Mother’s Day was fun when my kids were preschoolers, gleefully making me breakfast in bed, presenting me with home made gifts and cards they had crafted proudly at nursery school.
Ah, those were the golden days! They used to ask me “ Is it hard to be a mother?” and I would answer “It’s a hard joy.” It’s true. I love being a mother. It’s has brought me so much joy. But boy, it is hard work too. Much more work than I ever dreamed. Mothers truly are unsung heroes.
Somehow, as my girls aged, Mother’s day slowly morphed into a Hallmark card holiday. It felt like marketing campaigns convinced the public they had best spend some dough on a nice gift, lest your mother didn’t think you loved or appreciated her enough. Store bought cards replaced sweet hand drawn versions. Breakfast was now about making brunch reservations instead of camping out on my bed.
This year, I decide Mother’s Day needed a make over. I just wasn’t feeling it. Don’t get me wrong… I was feeling my children’s love and appreciation. I just wasn’t sure why societal expectations for expressing that gratitude had to come in the form of spend their precious money, earmarked for university, on yet another scented candle to prove it to me. And, it had also been a long time since I felt like motherhood was a “hard joy”. My hard work has paid of. My 18 and 19 year olds are really just joy now. For that, I felt so grateful.
However, I am also very aware that my journey has been a privileged one, and there are a great many other moms that deserve support on Mother’s Day. From this year forward, my caring and appreciation goes to them, those mothers who raise children in conditions I was blessed to not have to endure. This year, I have asked my children to donate in my name to a charity for mothers of their choice. We have discussed the Massey Centre, a place for teen mothers, The Yellow Brick House, a shelter for women and children, and to Dignitas International, helping moms and children living with HIV in Africa.
I don’t know how you’ll decide to celebrate Mother’s Day, but if in some small way you decide to reach out to the other sisters in our circle of moms this year, you will be respecting the “hard joy” that makes us all remarkable women. Wishing you and your families all the best!