It’s American Mother’s Day today. It follows UK Mother’s Day (March) and Spanish Mother’s day (last Sunday), so in theory I could celebrate 3 times! It gets confusing sometimes.
Today is a day that always brings back memories of my mother. She is no longer here to receive a Mother’s Day card (which I always had to purchase in March, when the English cards were available to be purchased!!), but I miss her still, every day.
I also paused to think about my daughter, who will become a mother herself quite soon.
Daughters are very hard on their mothers – I should know, because I was hard on my own mother. In thinking about it, I believe girls go through a stage in their very young years, where they adore their mother unconditionally. Then come the teenage years, where you constantly argue with her, and you think she knows nothing. She always did everything wrong as a mother, as far as you were concerned.
Then, hopefully anyway, you reach your adult years, where you again adore your mother. But this is a more mature love, where you see her flaws, you know she has made mistakes, and you love her all the same. That’s a real love.
I thought girls reached this final stage in their 20’s, but I think it has more to do with becoming a mother yourself. When you have your own child, you realize that the choices you make for them aren’t always easy or clear cut. You make mistakes, despite your best intentions. And so you eventually come to know that your own mother didn’t actually do such a bad job herself.
I’ve talked a lot about motherhood with my daughter since she found out she was pregnant. As my own mother told me so many years ago, I told that the instant maternal love the books all tell you about doesn’t always happen – it often takes weeks or months to love your child. But that’s ok, because mothers are in it for the long haul.
I also said that she is due for a big dose of guilt once she has that baby – no matter what, you always feel you could (or should) be doing something better. But like me, and my mother before me, she will do the best she can, and more than likely, that baby will turn out just fine.
And maybe one day, my daughter herself will realize that her own mother didn’t do such a bad job after all. I look forward to that day!