I’m sure it can’t have escaped your notice that it’s Mother’s Day this weekend. Even if you are not a mother yourself, you will have had a mother. The media would have us believe that it is all flowers and chocolates, or sometimes something expensive.
When my daughter was a baby, I was at a group with another friend. It was in a rather more salubrious area than the one we lived in, and the new mums there certainly had higher expectations of the gifts they wished to receive than we did. “As it’s my first Mother’s Day, my Mum is going to have her overnight so I can relax. I’ve seen this diamond ring, and I think it would mark this occasion really well.” My friend and I looked at each other. Clearly nothing like that would be happening in our houses!
And actually, that is not how I would want to spend Mother’s Day. For me, the point was being with my family. Each to their own, but I wanted to enjoy my daughter and spend time with her and my husband. I appreciate this is not everyone’s idea of a good day, but it was mine.
Mother’s Day is not always a day of fun and laughter. I’ve posted before about friends who have lost parents in the last year or so. Mother’s Day can bring it all of the memories flooding back. This can be a blessing, but it can also be so hard if you are missing your Mum.
Not always a happy day
And there are those who would have liked to have had children, but for whatever reason, have been unable. Mother’s Day can be truly painful for them – a slap in the face somehow. I know childless women who avoid going to church that day because often the focus seems to be honouring those who have had children to take care of. This feels like a real shame to me.
Not everyone has fond memories of their own mothers. We may not have had the best relationships in our families, and the perfect image of mother and child does not always fit with our experience. We may have wished that we were able to be closer, or that our mothers understood us better.
I don’t believe you have to be a mum to have the qualities associated with them. We all have people in our lives that care for us in a special way. If we don’t have our own mother, we may have an aunt or grandmother that loves us or nurtures us. Fathers seem to do a pretty good job, too. People such as doctors and nurses, teachers, carers, neighbours, friends, and so on, and so on. They can show love for us, even if they are not our mothers.
So on this Mother’s Day, I hope we can think of those around us who are not having such a special time. We can remember those other than our mother who care for us. And, in return, we can show our love back.
I might be indicating that spending time with people can be more satisfying than receiving presents. There was that one year when my children were 1 and 3 and by bedtime no card or flowers had been seen. I questioned my husband on this, and he said he didn’t want to just get you me present and card without involving the kids as I was their mum and not his. But for various reasons there had been no chance to sort this out with them in time. Believe me, that hasn’t happened again. Now, who would like to pass me the chocolates?
For more posts like this, follow Secrets of Heaven on Facebook
Read about how Martin Lewis lost his mum at the age of 12, and how it changed his life