It’s Mothers Day today and after a morning filled with love, affection, cards and flowers plus a lovely breakfast prepared by my sons, as I sit on the ferry going to Discovery Bay to take part in the Sunday Market showcasing my brand SUMMER, I can’t help wondering how Mother’s Day celebrations have changed over time or how the role of a mother evolves from one year to the next.
When a child is born, a mother is born. And with it all the feelings and emotions that come with this most demanding, most terrifying and yet the most satisfying job in the world. “You will know what to do” is a much repeated line for a soon-to-be mum who has anxieties about this brand new role and who is suddenly made responsible for decisions concerning a whole new living being!
I remember how on my very first Mother’s Day my husband had got me a rose and a card saying ‘Dearest Mommy, Wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day’ – it might have been my husband’s hastily written scroll but I was really touched by the fact that I had become eligible to celebrate this day! It is a whole new role in a mother’s life. From feeding to changing to burping to napping she is suddenly inundated with new duties and a child who relies on her soft gentle touch to hold him, and her sweet voice to soothe his fears and lull him to sleep. For the first few years of his life, a child’s mother is his entire universe.
Then he grows up and starts going to pre-school where Mother’s Day is celebrated with much fanfare. A beautiful card with angelic words, some paper flowers and a celebration in the honour of mums – how wonderful were those days when we were made to feel real special, although we must admit that most of it was orchestrated by the school. A mother is still the centre of a child’s world but he starts getting more independent and also discovers other exciting things and people around him!
Then its graduation to Primary school! Mother’s Day cards from school start dwindling and by Year 3 it’s the mum who needs to give a reminder to her kids about the approaching ‘special’ day. Cards may or may not come, wishes linger on the borderline depending on how busy the day is. The week gets divided between friends and family time and of course a dozen other after-school activities with Mum’s role shrinking to being that of a cook, a driver and a nurse.
A few more years and a step into Middle school. Now the ‘child’ plans his own play dates! The chauffeur role gets redundant as he can easily travel by himself. He still needs his dinner though so the role of a mother gets diminished to just being a cook and maybe a ‘security guard’ as she can’t leave him alone at home for too long.
This should be a warning bell for most SAHMs to have a deliberate role change before they are seen as part of the furniture adorning the house! Whether it’s a full-time or a part-time job, working from home or from an office, it’s crucial to make this role change for oneself at this juncture. I mean how many coffee mornings and lunches can you do with friends?
I love being a mom, but I also want my kids to be proud of me, of what I do. So while I feel strange leaving them alone for a whole weekend, busy making money selling my ‘wares’, when I come back home I step in with a sense of immense satisfaction and pride, doing what I’m capable and feeling valued as my family encircles me in their arms.
Oh and coming back to Mother’s Day the cards do get better and bigger accompanied with real flowers and maybe if you’re lucky a small gift too!
Had written this article on Mother’s Day but only found the time to edit and complete it now. The post may be late for Mother’s Day but the message that it holds is timeless.