Conversation Between Friends: Mothers


Mother’s Day.

It’s one of those increasingly ‘commercial’ days, that seems to have been overcome by pink schmaltz and saccharine sentiment on a day that should be a simple yet honest celebration of motherhood. The gift of bringing new life into the world. The ultimate act of surrender and creation.

I’m currently reading a beat up old copy of Nancy Friday’s ‘My Mother, My Self’ that I bought from a charity shop some years ago, that I have only just got around to reading. It’s a simple book to read but touches on some stunningly profound psychoanalytic and sometimes unsettling ideas about the impact our mothers have on all of us.

This week, I have talked to a colleague who isn’t ready for motherhood as children ‘cost too much’, overheard another mum joke that her daughter ‘should have 666 tattooed on her head’ and another who says she wants to ‘check herself into a hotel for a couple of days for some peace and quiet!’

My own daughter suggested that I wasn’t taking my role of motherhood seriously enough because I managed to squeeze in three nights out this week. (It seemed churlish to remind her of the ten plus years of New Year’s Eves and countless weekends spent indoors being very ‘responsible’ indeed).

I read a tweet from someone who said he felt that this mother’s day would be very difficult for his ex-wife as the date will co-incide with the anniversary of their late son’s death.  I read an advertisement suggesting that with the right cakes and chocolate, a ‘very happy mother’ could be guaranteed, this mother’s day. Are we to assume that without the right cakes and treats mum is in fact just two two sleeps away from checking herself into the Priory?!  A poignant letter in the Metro stated that one reader was missing her late mother and encouraged those of us with a mother still alive to cherish them, as they cannot be replaced.

Motherhood.

A word heavy with meaning depending on who you are talking to. It’s true, she can shape, influence and define you until eventually you will see that she isn’t you, she’s separate, unique and individual. Her gift was the life-giver a ‘divine gift’ if you are spiritual.  In the shaping, raising and moulding she may have made a few mistakes, probably because she was learning from you as much as you from her.

We are not born mothers ~ we become mothers: with different strengths, characteristics and styles of approaches to this most wonderful, yet most challenging job in the world. But to be a mother is a blessing, and for that we are eternally grateful.

You might like this post about Fathers and Sons: http://tinyurl.com/7fogbva

© Suzy Rigg

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