Mothersí Day can give us cause to reflect on our own role as mum. When our children are young we can be so busy and caught up in the day to day experience of parenting and being a mum, even on Mothers' Day, that we can barely afford to stop to reflect. We might do some things a bit differently on Mothersí Day and children may be encouraged by others to make a card or buy us a present. This can, if nothing else, bring a focus to the role and help children learn about appreciation, particularly not to take us for granted.
Being a mum ultimately means learning the lesson of letting go of children. This starts early from the first days of sharing the baby for cuddles with family and friends, then followed up when they start to attend childcare and school. This experience of letting go continues until they become adults and more able to make their very own decisions in the world. Even then it takes effort to let them go, not passing judgment or offering advice.
You know you have been very influential and you can see this in some of their mannerisms or world views. You all have memories of the years gone by Ė shared events with sometimes different memories. You can start to build different types of relationships with them as your children get older. Itís less about having to do things together because they are told to, but wanting to spend time with their mum, wanting to be together and be there for each other.
On a day like Mothersí Day it can be easy to focus on the pleasures of mothering, drawing out the appreciations and recognition. It tends to overlook the struggles, the times when things donít go as well as we hope, the times when our relationships tear and need repair, the times when our hopes for our children and ourselves are not realized. With the relentless letting go process comes all sorts of feelings, some pleasant such as satisfaction at their growth and success, and some sadness when we feel that important life lessons have not yet been, or may never be, taken on board.
Remembering the mantra that life is a journey can help at those times. It all doesnít have to be achieved in one day, or year, or even decade. And as itís their life they will find their own way to do things. Watching from afar can be difficult but trusting in your relationship, your lifeís work as a mother, can also help. Knowing that part of our lifeís work, as mothers, is to let our children go out into the world and find their own way. Trusting that we've done well enough over the years.