Mother’s Day is Complicated

Everyone had a mother. Doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, you had one. It’s kind of nice to know, that in an age of disruption, disconnection and division, every person on the planet was born of a woman. We all started out as helpless, fleshy blobs that were 100% reliant upon someone to care for us.

Not every mother is the same though. That’s quite an understatement. Each one has their own difficulties in life, past experiences which shape their present day expression, and insecurities. All this creates interesting environments for relationships to be formed. Some people have amazing relationships with their mother, some have great relationships, some good, some okay, some not so good, and some awful. That’s okay.

Some people lost their mother early, some later in life, some people have a ‘mum’ that’s not their mum. That’s okay too.

Whatever the case, whatever the status of relationship, we can categorically say that we have all had one, have one, miss one, need one and we take one day a year to celebrate that. Mother’s Day.

One universal theme that I come across for 99% of mothers is their desire to provide the best for their kids. Often, it is about providing a better life than they had experienced themselves. What a remarkable goal, outworked by thousands of acts of selflessness over years to give something so profound that most kids won’t understand or appreciate: opportunity.

I’ve seen it in the slums of Delhi. Mothers, who have never had the chance to go to school, standing proudly next to their young daughters in school uniform, glowing about how their girls love to learn.

I’ve seen it in the Philippines. Mothers living by a rubbish dump, doing everything possible to enable their small family to survive the day, somehow finding food to eat and keep a roof over their heads.

I see it in my wife. Navigating motherhood in a culture that highlights how amazing the lives of other mothers are, all the while running a small business and still coming to terms with some aspects of being a mum which don’t come naturally, but nailing mostly and sometimes not nailing it. I love that about her.

There is something to love about every mother, and probably a great many things to love about your mother. So, happy Mother’s Day to all the mums, mums wanting to be mums, kids of mums without a mum this year, and mums who have lost kids. One day isn’t really enough to capture all the meaning that is tied to this relationship, but it’s a nice way to spend a Sunday.

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