I have been really unsure about writing a post about Mother’s Day. Which angle/approach has alluded me for the past few weeks.
I had no idea why. Wasn’t writers block, I don’t classify myself as any type of writer. It wasn’t lack of inspiration, everywhere you turn there’s beautiful images of gorgeous Mum’s in new dressing gowns and fluffy slippers!
My inspiration for my blog usually hits me like a bolt of lightning! I am compelled to stop what I’m doing and get my crazy thoughts out and on my computer screen as fast as possible, this approach is a little insane, there’s no planning, it’s not well executed and can be a huge disruption to whatever I’m doing. But it works for me, this way it’s honest and authentic. Each week I managed to write a post and pop it onto my little website.
But NOT this week, for some crazy reason I was stuck! Who would have thought Mother’s Day was going to be the topic that caught me out??
So I turned to my strongest and most opinionated friend, someone who gives the most amazing advice and subsequent inspiration. I asked her “what does Mother’s Day mean to you?” She paused and looked at me, “do you want the politically correct version or the truth?” I laughed and said the truth please! We went on to discuss the topic at length and I found myself wanting to ask more Mum’s what Mother’s Day means to them.
So I did. The outcome blew me away!
Each friend I asked struggled to answer as soon as I posed the question. You could clearly see them stop and think before answering. If the question was being asked by anyone else other than a close girlfriend, I am sure they would have chosen a nice politically correct answer. But I was asking the question, the friend that you can vent to, the friend that is opinionated and the friend that has the blog! So I got answers that fascinated me.
Check them out:
“You have an expectation what the day will be and it always falls short. I give all of myself all year, every part of me and the kids don’t really care all that much on the day.”
“It’s a day about everyone else. Kids, husbands, your own Mum and your Mother-in-law and not about us.”
“My kids are too little to appreciate what it means, especially past 10am on the day, everything switches back to normal by then!”
“My husband doesn’t buy me a present, I have to do that myself! He tells me every year that I’m not his mother.”
“It’s such a disappointment. I Book where we have lunch, I organise everything and it’s just another day on the calendar, but with a tinge of disappointment.”
“It’s the worst day. You know what my perfect Mother’s Day would be. A day without my husband and kids, just me all day, wouldn’t that be brilliant!”
“It’s just like Valentines Day, it’s just a commercialised day to make us buy slippers, mugs and useless junk and to make us feel we should be doing something magical on the day. BUT who feels magical on Mother’s Day??”
At this stage I realised everyone that I had asked all had school aged kids, I had to spread my net a little further, now I was fascinated to ask Mum’s with kids of different ages to see if I got a more positive response.
Next were friends with very young kids still in nappies and pregnant with more! I expected the responses to be more warm, kind and memorable. Um no, the experiences of these Mums were more of juggling the day, time with their parents (aka their children’s Grandparents) and other family members. Families full of sisters, brothers, sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, Aunts, Uncles, Parents, In-laws, Grandparents and quite a few kiddies running around. Exhausting as one Mum put it.
Wow, I really didn’t expect the responses I was getting, time to try a new tactic! Mums with adult kids!
This was fascinating. The emotion they shared was greater. These Mums pointed out that the day can be an awful day. Mum’s who have lost pregnancies, lost babies, lost children and lost adult children can find it excruciating, there are children who have lost their Mums. Adults who’s Mum’s have also passed away.
These Mums also saw the role of Motherhood as an evolutionary process. Once you become a Mum you truly understand and appreciate the day. However the message was clear, if you still have your Mother and/or your Mother-in-law the day will not be about you. If you do make it about you it can make everything very difficult! You must wait until the baton has been passed on to you.
Just as I was losing all hope about the love we are supposed to feel on Mother’s Day I received a wonderful response from a gorgeous Mum I look up to and kinda idolise. She has adult kids and has transformed her Mother’s Day to be a celebration of all the women in the family, her, her daughters and her Mum. She draws in her Dad, her husband and her son to pay homage to the women in their lives, it is a day to celebrate the world all the women have created. The men in her family have a deep understanding and value how important having these beautiful women as part of their lives and the difference each one makes. It’s a day for all the women to feel important!
So now my take on the day. I really like the day. My husband is a big softy and takes the time to make me feel appreciated. My kids are very cute and love the day. My sister-in-law and I book lunch somewhere nice for our family and we all get together, it’s really lovely. Don’t get me wrong after lunch is over, everything clicks back to normal and the usual Sunday afternoon preparations for the week ahead commence at full steam! But I am very ok with this. I am just so thankful on the day for having my Mum, it simply is unthinkable to have it any other way. I was told in my early 20’s that having kids wasn’t going to happen for me, the universe had a very different opinion and I was blessed with the two most amazing creatures ever created (yes I am totally bias, no apologies will be given). So the day also reminds me of how completely lucky and I mean LUCKY I am to have them.
Motherhood is one hell of a challenge, no one will ever argue that point. The idea of Mother’s Day is a lovely one, however I have learnt during this past few weeks that it means so many different things to so many different people. I’m going to leave you with the best response I received, it made me smile and it’s a wonderful outlook heading into Sunday if you’re not looking forward to it.
“I’m having a Happy New Mother’s Day. I’m treating it like New Year’s Eve. A chance to make a fresh start and make changes for the better. This Mother’s Day I’m taking time to make resolutions. First, to be a happy Mum not a grumble bum! Have fun with my kids, smile, laugh, be available and enjoy being a Mum. My inspiration came from an epitaph on the grave of a Mum; “she was the sunshine of my home”. I want to be the sunshine of my home. That’s my Mother’s Day resolution, to be the happiest Mum I can be this Mother’s Day!”
Happy Mother’s Day