Once again it is time for us, individually and as a society, to pay honor to the 82.5 million women out there who have done their biological part to part to perpetuate the species (and, particularly, the American portion of said species.) Mothers around the country will be awakened Sunday morning to breakfast in bed, taken out to sumptuous buffets, received heartfelt cards and be showered with lavish presents.
(That the breakfast will most likely be burned and spilled, the buffet overcrowded and out of shrimp, the card the result of at least 30 intense seconds spent perusing the best schmaltz the Hallmark people could mass produce and the presents handmade by seven year olds with limited manual dexterity, of course, only makes the day all the more personal and sweet.)
Yes, we Americans really know how to show old Mom (note: mom’s do not like to be called old) just how much we really, truly and deeply care about them. That’s why America ranks (big foam finger ready, patriots?) 42nd in maternal mortality rates! Thanks to our concerted effort we have fewer moms dying to become moms than in 130 other countries! (So what if American moms have a 10 times greater risk of dying than Irish moms do? DO the Irish take their mom’s to Home Town Buffet? So there.)
Who cares if the latest Save The Children survey found that the US comes in 28th in the list of best countries to be a mother in, behind the likes of former Eastern European Communist states Latvia and Slovenia ? Do the Slovenian kids give their moms T-shirts with family pictures on them?
And so what if the United States is one of the only countries in the world (along with Lesotho, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea plus the Aussies and the Kiwis) that doesn’t provide guaranteed paid maternity leave to new mothers? It’s not all of our responsibilities to pay goldbricking women for being careless or foolish enough to get pregnant and produce the next generation, after all. Yeah, the Swedes may give their moms up to 450 paid maternity days but do they give them Hallmark cards with cute kittens on them? Written in English? I think not.
Yes, moms, we love you so much it hurts. Of course, the hurt is yours, not ours. Yours and your babies. We seem to let a lot of them die, too.
They say you put your money where you’re mouth. Well, there is no day of the year that allows us as a nation to more clearly declare just how we feel than on Mothers Day. So take the $126.90 we’ll spend on average on you moms out there in lieu of universal pre and postnatal care and guaranteed paid maternity leave. Take it with a mother’s smile. Then get back to work Monday because your not being paid to have kids, you know. Oh, and next time you do have a kid, American moms, try not to die doing it. Okay?
You’re making the rest of us look bad.