At the risk of sounding like the Grinch of Mother’s Day, I can’t help but wonder if the glass slipper of this sacred day needs smashing. I am pretty sure that I am not the only mum out here for whom mother’s day was not all roses, chocolates and the utopian dream of a day of luxury and pampering. Let’s be honest ladies, when has motherhood ever been glamorous? Whenever are we “off duty” in body, mind and Spirit? From that very moment we discover we are carrying a new life we are constantly aware that life is no longer simply and purely about us.
Don’t get me wrong, my life as a mother is a journey through the beautiful, the insane and the ugly, and still it is precious. After a mother’s day that was less than wonderful, I am left thinking, why am I so disappointed? Beautiful handmade gifts, words of love from my 6 year old every 30 minutes, and loving embraces from my eldest, yet I still feel like I am appreciated less than other mums around me.
I wonder if we are a little deluded by our culture and perhaps even social media which tells us that our value as a mother is proven by the love, the gifts the acknowledgements we are given on this one day. My Instagram and Facebook feeds are full of mum after mum proudly displaying the love she has been given and the wonderful things she has done on this ‘oh so sacred day’. In Russ Harris’ book The Happiness Trap (2009), he suggests that complete fulfilment and meaning doesn’t lie in achieving happiness. Does pure Mother’s day happiness lie in beautiful gifts, wonderful acts of love and grand gestures of appreciation? Perhaps my Cinderella type perspective is an illusion. Perhaps, if I reflect more on the love and appreciation that my family has for me, and the way they show it to me on every other day, then the sting of a ‘less than perfect’ mother’s day won’t be so bad. If we accept the reality that life is uniquely experienced by all of us and if we stop comparing ourselves and our value as a mother against our Instagram and Facebook feeds, than maybe we can stop seeing ourselves as the “nowhere near loved enough mother”, love ourselves more freely and accept that we are all wonderful, good enough and dearly loved mums.
This post was written by Clo Tickle. Chloe, is a mother, social worker, counsellor and fierce advocate for living the real life. Challenged to live the authentic life, she shares her thoughts and journey so that together we may all love ourselves more, embracing life with all its beauty, adventure and even its painful, ugly bits.