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Why I Skip Mother’s Day

Peggy Browning’s honesty and questions about her maternal skills are something most mothers can understand. What mother hasn’t questioned the job she’s done? Read more from Peggy on her blog, Peg’s Wonderful World.

I usually skip Mother’s Day. It’s my least favorite remembrance/holiday/reason for buying cards of the whole year. I prefer Halloween over all other holidays. That probably explains a lot about me.

The reason I skip Mother’s Day is because I feel unworthy of all the laudatory praises that are  heaped upon mothers. I wasn’t the worst mother of all time. But I also haven’t been the very best.

Why I Skip Mother's Day

Is there a prize for a Just Okay Mother? Maybe I could qualify for that.

I don’t go to church very often these days. But even when I did go to church on a regular basis, I tried to skip the Mother’s Day service. That whole chapter in Proverbs  about godly mothers sparks a lot of guilt in me.

I think most mothers probably share my worry about not being a good enough mother. Did I do my best? Did I give enough? Did I love enough?

We may or may not be guilty of being a bad mother. It’s possible that good mothers, or at least acceptably good mothers, are the ones who worry about it the most. Really terrible mothers probably don’t know they’re terrible or possibly they just don’t care.

I’m not sure, however, since I’m one of the ones who worry about it. And I do care that I wasn’t the very best kind of mother even though there is nothing I can do to change it now.

Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together. ~Pearl S. Buck

  • I yelled at my kids. Often.
  • I spanked my kids when I thought it was necessary. I probably thought it was necessary more times than it actually was.
  • I ate their Easter and Halloween candy.
  • I forgot their lunch money and their book club money and their field trip money.
  • I didn’t buy them the very best clothes.
  • I was impatient.
  • I was a big jerk at times and a big softie at other times.
  • I put my needs before theirs sometimes.
  • I interrupted them when they needed me to listen.
  • I scolded when they needed my understanding.
  • I was often too self-absorbed to pay enough attention to them. And that was long before iPhones or texting.

And, oh my god, I made so many more mistakes. But all that time…I loved them. I wasn’t the best mother…but I tried.  I wasn’t perfect.

I merely  hope I was a good enough mother.

I felt bad about it then. I still feel bad about it now.

So…on Mother’s Day…please spare me all the praises and the Bible verses and the glory and the flower arrangements. I feel guilty enough already.

If you’re my child just call me and tell you love me…in spite of it all. That’s all I truly want.


Peggy Browning

Peggy Browning is the author of Heart & Soul Food: Tales of Food, Friends, and Family, The View Through My Rose-Colored Bifocals, and Square Peg's Words of Wisdom. She is a freelance journalist for All her books are available through Her blog is Peg's Wonderful World at

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Leisa Hammett

Thursday 7th of May 2015

Well. Wow. That is honest. And a bit painful. I'm guilty of some of those. The first thing I thought of when I finished it is how people want to glorify special needs mothers. In our case, most of us do what we need to do. What we are capable of doing. What we know to do at the time....

Peggy Browning

Thursday 7th of May 2015

One day at a time, Leisa Hammett. We're just all trying to do the best we can do! Thank you for reading this.

Rosemarie kury

Thursday 7th of May 2015

I totally agree, especially if you were a working mom. My daughter who lives out of state showers me with gifts, but then I feel guilty! I'd much prefer a nice card and a phone call, but then I remember my own mom scolding that I spent too much money, and a card would do so I zip up my lips and just say thanks. Mother's Day is also a downer for me because if your mother is deceased, then you look back and feel more guilt on how you treated her, especially when I was a teen. Regrets!

Peggy Browning

Thursday 7th of May 2015

Yes, Rosemarie Kury, I was a working mom. Sometimes I worked a full-time job with a part-time one on the side. We sometimes set standards so high that we can never meet them. Thank you for reading. :)


Thursday 7th of May 2015

I'm not a mother, and I still identified with this one. I guess that means you've mastered the art of striking chords in people's hearts via the universality of good literature. Or something like that. I started just to say "fabulous."

Peggy Browning

Thursday 7th of May 2015

Thank you, Hanaba. That means a lot to me.

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