The pending arrival of another Mother’s Day in the United States means that the marketing of a certain level of guilt will be a good thing, primarily for restaurants and other eateries. A number of other nations also recognize the important role of mothers with a special day, though the psychology among many Americans is that between the two days devoted to each parental unit, the value of mothers exceeds that of fathers.
First celebrated in 1910, the day has been one in which the concept of relieving mothers from the drudgery of cooking often means eating out. Of course, that image is somewhat archaic, considering that the holiday was established when only a small portion of women held jobs that may have interfered with their role as homemaker.
Psychoanalyst Patrick Mahony notes that there can be a level of absurdity and hypocrisy attached to children that use that day to honor their mother. The emotional conflict between a mother and child can be such that little interaction between the two occurs during the course of a year. However, recognition by that son or daughter on Mother’s Day allegedly wipes the slate clean on any rancor that may have previously existed.
Other emotions related to anger toward that parent or sadness may also surface at some point. With respect to the anger, Patrick Mahony notes that past disputes that weren’t officially resolved can fester enough that the ritual only causes that son or daughter to feel anger. In addition, the death within the previous year of a mother brings about inevitable pangs of sadness about her absence.
The level of fanfare directed toward Mother’s Day often has a tendency to dissipate by the following month, with Father’s Day receiving a much more modest acknowledgement by comparison.