“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.”
William Makepeace Thackeray
Celebrating the woman who gave birth to us, and loves and supports us through all our good and bad times, should certainly not be limited to one particular day in a year, when we have 365 days to do so.
However, Mother’s Day gives us a wonderful opportunity to really show our appreciation for the person who gave us life.
Global pandemic or not, we must not be deterred from having this 2021 Mother’s day be special. Maybe it’s even more special as we have had so much time to reflect on what’s important in life.
This year has been especially hard for mothers, often seeing their family struggle with illness or separation, or job loss, and struggling themselves to do what’s best. Life can change in an instant – as any mother knows as soon as her child is born!!
Mothers are people too, and maybe some of us have had less than perfect mothers. However, whether we acknowledge it or not, we owe our life to our mothers.
What Makes Mums Extraordinary?
Unconditional love. A mother’s love comes naturally. The biological changes to her body and brain, that occur with pregnancy and motherhood, compel her to care for, protect and nurture instinctively. Mothering is an innate intuition. There is no bond quite like the one forged instantly between a mother and her child, strong, unbreakable, selfless, and absolute.
Many of us are fortunate to have a loving mother still living, who appreciates and encourages her children, protecting instinctively, and showing pride in all our achievements, no matter our age.
Those of us whose mothers are no longer here, have also likely benefited from her loving touch.
She taught us our values and morals.
She was there for us when we needed her.
She cared enough to tell us ‘No’ when we needed to hear it most.
She always had an open heart and open arms, no matter whether we recognised (or deserved) it or not.
Yes, mums need compassion too, and occasional forgiveness. There may be circumstances where her expression of motherhood was thwarted, but it was never lost. It may have been hidden but it was never given up on.
Mothers are for life!
History Behind A Day To Celebrate Mothers
Although mothers are honoured and celebrated on different days of the year around the world, every culture does so in their unique way.
For the most part, mothers around the world are celebrated on Mothering Sunday and Mother’s Day, both of which came about in different ways. It is important since we all celebrate our mothers on this auspicious occasion, that we understand its origin and that we use it to appreciate whoever is mom to us.
Mothering Sunday came about as a Christian celebration in Britain during the middle ages.
This Sunday of appreciation falls exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday, originally to honour and show gratitude to Mother Mary, the Virgin.
Back in the day, it was not at all unusual for children as young as ten to leave home to take up employment. The custom of Mothering Sunday came about when children who had moved away from home could visit their home parishes on the fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday). This was to encourage them to visit their ‘mother’ churches to honour Mother Mary, according to their religion. Of course, it was also a time for them to visit their actual mothers!
Mothering Sunday was born and persists to this very day. This is largely thanks to Christianity infiltrating and spreading across Europe in the 16th century. It became a day to be enjoyed as a family honoured occasion, inside the home.
Mother’s Day celebrations go back to Ancient Greek, during which time Rhea, the Mother of the Gods and Goddesses, was celebrated with festivals of worship every spring. In Rome as far back as 250BC, March was set aside as the time to celebrate the Mother Goddess, Cybele.
In modern times, our version of Mother’s Day has its origin in North America, where it is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. The United States is not, however, the only country to celebrate their mothers at this time every year. The story honours
Anna Jarvis as the originator of modern Mother’s Day. In 1908
she held a memorial service on May 10, for her late mother at her church – St. Andrew’s Methodist – in Grafton, West Virginia. Leaping ahead five years, almost the entire country was celebrating Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. In 1914,
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson announced it as a national holiday.
Celebrate Mother’s Day During the Pandemic.
Make this celebration of your mother, uniquely thrown in the midst of a
worldwide pandemic, a special one.
In other years it was easy to pop in, armed with chocolates, flowers, and gifts. This year it will be more challenging to treat your mother to a day of quality time. That however, is all our mother wants from us – our time. She doesn’t really want the flowers or the chocolates. She wants to know that you are healthy, and happy, and that she did a good job of being your mother, because you tell her so.
If circumstances are such that social distance between you and your mum does not allow for a physical visit, and the much treasured hug, do not lament! We have technology. It’s not perfect but imagine life during a pandemic without it!
A telephone call may be plenty. She just wants to hear your voice.
Or Zoom to the rescue. Video call your mum and have other family members join in from wherever in the world you find yourselves.
You still have time to organise a surprise delivery online, to breach the distance. You know your mum and what she would love – and remember, for mums, it’s the thought that counts. She will appreciate whatever gift you choose to give her.
“My Mother: She is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her. ” —Jodi Picoult
Mothers, like sons and daughters, come in all shapes and sizes. But your mother is your mother, and the only mother you will ever have.
Make sure that however you choose to acknowledge and celebrate your mother, she knows that it comes with all your love and gratitude, since this is the only thing she wants, and deserves, most of all.