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Mommy's Grounded

School letter puts an end to Mother’s Day crafts for mom

By Bianca Bujan

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and like most moms, I’m excitedly anticipating the reveal of this year’s handcrafted gifts. I love how my kids tease me with hints while vowing not to tell me what they’ve been making at school, as if I don’t know what’s coming.

Handprint flowers with floral-themed poems, clay-moulded necklaces made tirelessly by my littlest fans, or cutesy photos showing my child beaming with joy as they hold up giant letters that spell M-O-M. These handmade gifts are all that I need to celebrate this special occasion, and the look on my children’s faces when they hand me their personalized gifts, is enough to make all of the everyday challenges of motherhood worthwhile - if only for those few sweet moments.

Unfortunately for some moms, this won’t be a reality, thanks to a letter that was shared with parents at an elementary school in Mission, B.C.

The letter was sent out after a discussion amongst a group of the school’s primary teachers led to their decision to end the crafting of gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

The letter explains: “In an effort to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and also nurture our students who are part of non-traditional families, we have decided to encourage those celebrations to take place at home. Due to this, the children will not be making gifts at school to give on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We feel each family knows the best way to celebrate with their own family.”

Families come in all shapes and sizes, a reality that should be discussed both in the classroom and at home with our children on a regular basis, but banning the act of celebrating moms and dads through crafty gifts and clever quotes is hardly the way to celebrate family diversity.

Why not use this holiday as an excuse to highlight families of varying compositions instead of cancelling the celebrations altogether? Wouldn’t calling it Caregiver’s Day be an easier way to make the holiday more inclusive?

I understand that the gift-making activities for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are not part of the school curriculum, and if it’s just too time consuming for our teachers to keep up with the tradition, then cutting it out of the list of classroom activities might make sense.

But if putting an end to gift giving is solely to promote diversity, then I think there are much better ways to encourage inclusion than to exclude our children from preparing gifts in honour of their parents. Let’s stop cutting out anything that risks hurt feelings, and use the learning environment in schools to foster conversations and celebrate inclusivity.

Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, freelance writer, and marketing consultant. She tweets at @bitsofbee and blogs at bitsofbee.com. Comments: bitsofbee@yahoo.ca.