As I sit staring at my beautiful flowers from Mothers Day from my husband (which ironically are kept in the outside room behind glass doors as my husband gets dreadful hay fever from fresh flowers!) I am thinking about what Mothers’ Day really is all about.
The bottom line, I think, is that it is different for every mother. We all bring a slightly different perspective and take a way a slightly different meaning from the day’s / week’s events but for me it’s this.
Being a Mother is really hard. Not because our kids are hard, or difficult or demanding (although at times they are all those things!) but because there really is no adequate training or forewarning for motherhood! Noone can tell you how your kids’ lives are going to unfold and what that will mean for you. Noone can tell you how to respond in times of challenge or heart break they experience (or you experience). Noone can really explain just how much having children will change you and your life. From the good, bad, wonderful, terrible, boring, mundane, delightful to the horrifying.
The day we ‘celebrate’ is, for me, totally artificial because how can a bunch of flowers, a lovely meal and last minute panic buying presents really capture, and fully acknowledge, everything we do? Clearly, it can’t.
But I am fine with that.
It really won’t be until the children have their own children and that they can possibly, really deeply understand how hard Motherhood can be. And nor do I really expect them to understand or really appreciate what we do. Yes, they are well mannered and have learnt to say thank you for the car trips, packed lunches, clean clothes and last minute trips to the uniform or stationery shop. But really, I don’t want them to feel that being their mother is somehow burdensome. They didn’t ask to be born, it was my choice and so I can’t ‘blame them’ for being children. Just as they are learning how to be young adults and teenagers, I am continuing to learn how to be the best mother I can be.
Sometimes I do really well, other days, not so well.
So on Mothers’ Day, as lovely as it is, and I do enjoy the lovely things from the kids and husband, it’s really a quiet nod from one mother to another mother as if to say, ‘keep going, you’re doing the very best you can and I see and know what Motherhood really means’. It’s why communing with other mothers on this day is actually so important. Because even though everyone’s journey in motherhood is different, we share a bond of uncertainty, for them and their futures, and hope, that both we and they, will find the resilience and courage to continue moving forwards regardless of what comes their way.
In the meantime, as my husband is away, I might just bring those flowers inside and enjoy their fragrance while I can!!