meal wouldn’t include pigs in a blanket and three kids on a maple sugar high. I’d rather dine on yellowtail sushi at a table for one.

“I could cook a big breakfast and we could have a nice morning all together,” my spouse offered.

That’s the problem with Mother’s Day, I brooded. Everyone expects you to spend it in the blissful bosom of your family, surrounded by kids – just like every other day. I guess I don’t really want to celebrate Mother’s Day. I want to celebrate UnMother’s Day. It’s not that I don’t adore being a wife and mother, I do. But frankly, I embrace the joys of motherhood 364 days of the year. I’d like one day for me. For 24 hours, I’d like to forget that there are three people who owe their very existence to my reproductive powers. For just one day, I’d like to toss aside the mantle of motherhood and reacquaint myself with the person I was before I had kids. The freer, thinner, younger woman who blithely thought, “Yeah, three kids seems like a good idea.”

“We could go out for an early dinner,” my husband suggested.

I don’t want to eat at a family-friendly restaurant, I silently sulked. I don’t want dinner out or breakfast in bed or flowers or cards. In fact, I don’t want to see my kids for the whole day. I want a Mother’s Day that’s all about me. Not about what will make my family feel like they have done their job as prescribed by the folks at Hallmark.

I want to hike in the woods and not worry about being back in time to drive the carpool or cook dinner. I want to ride a Harley, write a poem and sit in a movie theater from dawn to dark. I want to swim with the dolphins, soar with the eagles and dig in my garden without feeling like I should be helping with homework, matching socks or defrosting hamburger. Call me blasphemous, but on Mother’s Day, I don’t want to be a mom.

“Honey,” my husband interrupted my thoughts. “Sunday is Mother’s Day, what do you want to do?”

“Don’t worry,” I said, “I’ll take care of everything.” Then, I picked up the phone, called my favorite Japanese restaurant and made a reservation for one.

Carol Band is urging Congress to officially proclaim the second Sunday in May as UnMother’s Day. Write to her at