“Mothers are the necessity of invention.”
It was ‘Mother’s Day’ on Sunday. A day dedicated to celebrating your mother, giving her a day off, making her lunch or taking her out. I didn’t do anything though… I didn’t buy a gift or write a card or even visit my mum (even though I wanted to so so so much). And no I didn’t do this because I love to be contrary… (oh because I really really do), it was because my mum always says; “I am not your mum just for a day, I am your mum for life, so treat me well everyday and not just once a year”. So that’s what I’m trying to do.
She is right – our mothers should be given the respect and love that they deserve everyday of our lives. They give up a huge amount to raise us and to give us what we need in life, let alone what we want.
I know this now that I have children of my own. It takes a lot of work to keep the ship sailing and everyday has it’s own ups and downs.
The moment I found out I was expecting my first child, my life changed forever. Nothing was going to be the same ever again. It couldn’t be taken back and even if the pregnancy hadn’t gone through, I still would have remained changed forever. This much I knew.
So on Mother’s Day I started to write this post, I got thinking about what motherhood really is and to sum it up I came to the conclusion that it is a sacrifice. That sounds negative doesn’t it? But it isn’t… a sacrifice is basically when you give up something you value for the sake of something else that you regard as much more worthy or important.
The minute a woman gets pregnant, she gives up her body, then once the baby arrives; her sleep, her food at times (when she’s running around looking after everyone and everything), her time, her peace of mind and in some cases, namely mine.. her sanity(!) ;)
A mother makes these smaller sacrifices daily, however, she also gives up a little portion of herself when she decides to have children.
Some mothers have a choice about when they start a family, others don’t. Whenever that choice is made or not made, a mother always makes a sacrifice. Some mothers don’t start their careers or even finish their education before their first child comes along. Others manage to complete their education and perhaps even start their career, only to see it trail off when motherhood begins.
And some you would think, have it all, because they take the time off work to have children and walk right back in to their careers. But even that mother will be sacrificing something; she will either be putting her children in to childcare when she doesn’t want to or will be settling for no progression at work in order to have some input in her child’s daily life.
Even though we have moved forward from the days when a woman’s place was in the kitchen and have given women the right to work etc, I’m not sure a mother of young children can ever be an ‘equal’ to a man in term’s of career if she chooses to have children.
She will always have to take time off for maternity leave, ‘sick days’ when the children are ill, have to start work later or leave earlier because she needs to drop off or pick up her children. She will always be stressed about fitting in the children, her job, her housework and her extended family in to her daily life. Men of course do help out in these things, but predominantly it is the mother that deals with these things, therefore I am focusing on these lovely beings today.
“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”
So on Sunday, I didn’t take my mum her annual box of chocolates, flowers and card. In the next few days, I plan to sit down with her and tell her what she really means to me. Not just an ‘I love you’ but something deeper. I need to let her know that I recognise the sacrifices she made, that I appreciate them, that I’m grateful for her.
As we get older we can’t always see our mothers regularly, or call them daily, but as human beings we are creatures of affection and need to be reminded regularly that we are loved, respected and cherished.
So cherish your mum, call her and let her know that you love her and try and make it a regular occurrence. Surprise her with some flowers one day next week, or the week after, don’t let the commercial market dictate to you when you should be doing these things.
If like many, your mum is not here today, then honour her memory, pray for her. Maybe give some money to charity on her behalf, help someone in her name. She will look up on your good deed and smile.
Miriam Makeba, an African civil rights activist said; “Girls are the future mothers of our society, and it is important that we focus on their well-being.”
We need to ensure that our daughters make the right decisions in their education, careers and future spouses so that they can flourish and in turn their children can flourish.
We need to teach our children today how important it is to respect women, show them how to appreciate the women in their lives, teach our sons to help in the house so that they can also experience and appreciate that a mother’s job isn’t an easy task and can be difficult.
Let’s remind ourselves that women the world over make sacrifices daily, they work hard, they cry, they laugh, they pray and put their whole beings in to raising their own little people to become who we are today. They start sacrificing from the minute of conception.
And lastly, given mothers are such awesome pieces of work, that work endlessly day in day out, trying to make ends meet, trying to run an efficient clean tidy house whilst raising awesome children, I’d like to ask as Milton Berle once asked…
“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” ;)
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