Mother’s Day is an emotional time of year for many, including myself. Can you imagine what this particular day of the year might feel like for any of the following people around you:
♡ A woman who is having trouble conceiving or is unable to conceive
♡ A Mother who has lost a child to stillbirth, miscarriage, cancer, childhood heart disease, suicide, an accident or in any other tragic circumstances
♡ A single Dad who has lost his wife, partner or the Mother of his child
♡ A single Mum who has lost her own Mum (that would be me!)
I know that there are many more ways in which this ‘day’ can be painful. I know that more people need to stop and think about others.
It has been an emotional time for me since my Mother had her horrific car accident in 1989, so I am well ‘practiced’ in how to handle Mother’s Day .. at least I was until I became a Mother myself. I have been a single Mamma for 5 years now, so there are loads of triggers for emotion and potential breakdown around this time of year! Of the family I do have in my world, there has not been one of them who has thought to acknowledge Mother’s Day for me. At times this has bewildered me, hurt me and angered me. It is now a part of my letting go process, they were not raised or influenced in the ways of kindness and thoughtfulness, it is not their fault.
Far from being bitter (that didn’t work out for me) I have chosen to turn my attention outwards. Mother’s Day really needs a good make over in my opinion. It seems to be all about the gift wish-list, dropping hints to husbands about which material possessions will be acceptable, pressure to book the perfect table at the perfect restaurant, a barrage of commercial messaging showing the perfect nuclear family.
Enough! I have built up my resilience over a period of time, too many are only just starting out in their new reality after losing a child, losing their Mother, struggling to conceive or being wounded where it hurts the most, Motherhood. Our children need to understand that Mother’s Day is not about spending lots of money or being pressured into meeting crazy expectations. The Mothers who need it most need our love and support at this time. It is the perfect chance to inspire more kindness, compassion and giving (of the good not material variety!)
Of course I believe that we should have a day of appreciation for Mothers, I suspect this was at the heart of Mother’s Day at some point in time. Over time it has been changed to become something far from the potential it has to be all about giving, goodness and gratitude.
Will you consider being a part of the alternative to Mother’s Day? Here are a few ideas to inspire a collective change for the better:
♡ Start inspiring your children with different messages and meaning from a young age, focus on the less material side of days such as Mother’s Day. Talk to them about what Motherhood means to you, keep a book or journal together and keep notes and clippings about parenting that inspires conversations around things like respect, Motherhood around the world, their favourite childhood memories.
♡ Make a donation together at this time of year that is focused on parenting or Motherhood. Perhaps everyone in your family can decide how much they want to contribute to the donation, and you can choose the charity together. Have a look at Australian Cancer Research Foundation, UNHCR, Oxfam or the National Breast Cancer Foundation for inspiration.
♡ Take a donation a step further and volunteer together on the Mother’s Day weekend. There are so many charities in need of your time, resources and expertise. My little BF and I are volunteering with a small group to pack birthing kits for women in Uganda this Saturday.
♡ Have a think about the people around you, at work, in your extended family, your neighbours and community .. who might be having a hard time in the midst of Mother’s Day commercial craziness? How can you reach out and share a little kindness or hope? Can you leave a little note, a card, a small gift, or make a phone call, send an email or share a supportive message on Facebook?
♡ If you yourself are struggling with all things Mother’s Day, please know that you are not alone. If I can share any of my wisdom on this incredibly emotional topic it is that you are a Mother even if your child is no longer in your arms. Your pain is the pain of many others if you are missing your Mother. You are enough. Treat yourself to something that makes you warm inside, do it this week instead of waiting until the weekend. Reach out if you need a reminder that you are loved.
I have so much love for Motherhood, the sisterhood, kind people and creating a world that is more gentle and less commercial, especially when it comes to days like Mother’s Day.