12 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day Mumsies

Greetings all,
I haven't had the chance to embrace my personal Mother's Day experience, since i had a baby in my belly.  That might sound shocking, as i LOVE being a mother & adore my mummy + mother-in-law . . . so let me take you back.  This is my reality, where Mother's Day is a work in progress.    
I love my mummy, i call her Barbie Doll, my siblings each have a special name for her too.  Together we'd celebrate Mother's Day with much gusto . . . treats (flowers, perfume, trinkets) present her with breakfast in bed (warming the teapot before making tea, she could tell the difference, she's English) & an enormous family dinner (she didn't have to cook herself).  Beautiful childhood & adult memories of worshipping our beloved mother, lead by our father - her biggest fan.  So you can imagine how Mother's Day is now, Alzheimer's has stolen the memory that she even has children, so we carry on as if she knows who we are, a harmless denial which is surprisingly easy to fudge, even the grandchildren play along.  The challenging thing is - you start so many conversations & stories saying "remember when . . ." or "Mum, you know . . ." it's crushing as you realise over & over again, she doesn't have a clue.
   I lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer while pregnant with my first baby.  I was excited about Mother-To-Be-Day, as my mummy called it - complete with gift hamper of everything you could possibly need as a new mother - the woman was a one stop baby shower, yet i remember so vividly chattering away to my own mother on the phone that Mother's Day, then looking up to my husband (constructing a cot) to see his eyes well up, he quietly said "i don't have a Mother anymore."  Of course my mother loves my husband to pieces (we joke she'd keep him in a divorce) but Mother's Day is still a brutal reminder for my husband, of the agony of losing his mother. 
Finally, in 13 years as a mummy, i've had 2 Mothers' Days with my husband around . . . it's not exactly a scene of mother-having-day-off-with-feet-up-while-being-pampered-&-showered-with-gifts.  I'm not ba humbug, but you get my drift.  You know i'm uber positive, just not about this chestnut Ok!!  I'm also patient, my time of Mother's Day glory will come, eventually.  I sent Barbie a card - we'll see them in a few weeks when handsome soldier is home.  That brings me much more happiness - giving to my mother, no matter how she responds - than my children giving to me.  This year i've turned the tables too, i'm only a mother because of my beautiful children, so instead, i'll accept their handmade cards & flowers from the neighbours garden, then . . . i'm giving them gifts!!  To me, that is joy.  I may have used my husband's credit card for a few magazine subscriptions, so don't feel too sorry for me!!
 This year, my siblings & i banded together to send Mum to the Ritz in London for High Tea & a suite for the night, a couple of weeks ago.  This photo captures it perfectly . . . my forever-proud-father & now-distant-mother.  She'd also die if she realised she was wearing a jumper to the Ritz, instead of a Chanel twin set with pearls.  Yes, they are still travelling the world, only with my brother as their 'private physician' as they can't get insurance anymore.
To lighten the mood . . . my proud children couldn't wait to show me how their chick is circus-ready, the mystique of a bird balancing on a pencil.  If you want to discover parental love in your children, get a baby animal!! 
I'll always remember, when one of my sister's-in-law was suffering depression & asked me "what kind of a mother will my children think i am??"  I don't think you have to have depression to ponder that thought!!  I was in high school & babysat her 2 young daughters every afternoon, watching them play with dolls - carefully dressing them, laying them gently in cots & singing to them softly . . . i told her "they have learned this from you, naturally, from your heart" & the relief that washed over her, that she'd done something right (depression is evil, harsh & critical of every thought.) 
So to all the mummies out there, i wish you a very happy Mother's Day this Sunday.  To those struggling with what Mother's Day means to you . . . you are not alone.  Let's hope it keeps developing & evolving into something beautiful with new traditions & happiness.  I know mine will, it's just going to take a little more time.  It's an awful lot of pressure for one day.  Yelling & begging your children "please behave, it's Mother's Day" is not exactly a Hallmark moment.  I like to consider every unsolicited hug & kiss, random note left on my pillow & SMS starting with "Mumsie, can you . . .", that's Mother's Day to me - everyday.  Love Posie

27 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i hope you sink it in, whatever it will bring. my mom and mother-in-law are both gone, and i'm not a mom myself (except to pets) so it is a quiet day for me.

