As we race around in a frenzy of last minute shopping for chocolates and flowers, or hunting for something a little more individual, it’s easy to become swept up in the commercial value of Mother’s Day and lose sight of exactly what it is we are celebrating – a chance to show our appreciation and love – and not just for our own mothers, but for all of the women in our lives whose compassion and empathy, when we need it the most, is another motherly blanket that sees us through the best and the worst of times.
From stepmothers, grandmas, mothers-in-law and foster mums, to the ‘work mum’ who always makes you a cup of tea, the neighbour who somehow knows exactly the right time to pop in with a bottle of wine, or the friend who is always there to celebrate your successes, commiserate your losses and simply make you laugh when you feel like doing anything but, these women have an incredible ability to show their maternal instincts towards many different people.
There is something special in all of the female relationships we have throughout our lives, and following on the back of International Women’s Day we are reminded of the strong and far reaching capabilities we have as women. Where once women were considered the ‘weaker’ sex with our emotional capacity for compassion and care, we are finally seeing a shift in the perception of these traits, with an understanding of how powerful and important they are in every area of our lives, not just maternally.
A mother’s love is primal. We will stop at nothing to protect our children, offering security, comfort and encouragement from the moment they are born. If more of us considered other people’s needs in the same way that we do with our own children, I am sure we would be reading a very different narrative of national and world news. At a time when we need to see kindness more than ever, perhaps we should be looking at how we can bring our maternal instincts to not just within our own social circles, but to the outside world as well.
Personally, both of my parents taught me so much. I was accepted completely, without judgement or stipulation. Where my dad taught me to be fearless and unafraid, my mum showed me that vulnerability is okay and not a sign of weakness. She taught me compassion and empathy and, most of all, she gave me the passion as an independent and strong woman that I have today. Her lessons are ones I will carry with me for the rest of my life – and Mother’s Day is when my gratitude and steadfast love for her is underlined.
I know that this Sunday can be a particularly hard day for those who have lost their mothers. As many of you know, my mum died several years ago, and although I think of her every single day, Mother’s Day is when the loss can be so profound. Not only do I feel grief that my mother is no longer around, I also think about the amazing times we shared together, her unwavering dedication and her endless support.
Mother’s Day is about celebrating the mothers who are no longer with us and the mothers who are still in our lives, but it’s also about celebrating the motherliness in all women. So when we’re out shopping this weekend, maybe buy an extra bunch of flowers for one of our other ‘mothers’ too, and show those wonderful women just how much they mean to us.