Reading several blog pieces has me really thinking about Mother's Day this year and rather than dismiss it as another 'Hallmark Holiday', I am enjoying this time of reflection, about my own mother, and myself as a mother. I am fortunate to have a very close bond with my Mum, she is a 'real mom', not perfect, but she never claimed to be. Growing up, Mum was my parent when I needed her to be, and my friend when I needed her to be. We have our disagreements - but we always kiss and makeup and despite being so far away these days, we maintain this closeness. I am intensely proud of her, and proud of the woman that she has helped me become.
I am thinking a lot about Mum lately, too, since exactly a week after Mother's Day she will celebrate 35 years since she brought me into the world. 35 years since she paced the floor of that clinic in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, without so much as an aspirin, alone while my Dad waited in a house nearby with a Spanish Priest. Can you imagine? In this age of having all family and friends in the delivery room - how scary must it have been to have to give birth for the first time on your own? (Well, there was a doctor of course, but you know what I mean).
I know a lot of women have a close bond with their mothers, and so when she's not there anymore, I am sure the pain is very difficult on days like this. Days when you probably want to pick up the phone and say 'hi'. Two ladies' posts have touched me in their loving tributes to mothers no longer with them, I wanted to share them, here and here. I'm thinking of you, and all of you whom have lost your mothers, and hope that you can reflect with love and smiles on all the happy times you spent together.
To the mothers feeling a different kind of pain, that of the loss of their child, like this one, and those I wrote about here, my thoughts are with you also, and I trust that you can also reflect on happier times.
Other posts have given me insight into the lives of women who have not enjoyed close, or even good relationships with their mom and this post in particular fills me with admiration for women who have become great moms despite the poor example they may have had from their own mothers. In a world where all too often cycles and family history tend to repeat themselves, it takes a strong woman with integrity to rise above this, my hat is off to you.
Thinking of myself as a mother, and my first Mother's Day as a mom to two kids, I consider myself tremendously blessed, to have two beautiful, healthy and thriving children. Lately I have found myself wondering how on earth I ever thought I could be a mother. A toddler testing every known boundary will do that to a person, but on balance, although there are days when I am tearing my hair out, and I do sometimes take the path of least resistance for the sake of five minutes peace (chocolate chips in rice krispies yesterday morning being a good example, just because she asked over, and over, and over again!), I know I'm doing a pretty good job. I'm aware that there are things I could do better, and surely this awareness will mean I will do better. This Mother's Day I will also be thinking of troubled moms who can't find a way to do better, and will hope and pray that they ask for and get whatever help they need, if and when they need it.
As I ask my husband not to break the bank buying Mother's Day trinkets for me from the kids, (which always feels weird to me since I'm not his mom, a fact I sometimes have to remind him of, and the kids don't have a clue yet what Mother's Day is), I say 'Happy Mother's Day' to all moms reading this - I hope you have a great day and get to indulge in something you love, and that your husbands and/or other family members give you the day off.