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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Still Growing and Learning About Motherhood

It is so true that you never stop learning and better late than never hey!
I had a real revelation today and I feel so embarrassed that it has taken me all these years to really get 
"Mother's Day"
I'm going to really be candid here and lay it out there warts and all....

In the past I have felt that Mother's Day and the "success" or the "beauty" of the day was going to be a validation of me and my job. I felt Mother's Day was the "pin the blue winners ribbon on my chest" Day.
It has never been about the size or appropriateness of gifts, but it has been about how precious I was.
I am ashamed to say that in the past I even felt a little resentful sometimes having to share "my Day" with others, feeling put out and put upon that it was left to me to make everyone's day special. At a time when I should be putting my proverbial feet up I was cooking my mother lunch and pampering other partners mothers. The dialogue in my head used to go, "just for once can't he buy the present and organise a suitable card or pick some flowers for his own mother!"
I know, super selfish and very uptight. 

Now that my role as a mother as become less hands on with the children grown, I have had a chance to step back and relax on the expectations. I'm wondering where those expectations came from in the first place actually. I am going to take responsibility for most of them but I have to say the marketing campaigns that Myer used to run in the old days were very emotionally blackmailing.
Today, after a very relaxed  breakfast alone with my mother, and a visit to my grandmother's grave, I had a huge revelation.

There at the cemetery, amid the crowds of people, young and old visiting mothers now passed, I realised the power of Motherhood. This one day that we set aside to celebrate Mother is easily the busiest day at the cemetery, with hundreds of people paying homage and respect to women and the role they played for them.  
And those not visiting cemeteries I'm sure were still reflecting and bringing close their memories of mothers.
Dead and gone and they are still gathering the children to them.

I seem to remember having a mini revelation last year at this time and a bit of soul searching too.
I get it now, Mother's Day is a celebration of the power of women and their ability to nurture and raise others in love. Some of us do it better than others and some of us are not even technically "mothers". Some "mothers" may have been elder sisters or aunts or neighbours but the day is their celebration just the same.
All of a sudden I finally felt a part of a powerful womanhood. I felt the"secret womens' business" in my chest. I realise my shallowness in thinking it was a day of list ticking and self-congratulations. 

I still think of our society as patriarchal despite the achievements towards equality by the feminist movement. We marry and take our husband's names and so too do our children but I can't help feeling that men are gazumped on Mother's Day when a nation turns their hearts to their mothers with full force, honour and love.
I am sure I am not explaining it quite the way I mean but spiritual revelations are very internal and mysterious and by their nature hard to place into mere words. 
Suffice to say I wanted to celebrate with every woman in a shared feeling of kindred spirit and solidarity.
I honour all you women, where-ever you may be and what ever path you have had to take and I marvel at the out pouring of love I saw today. If we could harness this essence I believe there would be no more wars and that is the power I saw today.


  1. Well thought and said Tanya : o )

  2. Beautifully put! I"m with you on your old way of thinking but you've given me some food for thought.
    Thanks for trying to explain because I did get it and you are now I have a whole year to release all my expectations of the day!

  3. I think my realisation of "real motherhood" came when I was listening to Peter Cundall on tv and he was talking about his experiences during the war. He said that as men lay dying (and they would have been very young men) they called for their mothers. Hearing him speak of this just broke my heart and I can still be really emotional remembering his talk.
    Mothers are such an important part of life and sometimes we feel (I do) that we are just the cooks and bottle washers but then I remember Pete's words and the few and far between times I spend with my children (they all live interstate) and know that I am worth so much more.


  4. i've been sitting here trying to write something for several minutes since reading your post but what i'm feeling is beyond words..but you've managed to say it so well anyway..loved your post..

  5. Beautiful. I'm teary. Just lovely.

  6. What a wonderful post. I'll come back to it often so maybe I can have the same revelation you had. I'm still stuck in the "why do I have to cook on Mother's Day?" rut.


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