I am always mindful as Mother’s Day approaches, of all of the people that for whatever reason, don’t have a mum in their lives. Some by choice, some by tragedy. My heart goes out to everyone who longs to be a mum but is sadly not.
I don’t agree with the concept of ‘Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day’ etc. I am a mother every day. I don’t want to appreciate my own mother just on one day. But like most people, I get well and truly sucked into these purely commercial events.
When I became a single mum to a very young baby, the thought of Mother’s Day used to upset me. Other Mother’s were enjoying cards, flowers, homemade gifts, relaxing baths, lie ins and breakfast in bed. I wouldn’t be getting anything. But as much as reality hits home and I know I don’t need a card or gifts, I secretly long for them. Not from a materialistic perspective but from a “being a single parent is overwhelming, someone tell me I am doing a good enough job raising my son” perspective.
As I write this, I am aware of how ludicrous it sounds! I am a mother. I love my son. He loves me. I do the best I can for him. We don’t need anything more. But when something like Mother’s Day is thrust in your face my logical reasoning somewhat disappears!
The stress of getting a gift for my mother is enormous. There is nothing I can buy that will demonstrate how thankful I am for her love and devotion to me and her Grandson. How grateful I am to her for nursing me through cancer and most importantly nurturing my son when I couldn’t. “Don’t buy me flowers” always falls on deaf ears! So I turn up on Mother’s Day with a bunch of crap, disappointed in myself for not planning something very ‘special’ for one of the most deserving women I know.
When logical reasoning resumes, my head and my heart tell me that I am the luckiest mummy in the world. I am a mummy every single day. I don’t need breakfast in bed, my son and I are just fine eating cheerio’s on the sofa! I don’t need a spa day because I love nothing more than swimming with my son. I don’t need a relaxing, peaceful bath because I would miss my boy sitting on the toilet chatting away to me, showing me all of his toys and singing songs! I don’t need shop brought flowers because the love I see in my sons eyes when he picks me a daisy from the garden is phenomenal. There should be a day for “Luckiest person in the whole world, all day, everyday” . And a “Well done for getting through another day” day. Or even “You are doing the best you can” day!
Do we really need a Mother’s Day? Family types are changing. Families headed by single Dad’s and same sex parents are on the increase. Most of these ‘Days’ exclude members of society. All in the name of money making. But as hypocritical as ever, I have shop bought cards so that my son can write his name in and give to me on Mother’s Day. I even coaxed him into making me a Mother’s Day plate at a pottery workshop which I will open on Mother’s Day and squeal with delight at his masterpiece!
My deepest sympathy goes out to those who will grieve for their mothers on Mother’s Day. Those who are gone, missed but never forgotten. As I attend a funeral of a young mother on Friday I will be mindful that Mother’s Day will not be a ‘Happy Mother’s Day‘ for her children on Sunday. Not a day goes by that I don’t remind myself how lucky I am to be Rory’s mummy. And that without my own mum’s love, patience and kindness we wouldn’t be where we are today.
So whatever family you have, whether you celebrate Mother’s Day or not, parenting can be very hard. For the single parents out there, I’ve lived to tell the tale through extreme circumstances. Take small steps and reward yourselves for getting through another day. If nobody is around to tell you how important and amazing you are, I am telling you!