Ah it's May and that means it is Mother's Day month. Arriving hot on the heels of Christmas and Valentines and shortly before Father's Day it is another one of those days that has us all trooping off to the shops en masse to buy our moms yet another mug and card to add to her box of memories (or box of 'what to turf the day the kids move out!).
Yes you right, it doesn't rate high on my calendar as days to celebrate.
It is my 17th Mothers Day (although Nathan is 18 this year I was still pregnant with him this time 18 year ago...). Kyle followed shortly behind 25 months later. And with all sincerity I cannot say that this day is marked any differently from any other day in my home. In fact as I sit here and type my 2 are gearing up for an argument... over lagging of the internet... doesn't matter that 'mom' pays for it... they both seem to assume they own the rights to it and if I'm to go and click on a Youtube link now all manner of teenage terror will reign down on my head.
I'm 99% sure that most moms across the globe are dealing with similar issues, screaming babies that still need to be fed and changed and burped and repeat, temperamental toddlers that cannot behave at the brunch table, moody teens that were up all of Saturday night and are not interested in playing happy families. Of course add to that our issues with our own mothers and mothers-in-law and you have a hot bed of women who will be ripe to rip out their poor partners throats by the time this evening rolls around and they finally get a chance to sit down for 5 minutes. Just before they have to get up and start the routine for Monday morning.....
So for the love of all that is good and pure why are we put through this torture year after year?
I, in all honesty, couldn't be bothered anymore. If my children want to honour and celebrate me being their mom they do not need to do it on one specific day of the year. There are another 364 days of the year to do it on. Yes I did keep all the cards made when they were little and they are sweet and adorable and I will treasure it but I have realised that once they become teens unless they really know who you are as a person you going to end up with yet another gift you simply really do not like and would not, even with a gun to the head, have spent money on! And let's be honest here while we're at it - you probably don't know who you are yourself or what you want so how can your poor kid (or partner buying on behalf of the kid) know!
Admittedly this year I did get lucky. Although I was aiming more for my birthday I did point out a photography book and I got it. However I also got the squabble over who was making breakfast, the disaster left in the kitchen afterwards and the sibling fighting that never ceases, and my boys are 16 & 18 in a few short months. Both of them are also now safely ensconced behind their respective computer and Xbox - their Mothers Day obligation complete in their eyes.
Last night for 2 hours during **load shedding was probably for me the best Mother's Day bonding I've had for many years. While I sat working on my butterfly mosaic for a children's cancer ward, Kyle sat on one side pottering around on a mosaic project he wanted to do and Nathan wandered in and out of the dining room joining in the conversation before boredom had him running up and down behind me trailing a blanket and shouting Superman... all while his brother was giggling and I was working by candle and torch light. In between we chatted about relationships, movies, how to win a girls heart, sex and shaving (the conversations I have with my teenage sons are interesting to say the least!). But that for me was bonding time. Special time that they don't even realise we are having because it isn't forced on them in the context of Mother's Day or family time.
I think all mothers appreciate those moments more then the trumped up fuss on Mothers Day. The quiet moments when it is just you and your kids doing ordinary things. Often we are so focused on the big picture we forget that it is the small things in between that are really the important bits and where the really important conversations are held. It reminds me of a quote I read a little while ago on the net - "Life is what happens between the snapshots!" Today it will be happy faces posing for the camera and tomorrow morning we will all wake up and still be mothers and life will continue and we need to remember to capture those in between snapshot moments. They go so rapidly.
Soon my young men will be flying the nest so I know I have few of these Mothers Days left (huge sigh of relief because frankly I'd rather sleep in then be woken at dawn with burnt toast and dead eggs - however well the intention) but I'll be making other memories with them in the meantime - in between snapshot moments that will count.
My challenge to all moms is focus on the in between moments today. Mothers Day can fast become out of control with at times up to 3 generations of 'moms' in the house. Also give your poor partner a break - he has to divide himself between you & the kids and his own mom. Remember his mom may not be around that much longer so give him some time to have with her as well. And let go of the hype. You are a mother 365 days of the year from the moment you know you are pregnant until the day you die. Teach your children to celebrate that every day because that is the key to those spontaneous Superman and mosaic bonding moments.
Happy Mothers Day to all the beautiful moms out there. However you celebrate remember to celebrate you and don't be so hard on yourself. Remember we are all doing the best we can with what we have at this moment in time as mothers. All that matters is that we love our children but also that we remember to love ourselves - that is the best gift we can give to our kids.
Spell Syllable noun1.the deliberate shutdown of electric power in a part or parts of a power-distribution system, generally to prevent the failure of the entiresystem when the demand strains the capacity of the system.