I’d Quite Happily Opt Out Of The Heteronormative Tradition of Mother’s Day

But it’s what it means to my daughter that matters

Jae L
6 min readMay 6, 2021


Photo by quokkabottles on Unsplash

My daughter loves mother’s day and at eleven years old, still manages to get excited about it.

She doesn’t see the hollow glorification of motherhood or blatant commercial racket that I see. She sees it through the prism of her own experiences which thankfully, are different to mine.

It never really resonated with me when I was growing up. It could have been because my mother fell so short of the loving, nurturing mother that lived in the mother’s day catalogues. I just never felt like I could own it.

Mother’s day has a particular significance for my daughter because she has two mothers. She’s also an only child of separated parents so there’s a lot she has to be across. I’m proud to say that she has risen to the challenge.

In years gone by she’s been the last one left at the school mother’s day stall, enlisting parent volunteers to guide her on the optimum acquittal of her $20 budget.

This year she’s arranged our gifts well ahead of time — one of them was even ordered online. That’s the one hiding in my house. I trust her other mother has held up her end of the conspiratorial bargain.

LGBTQ parents have to have discussions with their kids’ school that other parents don’t have to have. It’s annoying that we still have to do this but it’s better than being swallowed up by heteronormative assumptions that the family at home includes a mother and father.

My daughter has been her own best advocate throughout school, proud of her family and sorry for the kids who haven’t been exposed to family diversity. She does a lot of educating.

Each year she’s just got on with making two cards for mother’s day. It’s never occurred to her not to. She’s followed our approach of talking about our family as though it’s the most normal thing in the world. Because it is.

But it can be tiring when your family is something that has to be explained

LGBTQ parents continue to be burdened with explaining their families especially around those flashpoints of family tradition: mother’s day and…



Jae L

Queer, neurodivergent and in the business of defying expectations. Doing my best to answer the questions I keep asking myself. diverge999@gmail.com