Reflections on Mother’s Day

vcm_s_kf_repr_640x448It’s Mother’s Day again. We take the existence of modern day Mother’s Day for granted and it seems a great idea. Because mothers mostly put their children first Mother’s Day is designed to put mothers’ needs first for a change. It apparently is celebrated in more than 45 countries. Because, surprise, surprise, everybody has a mother! Hence – this day is relevant to all of us. Whether we want to remember our mothers or still have the opportunity to spend time or money on our mother or whether we are a mother – Mother’s Day is for all of us.

The modern day version of Mother’s Day originated in the USA and is just over 100 years old. Unfortunately and allegedly to the despair of the women who advocated for the day, it is has been largely commercialised.

Mother’s Day gifts that Won’t Cost the Earth

Many people, however, hold on to the essence of the day. It is an opportunity to show appreciation for the unconditional love and support received from their mothers and here are some of the trialed and tested options that don’t break the bank and are good for the planet:

The gift of an experience is always a favorite:

  1. Let mum sleep in or do whatever she likes doing first thing in the morning.
  2. Prepare mum’s favourite breakfast.
  3. Write a letter, make your own card, record a video or podcast for mum.
  4. Bake a cake.
  5. Clean the house.
  6. Give the gift of your time for: grocery shopping; clean up the kitchen after dinner; car wash etc.
  7. Give a voucher for a class like yoga class or the like or a massage.
  8. And so on.

If you need convincing about the need to buy less stuff, here is an excellent video about the story of stuff.

The Effect of Mother’s Day on Non-Mothers

Everything that’s celebrated in such a major way effects people in different ways depending on where they are at. There are quite a few opinions expressed about the impact of Mother’s Day on non-mothers. Almost all of these deal with the ordeal of wanting-to-be Mothers.

I don’t get this and suspect many people will disagree with me. It seems utterly selfish to me.  The focus of Mother’s Day is on existing mothers, not on mother’s to be, hence it should be possible to set my own, personal situation aside for just ONE DAY.  As a non-mother myself,  I know there are many alternatives to the perspective of mother: I have my own mother I can cherish or remember. I also can appreciate the efforts of mothers and contribute to their well-being on the day.

Here is a funny perspective offered by a mother who hates Mother’s Day, partly because she is sensitive to the needs of non-mothers.

The Benefits of Childlessness

There are women who appreciate the status quo of childlessness and point out the many advantages about not being a mother. Here is a cheeky list of 9 advantages of childlessness.

A new trend is emerging to be out and proud non-mums. Not a moment too soon, in my humble opinion, with over-population and over-consumption suffocating the planet, it seems only appropriate to appreciate woman who don’t have children for whatever reason, whether by choice or by chance rather than trying to persuade every single woman who is capable of child bearing to do so – by whatever means necessary.

Here is a website dedicated to all matters concerning the childless woman: http://thenotmom.com/  for those of you who are interested. There are also groups on social media who organise themselves around this issue.  I am not keen on the name of the site, in my view, it is always problematic to define yourself as something you are not rather than what you are. It implies a deficit.  I do appreciate it’s content though.

And here is a bit of food for thought by 25 well known women on remaining childless: http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/08/25-famous-women-on-childlessness.html

Extra Reading

And for those of you who would like to read a bit more about some of the ideas I touched upon, here we go:

That’s it for now. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there.

I dedicate this post to my mother and my mother-in-law who will forever live in my heart.