Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

The last time I blogged about Mother's Day I was criticized for being too sentimental. Just for the record that person got unfriended pdq from facebook. But I digress.

There have been a number of media articles around mothering and parenting in the past week. Most of them not at all complimentary. Some of them funny. Most not relaying my experience.

I have often heard parents talking at the end of a spring, winter or summer break that they were SO glad their kids were heading back to school. To be perfectly honest I never felt that way.

I loved having my kids home from school. Granted I had the ability for most of my parenting years to have the school breaks off with my kids, and I can imagine organizing care for these breaks is expensive and stressful. But many of the parents that look forward to sending their children back to school are stay at home parents. So that isn't it.

Some of my fondest memories of my own mother were around summer holidays. She would have us tidy the house, and be heading to Kits Beach by 9:30am, picnic lunch in hand. She would relax and read and nap under the 'big tree' and my younger brother and sister and I would spent the morning in the old Kits pool. Then lunch, another quick swim and home to our shady backyard by about 1:30pm. To wait out the hour after eating lunch my siblings and I would scour the beach for seashells, or play on the old train. Every weekday. Even the rainy ones. Ok, on the rainy ones it was just a quick swim and then back in the car....with maybe a visit to the MacMillan Bloedel conservatory on Little Mountain on the way home.

And so to with my own children, summers were trips to Britannia Beach pool, Murin Lake, water parks and, on rainy days, the movie theatres.

I always enjoyed their company and antics, and still do.

I am one of the lucky ones. I did and do receive great pleasure from my children and from being their mom (or mum). There is not a minute regretted.

I am not sure why the media is spending so much time, especially around this day, reporting on studies that show how unhappy parents, especially mothers, are. I am not sure what it serves, or who it serves. It could be a misery loves company kind of thing, or perhaps a way to take away the guilt that all mothers feel about not doing their best, and sometimes really messing up and feeling bad about it.

And I know that for children and mothers who are estranged this is a very difficult day. For children whose mothers are no longer with them this is a difficult day. For mothers whose children have died, this is a very difficult day. My mother and I had a terrible fight on Mother's Day when I was 18 years old, and it still hurts all these years later. So I do understand why it can be a difficult day for many.

But for those of us who celebrate this day, in big ways, or little ways, it saddens me that others want to take the joy out of it.

For, to me, that is what mothering is. Joy. For all its hard work, sleepless nights, highs and lows, it is always what I wanted to be, and always what I feel best about in my life.

So, to my two children, who have made me the mother I am today, I say thank you with gratitude and delight.

Because today I remember all those moments that we have shared, and look forward to all those to come.

And just so no-one thinks I have lost my sense of humour here is the best thing I have seen about the subject to date:

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