It’s the fourth Sunday of Lent today, and that makes it Mothering Sunday. A staple event in any yearly calendar, it gives us a chance to celebrate our fantastic mums. I’ve heard a few grumbles around mother’s and father’s days in previous years, with some arguing that ‘every day should be Mother’s/Father’s Day’. Great, let’s all love each other and be thankful for the great people around us every day. But we all know that’s not the case. People live apart, people have their own lives, and life is busy. All too often, we forget to take that time to show families and friends that we love them.
I’m lucky enough to have two fantastic parents, who are still very much in love, and who would do anything for my sister and me, but that doesn’t mean we always tell them how much they mean to us! Lots of us (thankfully) have our families ever-present, and it becomes easy to take them for granted, and assume they are doing what any parent would do. However, it’s far from fact that all parents fulfil the duties we would like them to. Whether it’s parents who neglect or mistreat children, parents who had children when they weren’t emotionally ready, or parents who are just too wrapped up in their own lives to accommodate their children, there are plenty who are far from the role models their children necessarily deserve. Having a child makes you biologically a mother, but it doesn’t make you a mum. I know not everyone would make those distinctions between the words, but I feel like ‘mum’ is a title you earn, whereas mother is a biological fact.
Me and mum!
Since starting university and living on my own, I appreciate far more the role of my mum. Firstly, cleaning, cooking and organising yourself is hard work. In my house, the work would be shared between my parents, but I’m sure dad would admit my mum’s the primary washer/ironer/clothes folder. Secondly, I can see that my sister and I probably weren’t always the easiest to handle. We’ve both been busy, running between rehearsals and events, and assuming the lifts would be readily available. It’s been down to our parents to chase us around. Also, sisters bicker. Siblings will argue, and disagree, and Kate and I have definitely been through phases where we’re more argumentative than usual. Sorry about that, mum and dad. Thirdly, for a girl, a mum obviously plays a role in all matters involving ‘growing-up-as-a-girl’, and I know I’m lucky to have that support.
A friend of mine came up to stay in October, and brought home the message even more that being a mum isn’t easy. At the time, her son was just over a year old, and she was 7 months pregnant. Every trip out takes longer, every meal time is an ordeal and every night time isn’t exactly restful! Gorgeous as the week with her and her gorgeous little son was, it’s tiring! Mothers will always play such a huge role, whether it’s at this nappy-and-bathtime stage, the grumpy high school years, or the stressed daughter at uni stage.
And then there’s just the fact my mummy is THERE. She’s always on the other end of the phone, if I’ve had an essay result (good, bad, or ugly), if I’m sad, happy, stressed or grumpy. Last week, knowing I wasn’t happy the night before, she texted me repeatedly during my 9am seminar just to check everything was alright. She hadn’t remembered I’d be IN A SEMINAR TRYING TO WORK, but the thought was there! So, on this Mother’s Day, let’s all take the time to tell our wonderful mums how much we love them. Mine is pretty flipping fab.