Sunday the 26th March is not only the day British Summer Time begins (a weird quirk of the British and something to do with ‘saving daylight hours’ although why we can‘t just get up an hour earlier I don’t know), but it is also Mother’s Day, or as my Dad often calls it “Smothering Sunday”!
It always falls on the third Sunday of Lent, so like Easter itself the date moves. Traditionally it was the day of Saint John Climacus and people went back to their Mother Church, or the main church in their area, to celebrate. It is also said to have been a day of focus on Mary the Mother of Jesus. Later our Mother’s Day became entwined with the American version although we in the UK still hold to the original date.
However, whatever the date, mothers do have a lot to answer for
I am slowly morphing into my own mother. I find myself using the same phrases, calling my everyone ‘my love’, her mannerisms are now mine, I talk to inanimate objects – and answer for them, I nag my son about eating properly. Whether this is more about nurture rather than nature I’m not sure.
On some issues though we are diametrically opposed, politics being the main one. But even though our views differ I’m really pleased to have noticed that my mum is more confident now in expressing her opinions than she was when we were growing up. Mum is in her 70’s now and maybe that has come with age. I respect her immensely, she has had to deal with far more than I’ve ever had to and has come out of it all with incredible dignity.
I come from a long line of strong women on both sides of my family – publicans, suffragettes, nursery maids, factory workers, homemakers. All of them inspirational in their own quiet ways. Both my Mum and Grandmothers were doers, capable and un-flappable grafters in whatever they set themselves.
I hope their legacy will follow through me to my daughter. In fact I know it is. She at 14 is more self assured and practical than I ever was. She is bright and funny and hardworking and a pain in the arse, but I only see good things for her future. If I can be as good a Mum to her as mine has been to me I will consider that as a job well done!
But maybe it isn’t just our mum’s we should be celebrating but all the women in our lives that have shown us wisdom, empathy, humour, perseverance and tenderness; aunts, grandmothers, friends, teachers, daughters. These qualities are not just confined to our mothers but can be found in the wider group of women that have influenced us and helped to shape us into the people we are.
Are there women in your life you’ve been inspired by?