Happy Mother’s day.
Motherhood has not been what I imagined it would be in so many ways. In some ways it has exceeded my wildest hopes, at other times it has been confusing, lonely and challenging.
You just take for granted that family life will fall into place, will hold, but sometimes it doesn’t. And when that happens suddenly things that you thought would and should be a certain way. Aren’t. I never dreamed that I would be without my son for Christmas, for Mother’s day, for his sixth Birthday. But I was, I am, I will be.
The perfect Mother’s day?
It is not all breakfast in bed and bunches of roses. Commercialism. As well as joy the day can bring feelings such as stress, guilt, hurt, and obligation.
Co-parenting is hard. Through bitter words and compromise my ex and I have come to a calm impasse as a separate family. Contact is set and stuck to (most of the time). I have had to take all my selfish feelings and stick them in the under the stairs cupboard with Harry Potter.
Like today, its Mother’s day. And I am alone.
I suppose I get what all exhausted mums really dream of as their ‘reward’, their ‘gift’ for the hours spent in labour today. Glorious SPACE. An uninterrupted night’s sleep, a bath free of Hotwheels, a lie in. To binge watch crap on Netflix. But it feels like a bit of empty victory right now. Others have said I demand my son on certain days, that it is my right. But his father has rights, my son has rights and I am trying to respect them. Sometimes it is a crappy place to be up here on the moral high horse.
What is motherhood?
Grandmothers, stepmothers, the wife that is also a mother, foster mothers. Mothers of babies never born, given up, that have given up on their mothers, those whose mothers have passed away. There are no holidays to contain all the parts of you that fall outside the lines of celebration. We are mothers, whether our children are with us or not. Your babies may have babies of their own and be a hundred miles away. Motherhood is unprecedented joy, frustration, sacrifice, patience and love. I am a mother every day, without praise or recognition. Do we need a card, a call or email? Overpriced gifts of new socks.
Motherhood is more than Mother’s day.
Mothers supporting mothers.
Single parents can feel very isolated and some days, can amplify those feelings. The breadwinners, the carers, both mums and dads. Cards that say ‘The best mum ever’ can feel like a pressure or a sad reminder. I survived a couple of miserable Mother’s days solo but recognise each one as a personal achievement of all that I have accomplished.
From the mother in bed with breakfast on her lap, to the mother in the silent house waiting for her children to call. You are not the only one and are not alone. Motherhood is a sisterhood. If you are alone today @ParentingJungle is my Twitter. Fling me a message #Motherstogether.
Motherhood is not MY day, it’s a day for all mothers, to represent what Mothers are, strong, amazing, and generous of spirit. Tired out. Doing the best we can. Acknowledge yourself and the people around you. For me, today is about celebrating some of the most important relationships in your life. I am off to ring my Nan and discuss how best to peg out laundry.
What does the day mean to you?