Being a mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you’ve gained from having one.
Here in the UK we celebrate Mothering Sunday, started during the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church, the main church or cathedral of the area, for a service to be held on Laetare Sunday. This was either a large local church, or more often the nearest Cathedral.Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone “a-mothering”, although whether this preceded the term Mothering Sunday is unclear. In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, since on other days they were prevented by conflicting working hours.
Children and young people who were “in service” (servants in richer households) were given a day off on that date so they could visit their families (or, originally, return to their “mother” church). The children would pick wild flowers along the way to place in the church or give to their mothers. Eventually, the religious tradition evolved into the Mothering Sunday secular tradition of giving gifts to mothers.
And Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March, April, or May. It complements Father’s Day, a celebration honoring fathers.
Mother’s Day is an American invention, and it is not directly descended from the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration.Despite this, in some countries Mother’s Day has become synonymous with these older traditions.
With that sorted, what makes a good mother?
One thing I never appreciated as a child is that your parents are learning too, having never before been a parent.
As a mother I have learned:
- patience I never knew I had
- to cope with less sleep than I thought possible
- expert negotiating skills
I try my hardest to be supportive, understanding, listen, encouraging… the list is exhaustive and in exchange I have learned to see the world in a different way. I have changed my life to fit around my children and learned skills that I never knew I had.
Life with children is an ever changing and challenging experience and comes with a love without boundaries. Time goes so fast and I don’t want to miss out on any of it!