I have the best mom in the world. Nothing makes me happier than to write a nice blog post discussing how wonderful she is. Yet many a blogger will spend the next week wondering, pondering, and agonizing over this difficult question: What do I write for Mother’s Day? One of the most precious and nuanced holidays of them all.
And nuanced is not really a blogger’s thing.
You see, we like flashy and attention getting. You don’t get followers for being right, but for being interesting. Keeping things interesting on Mother’s Day is a challenge.
The cynical approach is very flashy. Lambast motherhood as an institution and hang out all of the dirty laundry from your childhood. Tell all those things that your mom failed you in and then exaggerate (we are blogging after all) the impact. By the end of that post the UN will be voting on human rights violations against your mother. I hope she likes the Hague.
While this approach may get you followers, it presents the very real difficulty that your own mother probably reads your blog occasionally. She will certainly read it when reporters start calling her about her recent human rights violations. Let’s face it, your life gets pretty rough after your mom sees that blog post.
So you decide to go with the more sentimental approach. Besides, you like your mom and unless you write a recipe blog, she cooks better than you do. Yes, you will write the sweetest, sappiest, lovey-dovey blog post ever.
But you run into trouble right from the start. First, you realize that you became a blogger because you are a cynical malcontent and this temperament does not lend itself to sweetness. Second, because of your previous work, everyone will know that this sappy post is simply an attempt to remain invited to Thanksgiving (this charge is difficult to resist because it is true). Third, you are still a cynical malcontent. Fourth, all of the arts that lend themselves to happy feelings like poetry and music are not generally practiced by bloggers. Fifth, you actually are more interested in the upcoming Godzilla movie than you are in Mother’s Day.
Thus, your dilemma. What should you say? Never fear, my friend.
First, let us reverse engineer Mother’s Day. Stop asking what your mother wants out of Mother’s Day and ask what it is YOU want out of Mother’s Day. Let’s be real, you want to maintain your relationship with your mom. The process of maintenance was going just fine until a day with these….expectations…arrived. Suddenly, you know she wants special treatment. So to maintain your relationship with her means putting extra effort into that day.
But you would have become a reporter or an author if you wanted to actually WORK HARD on writing. No, you want to put the minimum effort in. The trick lies in finding an appropriate tone for your blog post that doesn’t feel insincere and yet allows you to say something nice to your mom. Remember, Thanksgiving may be on the line.
The post will need to be sufficiently long. People (and by people, I mean your mom) often feel that length means you put more effort in and thus, have made a more meaningful post for her. You can probably fill that length with the usual meaningless banter that you fill most other blog posts with, just make a reference to motherhood every few sentences. She probably doesn’t like your blog anyway so hopefully she will skim.
Remember that she will read the opening sentence, so be careful that it is appropriately sweet (I know it’s hard, just do it). Try to avoid references throughout to plagues, death, terrorism, wars, and your hygiene habits. It is difficult to even pretend you have a sweet blog post for your mother with content like that.
Finally, the most important part. Work hard to make the last line count. It is safer to keep it generic, but not too generic. For this, I think you will need to know your mom and tailor the final line specifically for her. Remember that for the effort you are putting into this post, you can avoid spending actual money on something for your mom. You’re a blogger so you are cheap, poor, or both. Think of this as a chance to save serious money and then you can write a whole post later about those wimps that covered their lack of sentiment up with an enormous amount of flowers. What losers!
And that is all you need. Keep it simple. Keep it cynical. Keep your ending good.
Thanks Mom! I love you and I’m so glad you’re my mom!
P.S. All joking aside. I do love my mom very much and remain hopeful that I am still invited to Thanksgiving.