Mother’s Day is upon us again, and our families either struggle or rejoice in the business of celebrating us. It’s a sweet ritual, once you get past the fact that it can look like just another opportunity to sell us something.
But I’ve been thinking about our challenge, as mothers, to rejoice in ourselves. To be pleased with ourselves. Really. Deeply. Without criticism or recrimination. To know that we are enough.
I remember going into our Local Government Chambers to hire an infant baby carrier for the car (what a wonderful service, given that we only need the thing for a few months). My baby was still in my belly, soon to arrive. I was fresh to parenting, unharried, excited. Beside me was a mother returning the carrier that she had been using. She had a toddler in tow, and a baby – maybe nine months old, in a stroller.
She looked tired and harassed. Her attention was not on her children, but on interacting with the Customer Service Person. But I noticed her younger child. He had his gaze fixed firmly on her. And the look on his face told me that she was the centre of his universe. Simply, without anxiety, to him she was everything. His look said “Isn’t it wonderful? You are my Sun and my Moon!”
He was adoring, but more. For better or worse, she was his, they were connected. He knew that his mother was “enough”. She was busy, and I guess she knew, at some level, how important she was to him. But I doubt she stopped very often to really absorb it.
And if she did, I bet there was part of her that would not feel worthy.