We are told to be careful about the words we use to categorise or pigeon hole individuals. At a time when even the National Health are changing their language around the maternity units, what does Mother’s Day really mean, and who are we celebrating? Has the day become outmoded?
The word ‘Mother’ is one of the oldest words in all languages. The words mother and love are symbiotic. It is a deeply emotive word. The central core of being a mother, is to be a caregiver, which is why society is so shocked when some families abrigate that responsibility.
If you have brought up a child, (and the words ‘brought up’ are specifically used), they can leave the nest and have children of their own but will remain the small person that you walked to school or picked up when they fell.
Through family feuds and fights, a mother is central, and not always in a positive way. Literature is littered with bad mothers, and they of course make for very good reading, but then nobody is pretending that to be a mother is to be perfect.
So what are we celebrating? It isn’t the ‘50’s version of motherhood. The pinny wearing, pin curled woman, always pictured with a tray of muffins by a freestanding gas cooker, or the perfectly groomed business woman of the 90’s juggling a job on the board with collecting the children. The water has become somewhat muddier, but it comes back to a central theme. Love. This is the day to celebrate the mother who brought you to this point.
And of course the greatest gift you can give back is time. Whether it’s a proper phone call (and we all know what those are), lunch, a walk in the park, a day out or a weekend away.
What mother’s really like is to be with YOU - the person they cuddled in the dark. The person they scooped up from life's myriad fiascos. From birth to death, a mother will be willing you on. Sometimes you won’t even know it. So Mother’s Day is a chance to give a little back. To wave and cheer for the mum that will always, through thick and thin, be cheering for you.