Mother’s Day

Some thoughts about Mother’s Day

The newsagents were busy this week, the racks of everyday cards condensed to make room for flowers and teddy bears and smiling faces wishing A Happy Mother’s Day. Florists claim this is their busiest day of the year, even surpassing Valentine’s Day and most restaurants will have been booked up weeks in advance. 

Yet the origins of the day are relatively unknown and they are far from the modern celebration of motherhood. During the 16th century, Christians continued to return to their local mother churches for a service. Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone ‘mothering’, a term recorded by 1644. In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers.

When my children were young, I loved the cards and gifts they brought home from school on the Friday before Mother’s Day. Primary schools are especially inventive when it comes to making Mums feel special. One year there was a tea bag tucked inside a cardboard teapot, with the suggestion I put my feet up with a brew. Another had a complicated pop-up of a bunch of flowers which I was urged to smell as they had been scented. An appreciation for mums (and dads when it’s Father’s Day) is a good lesson for young children to learn.

Personally, I dislike a fuss. My Mum always said she knew we loved her every day and she didn’t need cards or flowers, and I tell my children the same. We should also acknowledge the sadness that this day evokes for those who contemplate loss or who regret that they never became a mother.

However you spent March 27th this year, I hope you enjoyed this lovely weather. Below are some of my favourite quotations from famous authors about mothers. The final one by EM Forster being the most pertinent at this point in time.

No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you’ve got, say ‘Oh, my gosh,’ and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.

Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos

To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.

Howards End, by EM Forster