Celebrating Our Mothers – Jennifer Oaten

Mothers in Ukraine, mothers who are homeless, mothers who have lost children, soon to be mothers, mothers of adopted children, single mothers, stepmothers, and foster mothers. Aunts, grandmothers and other special people who take on the role of mothers, those who yearn to but are unable to be mothers, mothers in prison and mothers of children who are far away. Mothers of children with significant challenges. There are so many different stories behind our mothers. Not all mothers have a biological connection to their children. The definition of a mother varies from culture to culture or in other circumstances. Mother’s Day enables us to recognise all these incredible women who care for and love the young people of our world.

Mothers are our most precious gift. The mother-child bond is one unlike anything else. It comes with treasured memories and unconditional love. When we become mothers, a part of our hearts we never knew existed unlocks. We experience the powerful love for the little ones we care for. The mother-child relationship is the most beautiful and inseparable bond that we all have, even when, at times, it is challenging for some.

‘Mother’ is a verb and a noun. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.

Motherhood is a feeling, not an explanation. It is a unique kind of love reserved for the mother/child relationship. And when you’ve felt it, you know it. This incredible protective, caring love remains throughout life. For others, this relationship may be far from ideal, heartbreaking or sometimes non-existent.

As a mother of a 19-year son and a 16-year old daughter, I hope my children see me as a mum who shows strength, resilience, independence and bravery while also being compassionate and loving. I hope to be a mother who encourages my children to be the best versions of themselves. For me being a mother means to be a continuous supporter of my children, encouraging them to explore and be brave, and always being ready to catch them if things don’t work out the way they expected. Loving them regardless of what they do, how naughty they are or how frustrating they are at times.

Motherhood brings sleepless nights (when they are babies and teenagers), funny family stories, being tired and grumpy at the end of the day and always being asked what’s for dinner? When a mother says ‘No’ to a party, an outfit, or a new phone, it is hard, but she is taking this hard path because she loves you. She is making hard choices that you might not understand at the moment but will appreciate on reflection. Motherhood presents many challenges but also brings much joy.

What did your mum teach you? My mum is the person who taught me how to stand on my own two feet. She was there for me to help selflessly without expecting anything in return. She made many sacrifices and never expected anything in return.

My mum taught me:

  • a girl’s mind should be the most beautiful part of her.
  • a good education can take you on many pathways and gives you many choices
  • what goes around comes around, be kind to others.

Our mothers are important in our lives because:

  • We all need love, and our mothers love us unconditionally and are always forgiving.
  • They share with us their faith and their values.
  • They teach us to have confidence and belief in ourselves. 
  • They are a rock of strength and a haven of protection when we need comforting.
  • They help to mould our minds when they share with us their wisdom
  • They are role models who help us believe in ourselves and reach our potential.
  • Their boundaries make us better people. We may not have liked some of their decisions, but they are always made with the best of intentions.
  • They nurture our bodies and heal our spirits.

Being a mother is not an easy job. No wages, no holidays. Being a mother is possibly the toughest job in the world which is why Mother’s Day is so important. It is the one day of the year dedicated to those who have given up so much. Our mums are our coaches, taxi drivers, chefs, and supporters. They stand up for us, work hard and make many sacrifices for us so let us thank our mothers and other special women in our lives. Tell them how important they are to us and how much we appreciate them.  

My mother lives three hours away, and I wish she lived around the corner. I would pop in for afternoon tea, hear all the family news and spend time with her in these more challenging years for her. For all of you lucky enough to have your mother close by, look after her, cherish her and remember all the little sacrifices she has made for us.

Your time is the most precious thing you can give your mum this Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers.

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