Did you know? More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year.
But what if your Mum isn’t the person, you would call or your relationship with your Mum doesn’t fit the “perfect image” on a Mother’s Day card?
If you are one of the many people for whom it is hard to see pictures on social media of friends hanging out with their Mums, or who is envious when you hear friends sharing stories of spending time with and gaining support from their Mum, Mother’s Day can feel hard and stir all kinds of difficult emotions. Feeling a distance from our parents is undoubtedly hard.
During one of our recent Best Way to Glow Menopause workshops, we looked at our networks of support and what we need in these, and reflected on how they can both be hugely supportive but also very challenging at times.
Many women shared that they did feel their Mums played a great role in offering a listening ear, guidance and just being there as a constant source of emotional and practical support.
But like everything in life we are all individual and some shared that this relationship is more complicated than a greeting card would have us imagine. This mother-child relationship can bring a real mix of positive and negative emotions, e.g. hurt, anxiety, betrayal, and guilt. For some, when we need support, we have learned to seek it from others in our lives – those that may have filled that role without the title.
The dictionary defines mother as
Mother: Is the woman who gave birth to you. You can also call someone your mother if she brings you up as if she was this woman.
But it defines ‘To Mother’ as
To Mother: If you mother someone, you treat them with great care, affection, nurture, and love.
I agree, a mother’s role is very special, I feel very fortunate to be a Mum and very grateful to have mine. But it can also, and luckily for many be fulfilled by others too. Offering those that don’t have the “typical” Mum relationship, much needed support through, care, affection, and love.
Here are some tips from Dandelion Coaching:
- Let go and refocus -It can be hard but try to let go of the mother-child image we see on greeting cards, Instagram posts, or movies and refocus on the positives in the relationship you have.
- Invest in positive relationships – Consider who offers you support through, care, affection, and love. Spend time with them and invest in these relationships.
- Be kind to yourself – Recognise sometimes no matter who we are or what we do we cannot change others and we might have to protect ourselves from those relationships by managing time spent with them.
- Everything evolves– Relationships change over time and the mother-child one is no different. As we both evolve, we can learn to appreciate and have patience for our different qualities, values, and outlook.
- Be open-minded with your Mum – It’s not always an easy job and sometimes Mums get it wrong and find the relationship complex too.
Remember, although it may be a tradition and celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honour of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. The main focus is to show, share and offer tokens of appreciation.
It is lovely to show appreciation, and if on Mother’s Day that is for your Mum that’s brilliant but likewise, if that’s for another relationship that offers you the qualities of a mothering role let’s show those relationships some appreciation too.