Surviving Mother’s Day

Dear childless friends, the Mother’s Day assault is on. In the course of three minutes of channel surfing the morning shows, I came across gifts for “Mom,” a Mother’s Day breakfast cooking demo, and two TV show hostesses wishing each other “Happy Mother’s Day.” It’s enough to drive a childless woman nuts, especially if she didn’t exactly choose to be childless. Do I hear an AMEN?

I jotted down a few suggestions for surviving this holiday.

* Either avoid the television until after Mother’s Day or record the shows you want to watch and skip the commercials. Or, watch DVDs until it’s over.

* Instead of dwelling on your own lack of children, honor the women who are mothers in your life–your mother, grandmothers, sisters, friends and others. By taking the attention off yourself, you may be able to put a positive spin on Mother’s Day.

* Buy yourself a gift. You know you deserve it.

* If you have stepchildren, don’t expect them to show up bearing gifts. They’re busy with their real mother and probably won’t even think about you. Don’t take it personally.

* Avoid restaurants and mom-oriented events. Get away from it all by going hiking, to the gym, to a movie, to the dog park, or something else where the emphasis is not on moms and their children. I’m attending a poetry conference this weekend.

Here’s another suggestion, and this is important. If you really feel that your life will be ruined if you never have kids and that your partner will never understand, perhaps it’s time to think about giving him an ultimatum: If we can’t conceive or adopt a child together, I’m out of here. Do it while you still have time. For me, I think Fred was worth the sacrifice, but that’s not always the case.

Overall, try not to feel sorry for yourself. If necessary, duck and cover until it’s over. Happy, um, Monday.

I’d love to hear your suggestions.