Last week, I had two #parentingfails. I missed both #Nationaldaughtersday and #Nationalsonsday. In my defense, I had no clue there were such days. That is until I scrolled down my Facebook feed and saw an #insane amount of mothers and fathers proudly posting pictures of their #offspring. How did these mothers and fathers know it was #Nationaldaughtersday and #Nationalsonday? I’ve been a mother for 15 years now, and I’ve never heard of these ‘special’ days, with their own hashtags. And I work at a parenting website!
Of course, I hopped on the social media bandwagon and posted photos of my daughter with the hashtag #Nationaldaughtersday, and my son, with the hashtag #Nationalsonsday, each a day late. But I started to wonder….who is in charge of these viral hashtags that make parents feel guilty if they don’t participate, didn’t know about these days, or were late to the game? I felt guilty for not knowing these two parenting hashtag days were even a thing. Then again, it seems that every day there’s a new National Day with a #hashtag, every day, doesn’t it?
Did you know, for example, that there is a National Taco Day? A National Vodka Day? A National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day? (I’m not making these days up!) Some of these days are so random, like, Talk Like A Pirate Day (although that sounds like #fun.) There’s Go Barefoot Day, which was started by an organization that gives shoes to underprivileged kids. The woman behind Pen Pal Day is a pen pal enthusiast. So there are reasons for some of these days, even if they are incredibly random.
Again, who the hell comes up with these “special days?” Who is the person, or people, responsible for declaring such days, as National Daughter and National Son Day? Can anyone make up a national days? Can I? Or do I need to fill out some sort of form? Should I talk to my local MP to make it official? You know, “Hi! My name is Rebecca and I’d like November 21st to be #NationalAvocadoDay (Why? Well, I simply like #avocados!)
When it comes to parenting, these #hashtag days don’t offend or annoy me. I love seeing parents showing their offspring off with pride. But, these days, there does seem to be a #hashtag day for everything #parenting, and, while fun, it reminds me of summer camp or school dress up days, when you madly try to get your kids hair sticking up for wacky hair day, or madly scramble to find an orange shirt for Orange Shirt Day, because you forgot.
I couldn’t for the life of me find the origin of National Son’s and Daughter’s Day. I also failed at #nationaldaughtersday and #nationalsonsday because – who knew? – I was apparently supposed to do more than just post a photo of them on their #hashtag days. I was supposed to celebrate them! I was supposed to spend more time with them! (Because celebrating them 364 days a year, apparently, isn’t enough!)
It did seem like every parent, on or around September 27th, posted photos of their children on social in honour of #Nationaldaughtersday. And why did we all participate, or break down and post? According to this site, We just can’t help it.
“Humans are social creatures, and we all have some genetic programming that encourages us to bond with others. Kids are certainly no exception. From their first breaths to their first steps and their first words, children form deep bonds with their parents and caretakers, and we, in turn, form deep bonds with them. For all the crap they put us through, we just can’t help loving our kids. It’s science.”
Science? Really? Or are these days just another excuse to brag and post photos of our offspring? Because, let’s face it, even though I loved seeing everyone’s children, I’m also like, “But…isn’t every day kid day!??”
One author missed Daughter’s Day a couple years ago. (I still can’t find out what year this day actually started.)
She writes, “I have had daughters for more than 20 years and had never heard of it…And I’ll be honest, to begin with, I ignored it. I thought it was like Short-Girls Day and National Dog Day and we would all soon start to celebrate it at least twice a month on Facebook. But this was not the case. Over the course of a few days, I saw so many sweet posts to daughters that I started feeling guilty.”
Oops! I missed #nationalsonsday #parentingfail
It’s true, you do feel guilty for not posting cute captions telling our virtual friends how much we love our kiddos – even though they may just be learning to find their ears, or are old enough to be parents themselves – when everyone else is doing it. It almost makes you feel like you’re forgetting your own kids actual birthday simply because you’re one day late posting a photograph on social with a hashtag on a day you never knew existed in the first place!
Alas, it seems that this holiday is #unique and #special. “An individual holiday like a child’s birthday is only special for one child, and communal holidays like Christmas or summer vacation don’t really focus on anybody in particular. But National Son and Daughter Day focuses on our children — all of our children, and only our children.”
It’s also a #hashtag day that very many know the meaning of, or why we were posting photos of our kids all day long.
The most I could find about National Daughters Day and the initial reason it was created, was to erase the stigma in some countries attached to having a girl instead of a boy child. “But in developed countries, Daughters Day is a day to celebrate the joy and wonder of having a baby girl and raising a daughter.’
Another site says the history of Daughter’s Day agreed that it “was initiated in an attempt to remove the stigma attached to a girl child. This trend has been quite vicious in a developing country like India, where it even leads to infanticides. Parents share their feelings that it is indeed blessed to have a beautiful girl child on this happy occasion.”
And, who knew this little tidbit? Holly McGuire is the editor-in-chief of something called, Chase’s Calendar of Events – an actual reference book and publisher of major holidays and special days, weeks and months. Chase’s publishes existing “currently observed” hashtag holidays, that have been celebrated for a while and have a significant following.” The site receives 10,ooo requests for National holidays a year. They accept between 20 and 25 new #celebrations.
So who’s in charge of these hashtag days that go viral with their hashtags? Most of these national days are recent inventions that have spread around on social media, and we all just follow along because, well, everyone else is. They are kind of fun. So next time you forget National Boyfriends Day, National Best Friend Day, National I Love You Day, National Siblings Day, National Brothers Day, National Family Day, National Girlfriends Day, National Parents Day, don’t fret. There are so many other days to celebrate. Personally, I’m thinking of declaring a #nohashtaghashtagday!
Do you have a favourite National Day?
(P.S. #National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day doesn’t sound so bad to me!)
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