Every year my sister and I have been plagued by mother’s day blues. And, oh no, that dreaded day is approaching again! So I have decided to take time out to think about, first of all, why it depresses me, and secondly, to slay the dragon!
Why does it depress me?
I really do not know actually. And after all, like all other special days, it has been unscrupulously high-jacked by commerce to make money and exploit already economically challenged individuals to part with hard earned cash to buy unsuitable presents (see post on how to buy gifts) in order to give mothers worldwide the false sense that children and husbands actually give a damn. Or maybe it has something to do with my children normally completely forgetting to “honour thy mother” and omit to shower me with adoration and presents. Little critters, I say. Or is it the fact that my husband one year (and I will never let him forget it, oh no) declared that I am not his mother. Or maybe it is the fact that I do feel that most of those lovely articles in Mr Price will make eminently suitable gifts for me 😉 Very depressing indeed!
So what is it actually about?
I decided to go in search of some history to illuminate the issue. A good overview of what mother’s day is all about can be found here: http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-history.html . It is interesting to note from this article that modern day Mother’s day has actually been invented by woman. So we could argue that it is actually all a conspiracy? The article does give a basic workable definition:
“Millions of people across the globe take the day as an opportunity to honor their mothers, thank them for their efforts in giving them life, raising them and being their constant support and well wisher.”
- Let’s break this down. “Giving them life” now stretches far beyond the actual birth ritual (picture here screaming and swearing and sweaty hair) it also go as far as step mothers and adoptive mothers (picture here screaming and swearing and sweaty hair).
- “Raising them” also do not only mean feed them, dress them (you can only try), drive them around endlessly (endlessly), get them to do their homework (or do their homework), break up their cigarettes into a million pieces and let them eat it, ground them (you can only try) ban their cell phone use (you can only try), it means worry, worry, worry (and worry some more). In this day and age, and looking at it from a teachers point of view, teachers ends up being mothers to their learners as well. So this whole “raising them” scenario definitely extends beyond the traditional outlook of who is you mother exactly. (maybe I should stop here…..) But then “raising them” means that it is not only a pain in the arse kind of exercise (Mmmmm lots of exercise), it is also a spiritually uplifting experience in a kind of “up and down” kind of way.
- “Being their constant support and well wisher” – This part tends to be far easier to execute than the previous part. We do wish our children well and all we want to do is to support them. Telling this to teenagers is of course totally a waste of valuable breath and energy. But alas, they too, become adults and down the line they are punished for ever doubting us by having children of their own. And so the cycle continues.
This mother’s day is going to be different!
So what is going to be so different? This year, instead of feeling all unappreciated and ignored, I am going to chill and enjoy. I am silently going to embrace a new kind of mother’s day. One where it is not about presents (I have already conned hubby into giving me a book), attributions (will someone please remind my kids it is mother’s day) and commercial hype (chocolates makes you fat anyway), but one where I can revel in just being a mother. Thinking about all the mothers (starting with my own), who have raised me (up), supported me and wished me well. Also thinking about my children, those who have wondered in and out of my house over the years (smelly and raiding the food cupboards) and those whom I have taught. And I think I am going to stay in bed in my pyjamas, watch TV all day and read a book.
Mother’s that need’s to be mentioned with accolade:
- My mother. She has always been there for me, worrying for me, and I have not always been the best daughter.
- My sister: She is a mother extraordinaire and have always been an inspiration to me of how a mother should be. She could also sell her “evil eye” as a marvellous disciplinary tool.
- Hanlie: Hang on in there, teenagers are never easy but remember- they grow up eventually!
- Nomakeme: Thank you for being such a rock for my children. I applaud you!
“Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes, physician and poet )