The Accidental Housewife said...

Posie, that was lovely. There might have been a cheeky tear... Not that I'd admit it!

Glad your mum made it to the ritz, even in her jumper. Your dad's a doll!

Mothers day is a bust in this house too, usually. But this year I'm dragging Mr A camping, so that will be my very welcome present (he bought me a tent three years ago for mothers day, and has refused to use it since!) and it's the first year Peanut has made me a "secret" present at play school. (Of course, I had to carry it home, so I have a good idea what it is... ) So this year is looking up!

I hope in time you end up getting the spoiling you deserve. I'm sure modeling with your mum to your children is setting solid groundwork!

Happy mothers day, Posie. Xox

Christina Lowry said...

Oh stop you, you've gone and brought tears to my eyes already this morning!

I'm with you, every time Cohen stops and asks for a hug, picks dandelions from the garden, draws me a picture or tells me he loves me, that's Mother's Day right there. It's nice to have a day recognising mothers, but recognising all those little moments is even more powerful. xx

Nancy said...

Lovely post Jenn. My mother died 20 years ago when I was in my early thirties, my mother-in-law of Alzheimers a couple of years ago. I never have had patience with parent-bashing. Being a mother is a tough job and you do the best you can. Some days are stellar and you could handle 10 kids and other days one is too many. But you love them - and appreciate their kindness to each other and to their parents. Sometimes you hear much later how much they appreciate the things you did. Sooo... regardless of how things are hug your mother - every day.

Tania McCartney said...

Mother's Day is a bittersweet time in our household - mostly it's a lovely affair but I always have a good cry. I think it's a day that should be spent in total indulgence, doing what we love, with whomever we love. That's how I get through it. I LOVED seeing that photo at the Ritz. xx

Tea for Talia said...

I am beginning to understand your pain. My mum has been diagnosed with early onset dementia (she's only 62 but has had symptoms for a while but only just diagnosed). I didn't realise how bad she had gotten until the other day when mum and dad came for a visit and mum asked me out of the blue if I had a sister. And I went home at easter for the day as dad called and said he would be out all day and if I could over and mumsit. When I got there she was hiding under the bed and very upset that he had left her all day.

It is so destressing to see someone you love suffering. She gets frustrated when she can't get out what she wants to say and then forgets things. She loves her grandkids but forgets their names and covers it up bu calling them sweetie.

It is such a shame that Harry (nearly 2) will not have the same relationship with her that Morgan (6) had. So we are trying to make the most of the lucid time we have with her before she forgets who we are.

Sally said...

I'm just not that into it. I like that the kiddos are excited making handmade things but really it all feels a bit manufactured to me. Like you I like the small moments, the spontaneous gems, that's enough for me.
As for my own mother, well I sent her some photos and a handmade card but really I'm very confused about my feelings for her.

Hazel said...

Thank you for a honest post, Posie, I'm sure more people feel just as conflicted or just not that fussed by mothers day. I have a fraught relationship with my own mother, which makes me feel a bit fake on Mother's Day. I know she loves me but she has an awfully funny way of demonstrating it sometimes. Even so we've invited my parents over for lunch. It must be tough to see your mother change with Alzeimers, my grandmother passed away 4 years ago from it. Mostly now I think of her before she lost her memory. Hugs Posie.

Amanda said...

I'm not into it, but my husband's family is. Because my mum died 21 years ago and we never made a big deal of it it has made the last 21 years easier on mothers day. One of our neighbours puts on morning tea for all the mum's and I'll probably head on over for that and catch up of some goss. I won't be able to visit mil this year as she has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and is on immune suppressing drugs at the moment and I have a slight lurgy that she doesn't need to be introduced to. So it will be a relatively quiet one tomorrow sitting with some stitching.

Jane said...

Another thoughtful and thought-provoking post, Jennie. I am so sorry about your Mum. I had the same experience with my grandmother for 12 long and heart-breaking years. Hang in there, Sweets, and hug your gorgeous children tight. J x

Amanda said...

