I called my father on Sunday to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. He chuckled and said, “It’s nice of you to remember. Not many people celebrate Father’s Day.” My son had said something like that when I asked him if he and his family were planning anything special for Father’s Day: “No, Father’s Day is just like any other day.” Taken together, their comments made me wonder, do we honor our mothers more than our fathers? Are these kinds of holidays more important to women than to men?
This week’s journal writing prompts help you to consider your own values about mothers and fathers, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day holidays, and holidays in general.
- Do you tend to emphasize one over the other or make equal efforts to celebrate Mother’s Day and/or Father’s Day? (If both parents are not living, answer this question as it was in the past.)
- Freewrite for ten minutes regarding your feelings about the Mother’s and Father’s Day holidays. Anything goes.
- Pick one of the statements or feelings you expressed in your freewriting session and write further about it. Use this prompt: What did I mean by …..?
- How do you feel about your mother compared with how you feel about your father? Write about the feelings (history) behind the feelings, as well as how you feel about your feelings (conflicted, guilty, contented, grateful, etc.).
- Do you think that holidays to honor certain people in our lives (mothers, fathers, grandparents, Valentine’s Day, bosses, secretaries, and so on) are important or merely commercial (some people cynically call them “Hallmark Holidays”)? Why or why not? What experiences in your life have influenced your attitudes about these holidays. Describe your most memorable (negative or positive) holiday of this sort.
- What are the best ways of letting people know you appreciate them? Cards? Flowers? Actions? Other ways? Describe how you express your love and appreciation to people in your life. How do you feel you could improve or extend that expression of appreciation?
- How do you feel about being on the receiving end of these types of holidays? How do you feel when you are not acknowledged? What do you want and expect from others? What do you wish for? Looking back, what is the most satisfying and/or memorable holiday where you were the person being honored.
Americans love making up holidays. We have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Secretary’s Day, Boss’s Day, Sweetest Day, and many more. Exploring the events and background underlying how you feel about these occasions can help you understand more about yourself. And understanding yourself helps you take control of your future.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.