What Does “Mother” Mean To You?
Originally known as “Mothering Sunday”, the fourth Sunday in Lent, was a day when children (mainly daughters) who had gone to work as domestic servants, were given a day off to visit their mothers and families.
Nowadays, on Mother’s Day, we celebrate our mum’s and are, quite literally, thanking them for our very existence. But what about all the other “mothers” in our lives? The stepmothers, foster mothers, work mums, mother-in-laws, grandma’s being mum and “unofficial” mums – in effect, all of the non-biological mums who play such an important role in our everyday lives.
In todays modern world, adult children often live miles apart from their mothers and so the “unofficial” family often plays a large supporting role in their life. It may be work mum who listens to you rehearse your presentations and gently steers you in the right direction. Or the mother hen who lives on your street and babysits the children so you can have some much-needed down time. Perhaps it’s your mother-in-law who looks after your beloved dog when you go on holiday.
Then, of course, there are the foster mums who look after some of the most vulnerable and in-need children in our society. They open their homes and their hearts to help young people and, as one lovely foster mum said they “love them back to life”. We also have the friend’s mums who give their own children’s friends a safe, non-judgmental, loving space to retreat to when home-life gets tough.
There are also a growing number of grandmothers who are being mum. According to Information Now, over 200,000 grandparents in the UK have grandchildren living with them because their sons or daughters are unable or unwilling to care for them. Many of these “grandma mums” have given up paid work to look after their grandchildren or are struggling to raise them on a pension. Their own retirement plans can be turned upside down as their priorities shift back to raising another generation.
We asked some of people what “mother” means to them and their families. Here are some of their responses:
“Mum to me means carer, teacher and most importantly Guardian Angel. Someone who looks over you regardless of how old you are and is the only person to offer the best advice. No one is like Mum.” Katrina
“Kind, helpful, loving, someone who can cook the best like nobody else” Tegan, aged 8
“Mother is a word that means an unknown force that nobody can explain. It’s beyond love. It’s comfort and a feeling of home. No matter what else is happening around you, the feeling will always stay as strong” Anna
“The friendship by which all friendships are judged, the compass that steers you home and the rock upon which to build that home” Jim
“A person that loves you. A person that looks after you. Keeps you safe” Liam, aged 10
“A mum is always around to love and guide their children to a better of way of life. Helping and encouraging them in all sorts of activities” Lynn
“Means I like you” Zach, aged 6
“Mummy is kind and looks after me. She gets me treats and always kisses me” Mia, aged 5
“It means I love her and she’s beautiful” Emilia, aged 6
“Mum is coming home. Cuddles when you’ve had a bad day. Knowing there is someone on your side. Belief in you. A big heart. Sharing whatever they can. Making others smile. Feeling safe. Looking after you when you are ill. Making your friend part of the family. Sheltering others that are in need.” Angela
So this year on Sunday March 31st, don’t reserve your Body & Mind gift vouchers solely for the mother who gave birth to you, but celebrate all the other “mothers” in your life and show them your love and appreciation.