Yesterday was Mothers Day… and yes, it’s still Mothers Day in some parts of the world (and not at all at this time of year in others). And whilst we love our children unconditionally, we secretly hope that they find us special enough to make an effort for us, but sadly for some, they don’t.
And I will say, I am one of the lucky ones… my kids did make an effort for me. I told them what I wanted for breakfast, and they made it for me (not perfectly or how I would do it, but they tried). They bought me presents which had a family theme to them, so we could ‘all’ enjoy/benefit from (chocolates, iTunes vouchers and a board game), I received some cards with heartfelt messages on them, I had two vouchers for massages, which I used before the morning was out, and my boys were both exceptionally helpful throughout the day, without any whining. So, for a 13 year old and an 11 year old, I think I did pretty well. I also celebrated Mothers Day with my ‘pseudo mum’ on Saturday night, and got a call from my ‘Dad No 2’ on Mothers Day morning to wish me a lovely Mothers Day, and had some lovely Mothers Day messages from friends through Facebook.
But some mothers didn’t get anything. They somehow didn’t have their kids because of court orders or custody arrangements and ex-husbands are spiteful, their kids are selfish and just forget, or other hidden reasons. And while we know in our hearts that it may be an ordinary day because we know the nature of our kids or ex-partners, we still have an expectation that they will do something extraordinary to make us feel good, but they don’t.
And it’s not just about being acknowledged by your kids, it’s about your friends and family. I am a firm believer that if you are doing an excellent job about whatever it is, motherhood, your job, your talent, your emotional resilience, whatever it is, you should be recognised or praised for it. We feed off both positive and negative feedback, so if someone genuinely believes that you are doing a great job at something, they should tell you, and what that does, is makes you feel better about yourself. I know people who have arguments with their own mothers who believe that Mothers Day only celebrates ‘them’ and not about their daughters, daughters-in-law, nieces, etc who are also mothers. How is that fair? It’s a celebration about ALL mothers. And you would hope to think that your own mother, or even aunt, was thinking you are doing a great job at mothering.
Are our expectations too high? Possibly, yes. And it’s all commercialism that makes us feel that way. If we treat it like another day, and expect to be treated like we do every other day, the surprises that might fall our way might actually give us the smile, the joy and the feeling we want to feel like we matter.
But it also carries on for the rest of the year. If we expect something will happen the way we want it to, it will never happen. If we just let our world ride the way it wants to, then somehow, everything falls into place. We can’t keep living with a heavy heart because we expect too much, because we give too much of ourselves and hope that our loved ones will recognise what we do and how we feel. We do live in a selfish world, with increasing levels of negativity, mental illness, narcissism, and daily struggles. But as single mothers, and some single fathers, we soldier on, but we need to believing that something good is just around the corner, but not forcing it to happen, or expecting what it is.