Martyr’s Day

You know, they should call Mother’s Day, Martyr’s Day. Let’s face it, the moment you held that baby in you arms, you began fine tuning the art of complete Martyrdom.

How often have you gotten up in the middle of the night with a child, remarking, “I’ll get him, honey, you’ve got to work tomorrow *sigh*.” It’s impressive, this ability to take total responsibility for way too many things just so people will appreciate us.

And even the best of us who routinely rope our husbands into household servitude manage to make sure we do more than anyone else, just so we can ensure total and complete adoration one day a year, for our life of sacrifice and often painful service.

Because even if we manage to pop a few bon bons during the day (i.e. a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips which we are instantly expected to share), this life isn’t easy: we make sure of that. As mothers, we overbook ourselves to the extreme, set standards that are unreachable even with the help of a nanny and housekeeper, then routinely beat ourselves over the head for not being as good as the next mother (who is actually as bad or worse than you, she just remembered to put on her lipstick before running car pool).

So give yourself a break this week, you deserve it. And if being a sacrificial lamb makes you feel better about your lot in life, go for it. It’s not a baaaaad idea.


  1. So true and well said. Amen sister. Hope your Sunday is great.

  2. Thanks for this. I had to go to a neighbor’s house yesterday morning–and came home totally depressed because not only was her house spotless at 9 AM (yes, she has small children), but she was dressed like June Cleaver (beaded necklace, skirt, and blouse). I was lucky to be wearing a bra at that hour.

    I came home and cleaned up a bit because I felt like crap and then consoled myself with the thought that maybe what I saw was partially an act for my benefit–after all, she knew I was coming over.

    Even if it wasn’t, a kitchen floor with no smudges won’t make me a perfect mom. Right?

  3. Thanks to you Annie, I’m going to take a bath, with a bowlful of chocolate chips (ghiradelli not Macy’s), reading a torrid romance novel, some music playing softly in the back, and all the while my children will be watching mind numbing television.

  4. Michelle says:

    Really, why do we overbook and beat up ourselves? I mean, the weekly grocery bill is 5 times what was spent on my Mother’s Day Gifts, and, like Marge Simpson says, everyone is only nice to you for the first 15 minutes of Mother’s Day!
    Hmm, where did I hide my chocolate?

  5. Did I ever mention that you’re a genius? Yes, I think I did. This is one of those posts that makes me need to say it again. You’re a genius.

  6. I love it when someone gives me license to eat a bag of chocolate chips. Oh, wait. You said a handful. Oops. Guess I should have read that post more carefully. I’ll ration them out next time. Happy Mother’s Day to us all! Where do you come up with this stuff? Seriously. You’ve got some mad writing skills, girl.

  7. Ooooh, and Martyr’s Day even SOUNDS like Mother’s Day! You are so very clever–and also so VERY right!

  8. I even folded socks this week just to assure that I get full Martyr’s Day honors.

  9. i’ve heard the word martyr twice today, now. My art history professor, in class this morning, announced to everyone that “jane is a martyr for taking his second class”…to say the least, he’s a difficult professor. So, I deserve double martyrdom this week, right?!?

  10. Everytime I think I’ve successfully forgotten Mother’s Day, some one has to go throw it back in my face. Maybe this year they’ll do everything while I do nothing?

    I can dream.

  11. well written, and I’m all about the chocolate, but make it dark chocolate please 🙂

  12. I am more martyr than I’d like to admit. And I’d also like to not admit that if my husband were the same level of martyr, I’d want to kick him. So, maybe I should learn a lesson from that?

  13. I’m no martyr…..if I’m suffering..the whole house suffers with me! lol! But I’ll cash in on my day! Enjoy yours too! 🙂

  14. Well spoken!
    The true irony is, THERE will be a day when our children will actually really appreciate us. It just takes until they get their own, energy-sucking dependents! (That sounded wierd after I wrote it, sorry)

  15. Oh Annie,I need to do a better job at visiting your Blog (it’s been so crazy for me lately) BUT I love your writing. YES –mothers are martyrs and I used to HATE HATE mothers day. Sitting in church listening to them expound on the “graces” of mothers (puke) and then the expectations of gifts and beautifully written phrases on cards about you (double puke) sorry, I am over it now though. I just wish my mom lived close enough so I could have focused on HER instead, and making her day lovely (but we were never very close, so ho hum)

  16. Kendra says:

    I really do appreciate the time I get to sleep in and the breakfast in bed, the feeling that it’s OK for me to sit around all day doing nothing while I listen to my hubby doing his best; however, it’s the next day that kills me as I try to help the house recover from me not cleaning it 20 times the day before!

  17. A. MEN. This is the ultimate Mother’s Day entry.

  18. You craaaaaack me up!

    Random: I’ve got a joke for you:

    Why are pirates so ugly?

    Because they “Rrrrrrrrr”!