As we race around buying chocolates and flowers for Mother’s Day we’re almost on autopilot – desperately trying to find something before the deadline but actually not really considering what Mothering Sunday is all about. While the day celebrates those fierce and wonderful women who spent hours in labour, humoured our childish demands and put up with our hormonal teenage years – we can also take this opportunity to celebrate the other ‘mothers’ in our lives. From stepmothers, grandmas, mothers-in-law and foster mums, to the ‘work mum’ who always makes you a cup of tea, or the friend who gets everyone safely to the airport on your girls trip to Spain or hides your phone so you don’t drunk text your ex, 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. At times like this, with so much uncertainty and fear in the world, we need mothers more than ever, treating everyone with their care, respect and empathy.
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 world and national 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 not just within our own social circles, but to the outside world as well. It can be the small but thoughtful things that make all the difference – looking in on an elderly neighbour, paying someone a compliment or simply asking someone if they are okay. Caring for others as we would a child can help bring back the kindness that we seem to be missing right now. You never know how impactful one act of kindness can be.
This Sunday can also be a particularly hard day for those who have lost their mothers. As many of you know, I lost my dear mum a couple of years ago, and although I think of her every single day, Mother’s Day is when loss can really hit home. Not only do I feel the grief that my mother is no longer around, I also think about the amazing memories of the times we shared together. My mum was so special to me with her unwavering dedication and endless support, she taught me to be compassionate and how to forgive, even when I had been unimaginably hurt. This coming Sunday is to celebrate the mothers who are still in our lives as well as the mothers we have lost.
So perhaps when we’re out shopping this weekend, buy an extra bunch of flowers or chocolates for one of the other ‘mothers’ in our lives and enjoy a lovely day.