Forgot to add have lovely moment with your llittle ones and not so little ones.

Amanda said...

As Hazel said above, a truly honest post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and an insight into Mother's Day for you. You're right though, as a Mum, we don't necessarily need a special day to appreciate all the love and affection from our children. I hope your day is a lovely one though xx

Sue said...

I like your husband no longer have a mum and so the tears flowed as I thought of about her. My dh who is the baby of an older family lost his mum 21 years ago as a young 35 year old. his family was never big on Mothers and Fathers day and the gene has been passed onto our 4 children, so while there might be a card or two tomorrow I really don't expect many presents. The best presents are that 3 of our 4 kids will be here with their families and our daughter in Melbourne will ring and say hi and have lunch with her boyfriends mum

tinajo said...

I hope you´ll have a super nice and cozy Mother´s Day, in whatever form it comes. :-)

Makeminemidcentury said...

I'm with you Posie. I'm not a fan of Mother's Day, which I think is too merchandised and consumerised.

I also don't think I'm that great a mother that I deserve some sort of day of glorification.

I love my children everyday, and I know they love me. I don't want a kitchen appliance as some sort of recognition.

Maxabella said...

I think you bad in mothery glory all year round, Jen. You're suc a bloody good one!!! x

Mama of 2 boys said...

Oh Posie, this is such a lovely, heartfelt post. It made me smile and also made me feel a little teary. I feel for you lovely. You're such a strong, admirable, beautiful Mama AND daughter. I can imagine how heartbreaking your poor Mum's condition is, as I watched my Nana deteriorate over many years in this way. I don't kid myself, but I also don't like to think about this happening to my Mama... when I know in actual fact, it is more than likely.
You are so right though, Mother's Day does bring about a certain pressure, which I am determined not to buy into. I am blessed with two lovely children, who I adore and really I couldn't ask for much more. Hubby does his best, but he isn't a natural at doing the spoiling/pampering thing, so I am just grateful for what I have.
All that being said, I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow with your gorgeous children xoxo

Bron said...

I am preparing also to spend another Mother's Day without my mum or our eldest daughter....I find keeping busy with the family function for my fabulous Mother in law is the only way I can get through without curling inside.
Have a wonderful day whatever it looks like for you xxx

Joyful Things said...

Every day is mothers day. The hugs, the laughs, the questions, the fights, the sorrys, the kisses. The work, the worry, the fatigue and the joy. We are taken for granted sometimes but its an honor I would not change for anything. Your appreciation is not gauged by a card on one day but by the little things given everyday - like the chicken in training (love that!)

Greer said...

Lovely words. I hope you have a great day tomorrow x

Sarah B said...

Happy Mother's Day Posie. A lovely post.
ps my Dad used to breed Silver Spangled Hamburgs. My sister and I were photographed for the rural newspaper holding the winning pait from the agricultural show many years ago. How funny!

Sarah B said...

Oh bother, blogger lost my comment I think. Was just saying this is a lovely post and that I hope you have a nice Mother's day :)

the old boathouse said...

Hey posie, like you I agree bittersweet memories and loss we all experience remind us to cherish the everyday, everyday. Xxx Katherine

shelley said...

It is a bittersweet day in our home as well, my husband makes such an effort every year while in the back of his mind he is thinking of his beloved mother who we lost 10 years ago. Cruelly, Fathers day stirs similar emotions as he has also lost his father. His mother passed away on my mums birthday so many of our special days are tinged with sadness.

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

wow Jennie - so much going on. Mother's day is a bit commercialised don't you think? I love the idea of making an extra fuss of mother's as it is the most rewarding but selfless job. I can't believe your mum is doing High Tea at the Ritz. I took my mum to high tea at the windsor for mother's day last year and she loved it. Happy mother's day to you Jennie - a very inspirational mother indeed! xx

m.e (Cathie) said...

oh wow, what an emotional post.
thank you for sharing this with us Miss Posie.
I wish everyday be filled with love & cuddles and gorgeous little notes.
mother's day is a gimmick but if it makes people stop & think & appreciate their mothers then so be it.
hugs to you ♥

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