It’s Mother’s Day in Europe, or as the English often call it, “Mothering Sunday”. That always makes me laugh – are other days not for mothering, just the one? As if.
Today, I’ve read all sorts of tributes to mothers, articles about mothers, poems to mothers, seen pictures of mothers. I may be cynical, but it has always amused me to have one day to ‘be nice to your mother’ and give her cards, flowers, take her to lunch or whatever.
Although my lovely daughter religiously sends me a card (and now, so does the darling M), it’s never been a big day for me. For awhile, I thought it was because American mother’s day is in May, so the ‘other one’ in March was not that big a deal.
I’ve decided, however, that is not the case. I never really thought that being A Mother was a big deal, or even my only role in life. It’s a big responsibility, sure, and is not easy, but as pregnancy comes naturally and easily (and unexpectedly, sometimes) to most women, how feted should it really be as an achievement? Am I the only one who thinks since reproduction is an animal imperative, it’s not the be all and end all?
I don’t know about mothers and sons, as I don’t have a son, but mothers and daughters often have quite a fraught relationship. I’m not sure why this is, exactly. I thought that perhaps as I knew the pitfalls and problems of being female, I should try hard to make sure my own daughter could manoeuvre her way through to womanhood with fewer problems than I did. I think my mother tried to do the same, with about as much success as I did! Children very seldom learn from their parents’ experiences, and certainly daughters don’t want to, and usually refuse to, listen to their mothers. It’s normal and natural, and I didn’t hold it against her.
However, while raising my daughter, it consoled me to know that one day she would realise I was smarter than she thought. I think it was when I was about 22 for me – I realised all of a sudden how smart my mother had become. However did that happen? 🙂
So on this day, as on every other day, I think of my mother and wish she was here for me to hug. I think of my daughter, who now has a daughter of her own, and wish her good luck on the rocky path of motherhood!