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The Best and Worst of Mother’s Day 2023

Some tributes go hard, others fall flat.

Mother’s Day is a day to honor mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, adoptive mothers, and maternal figures, especially those that often go under-appreciated. As such, there are a bunch of great tributes and a lot of terrible messes every year. Here are the best hits and misses of Mother’s Day 2023.

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Best Hits of Mother’s Day 2023

Catch Foods Mother’s Day ad

Of course, there were a bunch of advertisements, and I normally think ads are not the best way to celebrate mothers (see our International Women’s Day article for why), but I wanted to highlight this advertisement/short film by Catch Foods. It features a mother carefully making lunch for her daughter and sneaking it to her daughter over the school wall every day. When she goes to wash the empty tins, she finds candy left by her daughter and a note of thank you, which reduces the mother to tears.

There’s no English translation, but I feel like this is a pretty universal feeling and shows that little demonstrations of appreciation toward mothers can go a long way.

Casual Geographic’s animal kingdom moms

Casual Geographic released a video about some of the best and worst mothers of the Animal Kingdom, covering everything from elephants who are pregnant for more than a year and raise their children communally to toucans who hole themselves up in a tree to protect their young to octopuses who literally guard their eggs with their lives. Not necessarily aspirational in all cases but still, considering there’s plenty of animal parents that bail the moment the eggs are laid, it’s worth highlighting.


Many, many celebrities celebrated in a variety of ways, but one of my favorites was Keke Palmer’s stunning Mother’s Day photoshoot with her newborn son.


There were also some truly touching tributes from fathers and kids to the mothers in their lives.


Worst Misses of Mother’s Day:

Donald Trump’s same old schtick

Unfortunately, former President Donald Trump took to social media to make his Mother’s Day tribute, which didn’t even mention his current wife, Melania, or any of the other mothers of his children, much less his own mother.

Patriarchy’s same old schtick

There were also the usual stories of disinterested fathers still leaving the entire burden of parenthood on the day that was meant to celebrate and bring attention to the mental, emotional, and physical burden mothers carry. Like, it’s one day. How are you so bad at this?

That’s not to say there weren’t kids who also messed up, acting disinterested, putting in almost no effort, or even using it as a gotcha on their moms.

(Yes I know the last TikTok is a joke, but it’s still rude AF.)

Not every mother should be celebrated

That’s not to say every mother is worthy of celebrating. A lot of people are dealing with toxic, abusive mothers who can’t accept reality.

Don’t make it about your own transphobia

There was also a massive amount of transphobia online, directed at both trans mothers and children, because nothing says “Happy Mother’s Day” like saying, “My love for my children is conditional on whether they’re cis or not.”

The fact that they also want to exclude trans men and trans women from the title also makes me wonder about their thoughts on adoptive/stepmothers and whether they qualify for the role. (They seem the type to gatekeep motherhood as only being for women who have given birth.)


Our government could stand to get in the spirit

In fact, with the state of Roe v. Wade and maternal care in this country, this Mother’s Day is among the most dangerous for anyone who can become pregnant.

Regressive 101

The fact that some people are also using Mother’s Day to take a swipe at some women for prioritizing careers over motherhood is just the cherry on top.

Honestly, it’s amazing that any American women want to be mothers, but that also means we should be doing everything in our power to help good mothers.

What was your favorite meme/post from Mother’s Day? Comment below!

(featured image: Dobe/Getty Images)

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Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.