In Praise Of Mothers In All Their Forms
l am a mother. A fierce, proud, grateful, awe filled Mum. I have been since I was the tender age of 22. I am now also a grandmother and that takes everything I already feel to a whole new level. It is true to say that motherhood has formed my life. It's not for everyone, but it's a perfect fit for me.
My 'trio of lovelies' as I have always called them, are the touchstone of my life. Over the last few years my tribe has extended to include my daughter's lovely partner and more recently, our utterly adored grand baby.
Mother's Day is kind of a big deal to me. Not the commercial schtick. Not the saccharine cards and endless lavender scented gifts. What really makes me smile is seeing my family together, being able to stand back and say "These beautiful, kind, clever, funny, deeply loyal and lovely people are my brood. These moments are the culmination of decades of lovingly done hard work and I feel more proud of them than anything else I have ever done'.
I don't take credit for who they are. They are the architects of their lives and the owners of their decisions but I do feel very proud of the fact that I have loved them as hard as is humanly possible and they know they can depend on that like the sun coming up in the morning.
They have given more to me than I can ever repay. Their presence has been the defining role of my life and has made me who I am.
I am deeply grateful for it all.
I am so aware of my good fortune in being able to conceive and birth healthy children. I know that for every person like me there is another out there struggling with years of fertility issues, or a lack of partner/funds/work/opportunity needed to bring their little person earthside. It is a grief I can only imagine and one that must feel immensely heavy to bear. To these people I send all the warmth in my heart and my hopes that Mother's Day is bearable, and that next year you wake up to a different kind of day with your arms as full as your heart.
In this spirit I would also like to acknowledge other kinds of mothers.
The mothers who are still yearning for their babies.
The people who don't want children of their own but who have meaningful relationships with the children in their lives.
The people who bring kindness to the lives of those whose mothers can't or don't mother them well enough.
To the Dad's out there doing it on their own and trying to find a way to be both Dad and maternal when it's needed.
To the same sex partners who have had to work a lot harder than many to create their families.
To the foster parents who love the kids who need it so much.
To the adopting parents, the relinquishing birth parents, to egg donors and surrogates.
To trans Dad's who are giving birth and finding their way in a world that says all mothers are women.
To new Mum's who may be thriving or struggling or both. I hope you find people who support you and love you and leave their judgment at the door.
To the motherless mothers who might be wondering how to navigate their way without a template to work from.
To the step-parents, aunts, friends, grandparents who have stepped up when Mum's are gone, ill or unable to be there for their children.
Wherever you sit on the spectrum of motherhood, I wish you much happiness this Mother's Day.
And to my own daughter, who is now a mother, I am so incredibly proud of you and the parent you are. Your kind, patient, intentional and ever loving way with our favourite little person is miraculous to me and so are you.