This post comes a little late, but I have been very ill the past couple of weeks with the flu and also very busy. So here it is, better late then never!
Mother’s day will always be bitter sweet for me. My mother died when I was only 1 years old, leaving my dad to look after my older sister 3yrs, myself 1yrs, and my younger sister 2 months old.
Growing up with one parent was confusing for me when I was younger. All my friends had a mum and dad, were all still together. I was the only one I knew with one parent. Mothers day at school was something I dreaded, I absolutely hated it. The teachers would give us mothers day cards to color in and decorate, which was always fine with me – I would give these to my dad. Then one year, the teacher gave me a different stencil to color in, I think it was a left over Christmas or Easter stencil instead and claimed I might prefer to do those instead. I was so embarrassed as all the other kids asked why I wasn’t doing mother’s day card’s like them. I had to tell them why. I think I was only in year one or 2, so i was fairly young but I remember it like it was yesterday.
Then the following year the teacher asked me if I would prefer to do something else instead of a Mother’s day card, I chose to do the card. I would give it to my dad of course! That’s when I decided Mothers day would be Mothers-fathers day. Dad did both roles, so why not celebrate mothers day with him. Over the years we made some awful breakfasts which we were super proud of and take it to him in bed with a coffee. We would give him awful gifts we had brought at the mother’s day stall at school… truly, they only had things like soap, pot purri, and everything was pink and frilly, or they had these little chocolate balls covered in coconut. They never catered for anyone in my situation. One year, I brought him a pair of pink ballerina plastic pot purri shoes, which to his credit, he hung on his wall in his bedroom for many years.
When I started the work force I hated and avoided talk of Mother’s day, when all the ladies gathered in the kitchen talking about there plans, I would excuse myself or avoid the gathering until the conversation had moved on to something else. I just did not want to be asked “what will you be doing for mother’s day” then having to make up something stupid like “oh, not much, just having a nice dinner” as that was easier then telling them my mother died when I was little and having to put up with the “oh, im so sorry” “oh it must be so hard for you” etc. It’s just awkward and weird.
So now I have grown up and have my own family and I feel extremely blessed that I get to celebrate mother’s day with my 2 boys. Mother’s day is now not a day I want to hurry up and pass, but a day I can now participate in and give it new meaning. Mother’s day will always be a little sad for me, as it is a reminder of the mother I have lost and who I can never celebrate mother’s day with – even though I do not remember her or never got to know her. I will always wonder what her voice sounded like, what her favorite color was, her favorite food, song or perfume ect which will always be unanswered, and I hope I am around long enough for my children not to ever have to wonder anything about me. I can never tell my mum I love her, give her a hug, share girly chats or to have a special bond. But I have photos of her which will remain very special and I don’t take being a mum for granted, it is a true gift, one I am living that my mother didn’t get to, which makes me very sad for her. I appreciate being a mum so much more I think as I did not grow up with one. And it is only now I can truly appreciate what my dad had to go through raising us. I have 2 children and a partner and find it tough at times, I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like raising 3 young girls as a single parent and needing to work full time. It takes a special kinda person.
So this past mother’s day I had a lovely day which I celebrated with my 2 children, my sister, step brother and step mother. We had a lovely lunch, where I even treated myself to a glass of bubbly. I feel so blessed I am lucky enough to be a mum, and that my dad who much later in life found someone to take on and step up in the role of looking after not only her own 2 children but taking on 3 others. Even though we were much older by this stage, it was not easy going for many years. But we all finally found our way and now we have another reason to be grateful on mother’s day!
XX Life In A Mum Shell XX