March 14th 2021 in the UK was Mother’s Day. A day when children get to thank their Mum’s for …. well, being their Mum. Everyone has a different take on today. Some use it to make up for the rest of the year and go overboard with lavish gifts and expensive flowers, whereas others prefer to avoid it all-together and choose not to participate. But for the general average I’d say that most make an effort to see their mum, to tell her that they love and appreciate her – whether that’s by words, a card, a phone call or some hand delivered flowers.
This year, like last we are living with the restrictions of National Lockdown, which tells us that we cannot mix socially nor travel. So many mum’s won’t get to see their children today and that must be so disappointing not just for the mum but for the adult children too who don’t get to see their mum as they’d normally have got to do. There are mum’s in care homes, who will feel that today is just another day in a long long line of days without family visits, whilst the family miss visiting their loved one(s).
Mother’s Day following loss
Having lost my own mum just over a year ago, I am feeling very emotional and sad that she is no longer with us for me to spoil, to share another special day with, and to laugh and simply enjoy together. I did go to visit her at ‘our place’, where I could say the things I felt I wanted and needed to. I told her how much I miss her, but that I know I am lucky to have had all that we did, and that my pain is because she had to leave us too soon, too unexpectedly. We had plans. We were going to do so much more. Today is so hard for those of us who have lost our mum. Obviously, we never forget, and not a day passes where I don’t miss her or think of her. But to see the cards in the shops, to hear others complain about the expense and pointlessness of the day, and to receive the many marketing emails reminding me to go and spoil my mum – all adds to the emotion that is already seated deeply within. It’s a visual, physical reminder that the world continues, even though mine has been altered in such an unimaginable way.
A day to stop, reflect and celebrate
I have had many discussions with friends and colleagues over the years, and I know that not everyone holds dear with Mother’s Day, seeing it as a huge marketing ploy and that if we want to tell our Mother’s that we love them, then we don’t need a National Day in which to do so. I can understand that point of view, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be telling our mums every day that we appreciate them… all of our relationships for that matter. However, many people just don’t do that, and, if you don’t want to participate, then keep it simple and don’t; it’s always your choice. Nevertheless, I haven’t changed my feelings on this and I still wouldn’t stop Mother’s Day. Yes I found it painful – but to me, without her, every little reminder throughout the year is so. But with that also comes the good memories. Yesterday’s laughter and stories to pass forward to the next generation(s). As children, we would make our mum her breakfast (often burnt offerings!) and take it to her in bed as a treat. I would handmake her a card, and perhaps pick some flowers from her garden to give to her (haha that used to get quite a reaction, I recall.) All I thought was that I’d picked my mum some pretty flowers, not realising that she’d spent the time planting and tending them to grow! All lovely memories; and when my own children did the same for me when they too were young, I would smile (as I bit into burnt toast) and just love that they wanted to do something for their mum, as we had done for ours.
As adults, I think that Mother’s Day is a day where we can choose to stop and reflect – of the good things in our relationship with our mum. An opportunity to take time out from a busy schedule to say the things that we quite often don’t always make time for. Or even perhaps some people just don’t know how to say what they’d like to … and this day enables all of that; if we choose to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that it’s a case of each to their own and some relationships are sadly such that difficult decisions have had to be made. I am really just reflecting upon what it means to me, and now especially after losing mum, how I move forward in future without the level of difficulty that I had today.
Feeling fortunate, and grateful
I am extremely fortunate. I have two amazing adult children, who are both very caring and both very much in my daily life. As I shared my thoughts with mum, in a quiet moment, I was sharing with her how proud I am of them and how I wish she could still be a part of their lives too. How lucky I am that they are a big part of my life; how we have fun, laugh and share special times (as well as the day to day trivialities of life) Today, Mother’s Day, enabled my children to each show me their own love and appreciation to me; their mum. That is my reason for gratitude and for facing this day that brings sadness, because it brought incredible joy too. We couldn’t do a great deal due to lockdown, but a card, flowers, and some very beautiful words in a message from each of them had me in tears; tears of joy and appreciation. That is priceless. This is about living in the moment, appreciating who is here with us now and enabling ourselves to feel, acknowledge and return the love that is offered to us, here and now. And it’s not just about our human relationships .. for those of you with pets you will know how their unconditional love is also invaluable; and my little dog was by my side all day. Our fur-babies are precious to us too. She’s getting older now, and I want to make sure that I appreciate every moment with her too. She brings such joy and comfort, asking nothing in return. Yes, I consider myself very fortunate indeed, and my Mother’s Day was one that I am thankful for.