Mother's Day is around the corner, so it's no surprise a friend and I recently had a conversation about mothers: ours, others, ourselves, ones in movies, in the media, royal ones, the list is endless.
I remember saying years ago "Being a mother is hard because you learn so much about yourself." While we hope we are giving our children the message that they are loved, let's be honest, I have apologised to my kids (all adults now) for some of the mothering decisions I made. I didn't realise my anger could flare like that until children came into the picture.
It's not just me who thinks being a mum can be hard.
I certainly hope this older version of me has learnt a few things in between. If you have some regrets, maybe it's a good time for reflection and some deep learning, including apologising. Could this be the gift you give as a mother this year. "What it takes to give and receive a good apology" might help.
Now, it's fun to watch my daughters and daughter-in-laws, mother their children. There's so many times I think "That's a good way to do it" but, I'm sure there will be things they will learn too.
(Our 2 gorgeous daughters and I at the other favourite place-the beach)
There are different ways we behave as people, so too there are different ways we behave as mothers.
Sometimes mothers are: kind, loving, laughing, sharing, giving, patient, interested, respectful, supportive, humble, ( add relevant ones here.......) These are the things they put on the Mothers Day cards.
Sometimes: tired, snappy, impatient, forgetful, frightened, jealous, ( add relevant ones here.......). These don't get mentioned- we can forgive these and not focus on them for the celebration, BUT
Don't forget: angry, guilt ridden, unforgiving, resentful, demanding, critical, lazy, selfish, mean, toxic (add relevant ones here.......). Not usually on cards and sometimes people are criticised when they are honest.
Sure, no-one is perfect, we are a mixture, as Rag'n'Bone Man sings "I'm only human after all" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wKzyIN1yk)
But sadly, some mothers are toxic and even abusive.
So, if you have had a good mother-experience great. Be grateful. Celebrate, thank them, tell the good stories. If she is still around, let her know. BUT let's also spare some time and thought for those whose:
Loving mother is no longer with them, or
Women who have children who died, or
Women who would have loved to be mothers but it didn't happen for them, or
Those whose mother experience was painful, damaging and destructive.
This Mother's Day, as we be grateful for mothers, let's also be aware of people's different experiences and make room for them.