Why I Love Mother’s Day

Written by on March 18, 2012 in Learning to Breathe - 2 Comments

Today was Mother’s Day and, although I normally only publish one post per month in this section, I think that Mother’s Day is a good excuse to somewhat break this rule.

My earlier post this month was about gratitude, and today, on this wonderful day that celebrates all mothers (at least in the UK), I must show gratitude specifically to those two little Angels (well most of the time anyway) who helped make me one of the celebrated on this day: my two darling little girls.

I think that most mothers can agree that the term “unconditional love” refers more than to anything else to that feeling that you get with your little ones. It is incredible the amount of selfless love that a mother can feel for her children. Even still I am baffled by the changes that my own children have been able to inflict on my character just simply by the fact of having been born and sharing my life with me. I think that anyone who’s known me before and after my children were born would easily say that I am by far a much better, much more giving, and much less selfish person since my children came into my life.

It is, I think, almost impossible to be selfish as a mother, when so much of your time is spent considering the needs and desires of the little people that grew inside you and that you spent time creating and nurturing. Being a mother is all about putting yourself second, so much so that you would do anything to make sure your little creatures are happy and safe, way past what you would do for any other person in your life. You give up your scarf and gloves when their necks or hands are cold, even though it was their refusal to put on their scarf and gloves that got them into the situation in the first place. You give up the last bit of whatever on your plate just because they like it and want to eat it themselves, and because you’re just so happy to see them eating something new or something good, even if it means you don’t get to eat very much yourself. You carry them for as long as your weak arms would allow, even when it hurts your back and they’re already too big to be carried, just because their little feet are hurting or they’ve fallen and scraped their knee or they just long to be carried. You lay with them to help them fall asleep easier and even come back to their room as many times as it takes each night because they’re scared or have had a nightmare, even if it means you sleep a total of three uninterrupted hours and are exhausted the next morning…

I could go on and on and on, but I think pretty much every mother understands where I’m coming from. But being a mother doesn’t only mean sacrificing oneself for the sake of one’s children unconditionally, it also means receiving such unconditional love back and in such a dramatic degree, that your heart is always at the edge of breaking for the pure joy that your children are able to give you.

Somehow, even when the day’s challenges have you at the edge of yourself and their constant fighting between themselves about this toy or other has you reprimanding and coming close to losing your patience, a simple big hug and a “mommy, I love you” is enough to melt you completely and to make you realise all of the reasons why you’re so happy to have them.

My younger daughter especially is so unbelievably sweet and generous with her words of love and her big, strong hugs for one so little and slight that I am able to forgive over and over not only constant messes made (sometimes on purpose) with food, toys, and whatnot but also occasional tantrums, arguments with her sister, and just general behaviour that is a testament to her free spirit. She is, after all, so giving of her love and her affection that it would melt even the iciest of hearts. Just the other morning when we were, once again, close to the point of being late to school and I was  trying hard not to lose my patience even though every action seemed to be taking longer than imaginable and was very painful to watch, my little one just came over and climbed on my lap without saying a word to give me a wide, deep hug, resting her little head against my chest, that had the immediate effect of making me forget all about why I was cross with them in the first place. How does she know, at such a young age, how strongly such pure loving affection will alter my mood entirely?  And I happily give in, over and over and over, because such natural show of what sometimes we are taught to keep to ourselves, as we get older and more jaded, deserves to be rewarded and encouraged. If only more adults could give love and affection so easily, the world would be a much better place!

My older daughter too has such a wonderful thoughtful and giving nature that I am amazed everyday at the magnificent creature that I was able to bring into this world. Just last night before Mother’s Day, she came to me saying that she wanted to do something special for me the next day because it would be my “special day”. She asked me if she could make me breakfast and carry it up to my bed so that I would be able to rest and sleep in. Never mind the virtual impossibility of such a task for one so little (she’s only 6 and she’d have to climb significant stairs with a heavy tray of food just to get to my room), just the fact that she was so thoughtful and so eager to find something to make me feel special on Mother’s Day made my heart melt and brought tears of happiness and gratitude to my eyes. I pulled her to me in a great big motherly hug and told her that it is she who is the special one and that I am truly lucky to be her mother. After careful deliberating of all the wonderful things she’d like to do for me, which included anything from buying me flowers and balloons to cooking me dinner, we finally agreed that the best present she and her sister could give me was to let me sleep in on Mother’s Day and to get themselves dressed and ready for breakfast without my help. “I promise,” my daughter cooed eagerly. “Tomorrow we will be the best little girls on the planet!”

What could I reply to this, but what I felt in my heart: “But you already are!”.

And on this Mother’s Day, I would also like to salute two particularly wonderful mothers that I know: my mother and grandmother. It was my mother who helped me realise just how fully a mother can give up of herself to make her children happy. My mother still to this day is one of the most selfless and generous mothers I know. Even when my sister and I decide to “shop from her closet”, she is capable of giving up her favorite dress just because it suits us and we want it. She is also just as doting on her grandchildren (if not more) and claims that her favorite moments when not with them (as we live an ocean away) are spent searching the shops for clothes and things that they will like. Most of what she buys these days is for them. And when we finally do manage to get sometime together at some part of the world, my mother is completely and entirely there for her grandchildren, making her easily the favorite grandma and someone they always look very much forward to seeing.

My own grandmother, as I remember from my youth, was also so much there for me when I was little. Most of my favorite moments in my early childhood that are still stuck in my memory revolve around time with her. This spring my grandmother turns 100 years old and our whole family will be there together to celebrate. It is incredible to imagine such a strong, intelligent, and amazing woman having lived an entire century. My grandmother is my role model in a way. In her lifetime, she has survived wars with her family and been through what most people can’t even imagine, and has succeeded and triumphed through it all. She managed to have a very successful career and raise a family while keeping a perfect balance even back then, when I often struggle to do it now in a much easier kind of time. And now, at almost 100, she still fills her day with at least one walk, the study of a language, cooking for my parents (with whom she now lives), and the keeping updated with all of the latest news on what’s happening with the world today. In fact, many of us often turn to my grandmother to find out the latest news and her, often strong and usually quite accurate, opinion on it.

On this Mother’s Day, I also want to salute another mother with a blog that has a way of tucking at my heartstrings each time I read it. Have a look for yourself at today’s very touching post: http://www.oomphalos.co.uk/2012/03/the-mother-of-all-gifts-literally/

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2 Comments on "Why I Love Mother’s Day"

  1. ilana March 22, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Reply

    That is really sweet and beautiful… I can’t wait to see you guys…

  2. Clarence Ways May 11, 2017 at 11:37 AM · Reply

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